Sheep’s Head Way – 6 Days – Self-Guided Walking Tour -(Easy to Modeate)

Wild Atlantic Way

The “Sheep’s Head” Peninsula which is translated from the ancient Irish name of Muintir Bháire, meaning the people of Bháire, is the middle of the three peninsulas in the south-west of County Cork, Ireland’s largest county along the Wild Atlantic Way.  The Sheep’s Head Way is a very well kept secret and is one of the least visited parts of Cork. This contributes to the wonderful peace and quiet in this most unique place.

This narrow finger peninsula is part of the old red sandstone system when the mountainous coastal region was split into several peninsulas as the sea level rose between 4000 – 7000 years ago. The rounded hills (drumlins) are the evidence of glaciation, leaving fertile sheep pastures dominated by a spine of low hills. The highest point on the peninsula is Seefin Hill at 345 m. At its busiest in 1844, the peninsula had a population 8,340 but now has just 1,300 residents.

Bantry Harbour, sheltered by Whiddy Island, is one of West Cork’s oldest ports and was the scene of an attempted French invasion in 1796. Bantry House, which was built in 1771 for the first Earl of Bantry, houses a fine art collection and is open to the public. Bantry town remains a bustling market town and the main shopping town of the south-west. A renowned Farmer’s Market takes place every Friday morning in the main square. Look out for the West Cork Fuchsia Brand, a marketing initiative to brand the huge variety of local produce that both locals and newcomers to the area manufacture, for the local and international markets.

The Sheep’s Head Way indeed offers an interesting variety of experiences during this six-day self-guided walking adventure!

Prices / Dates

Price:  €454 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€300

Tour Dates: 1 April to 31 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

Included / Excluded

It is also possible to arrive in Dublin or Shannon airport but will result in a longer transfer by bus. We will supply you with all the travel details that you need to get to your first accommodation in Bantry.

Bantry town is the perfect location to start your self-guided walking adventure in the South-West of Ireland. Bantry sits in the bay separating the Sheep's Head and Beara Peninsulas and is in the shelter of Whiddy Island.

On the first day of your tour, you will walk from Bantry to Glanlough overlooking Bantry Bay and Whiddy Island. On today’s walking trail, you will walk along a beautiful ridge before making your way down into Glanlough.

Distance: 16 km / 10 miles, Ascent: 280 m / 1,148 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Today’s self-guided walk gives you the option to follow Gortnakilly ridge up onto Seefin Mountain, the highest point of the peninsula at 345 m. Alternatively, you can take the lower path which also finishes in Kilcrohane village.

Distance: 13 km / 8 miles, Ascent: 385 m / 1263 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 hours

Durrus, the largest village on the peninsula, is today’s destination. The walking trail takes you along undisturbed paths and winding roads where you will see evidence of the extensive activity from pre-Christian times, in the form of standing stones, wells and burial grounds.

Distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles, Ascent: 280 m / 918 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

On the final part of your return to Bantry, you move inland from the coastline and ascend "Barr na Gaoithe", translated as the Top of the Wind, before meandering back down on small country roads into the town, through the beautiful grounds of Bantry House.

Distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles, Ascent: 190 m / 623 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

After a hearty Irish breakfast, you will depart from Bantry for home.
We will supply you with all the travel details required for your onward journey from Bantry.

A few words from our customers...

Footfalls, thank you for a second tour through your beautiful Ireland. It was another amazing experience of hiking and food and laughter on the Sheepshead Peninsula. What a wonderful week and I can't wait to return soon for another Footfalls tour. Thank you for everything!
Breda & Catharine
USA
Thank you very much for a wonderful week filled with memories we will never forget. We have enjoyed our tour so much and we are already discussing our next trip with you, but can you come up with a tour that will beat the Sheepshead Peninsula!! 😊
Cathy & Geoff
Canada