Sheep’s Head Way – 8 Days
Sheep’s Head Way – 8 Day – Self-Guided Walking Holiday
The “Sheep’s Head” Peninsula which is translated from the ancient Irish name “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 345m. 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!
Tour Pricing & Dates
|8 Day Tour||€615 per person sharing|
|Tour Dates||April to October|
|Tour Grade||Easy to Modarate|
|BOOKING||BOOK THIS TOUR|
- Day 1 / Arrive at (Dublin or) Cork Airport and take public transport to Bantry
It is also possible to arrive by Dublin or Shannon airport but this will result in a longer transfer by bus. Bantry town is perfectly located as a place 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.
- Day 2 / Bantry to Glanlough
On the first day of your walking tour on the Sheep's Head Way, you will walk from Bantry to Glanlough overlooking Bantry Bay and Whiddy Island. Today’s walking trail will take you along a beautiful ridge before taking you down into Glanlough.
Distance: 16km, Ascent: 280 m / 1148 ft, Approximate walking time: 4.5 hours.
- Day 3 / Glanlough to Kilcrohane
Today’s self-guided walk gives you the option to follow Gortnakilly ridge up onto Seefin Mountain, the highest point of the peninsula at 345m. Alternatively, you can walk along the lower path which also finishes in Kilcrohane village.
Distance: 13km, Ascent: 385m, Approximate walking time: 4 hours.
- Day 4 / Kilcrohane to Tooreen
You will walk along the wild and rugged coastline at the western extremity of Sheep's Head peninsula today, passing through long abandoned and ruined villages and the Gortavallig Copper Mines.
Distance: 14km, Ascent: 110m, Approximate walking time: 4 hours.
- Day 5 / Tooreen to Reenmore
Your walk today starts with a short climb along the southern coastline which leads you to a 17th-century signal tower. The walking trail then continues at lower levels winding through farmsteads and ancient townlands towards Kilcrohane village.
Distance: 16km, Ascent: 200m, Approximate walking time: 4.5 hours
- Day 6 / Reenmore to Durrus
Durrus, the largest village on the peninsula, is today’s destination and the walking trail takes you along undisturbed paths and winding roads. Passing through this area you will see evidence of the extensive activity from pre-Christian times in the form of standing stones, wells and burial grounds.
Distance: 16km, Ascent: 280m, Approximate walking time: 5 hours.
- Day 7 / Durrus to Bantry
On the final leg 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: 17km, Ascent: 190m, Approximate walking time: 5 hours.
- Day 8 / Depart
After a hearty Irish breakfast, you will depart from Bantry for home.
- 7 nights Bed and Breakfast accommodation
- All accommodation is pre-booked in approved family-run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite
- Detailed route notes and ordnance survey maps
- Details of restaurants and places of interest to visit along the way
- Luggage transfers daily while you walk
- All information on trains or buses needed to get to your first accommodation and back at the end of the tour
- Full back up service, should you require it, while on our self-guided walking tour
- Packed lunches
- Evening meals