Sheep’s Head Peninsula
The 2009 theme ‘Tourism and Protected Areas’ saw the Sheep’s Head peninsula in Co Cork claim the EDEN accolade.
The Sheep’s Head Way – the peninsula’s renowned walking route – gives you an ideal way to explore this ancient landscape. The route combines low, rugged hills and a splendid cliff coastline. The 115 km circuit of the peninsula takes four to six days to complete. The waymarked walk extends eastwards (a further 60km approx) beyond Bantry toward Drimoleague, the beautiful Mealagh Valley and on to Kealkill linking to Gougane Barra. There are also many loop walks on the peninsula – perfect for a day walk or short afternoon walk.
Archaeology buffs will love sites and monuments like Lord Bandon’s Folly, Glanlough, Baunta and Brahalish forts. These are all easily accessible from the loop, and the wonderful Bantry House is close by.
Wildlife lovers will be delighted to find that the Sheep’s Head is a Special Area of Protection due to the presence of rare birds like the chough and peregrine. See the local dolphins from the tip of the peninsula when you take the lighthouse walk, or get up close on a day trip sailing in Dunmanus Bay.
There is an 18-hole golf course in nearby Bantry town, while road bowling, a traditional West Cork sport, takes place at various local spots. Cycle hire is available locally and the Sheep’s Head Cycling Route provides a great way to explore the area.
Other visitor temptations include the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the West Cork Literary Festival and Bantry Fair Day. The fair attracts locals and visitors alike and is held on the first Friday of each month (every Friday in summer).
For all tourism information on the Sheep’s Head peninsula, visit http://livingthesheepsheadway.com
Make sure you:
- Walk the Sheep’s Head Way
- Taste Durrus Cheese, made here on the peninsula
- Visit the Air India Memorial garden at Ahakista
- Go pony trekking on the shores of Bantry Bay
- Cycle along the coastal Sheep’s Head Cycle Route
- Try your hand at shore fishing
- Visit historic Bantry House