Walking Hiking

Sheep’s Head Way – 8 Days

  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way
  • Sheep's Head Way

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 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!

Tour Pricing & Dates

8 Day Tour €615 per person sharing
Single Supplement +€350
Tour Dates 1st April to 31st October
Tour Grade Easy to Modarate 
Accommodation B&B
BOOKING BOOK THIS TOUR

Video

Map

Itinerary

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.
We will supply you with all the travel details on how to get to your first B&B in Bantry.

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: 16 km / 10 miles, 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 345 m. Alternatively, you can walk along the lower path which also finishes in Kilcrohane village.

Distance: 13 km / 8 miles, Ascent: 385 m / 1263 ft, Approximate walking time: 3 / 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: 14 km / 8.7 miles, Ascent: 110 m / 360 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 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: 16 km / 10 miles, Ascent: 200 m / 656 ft, 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: 16 km / 10 miles, Ascent: 280 m / 918 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 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: 17 km / 10.5 miles, Ascent: 190 m / 623 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 8 / Depart

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

Included

  • 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 with just a small day pack
  • All information on trains or buses needed to get to your first accommodation in Bantry and back at the end of the tour from Bantry
  • Full back up service, should you require it, while on our self-guided walking tour

Not Included

  • Packed lunches
  • Evening meals

Testimonials

  • Hi Christopher,

    On behalf of Mary & Myself, I want to thank you for our wonderful trip. We loved every minute of it, even the wet bits.

    The B&B’s that you work with are second to none and in every place we stayed we were made to feel welcome and at home at all times. In each place, they even refrigerated our wine and provided us with wine glasses in order to enjoy our pre-dinner drinks. I would like to give a particular shout out to Donnach in The Castle B&B in Ballintoy. He told us that we were his first “Footfall” visitors so our feedback on his B&B is that it is excellent.

    Your notes and attention to detail on your trail instructions are excellent but just to note for yourself, the red trail down the side of the cliffs to the Giants Causeway is locked and not currently in use. Not sure whether the explanation is Covid related or a safety issue.

    Many thanks

    Marion

    Antrim Causeway Coastal & Rathlin Island Route – 6 Day – Self-Guided Walking Tour
  • Hi Christopher,

    Thank you again for a wonderful day yesterday.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and very much appreciated the lovely relaxed pace and all the stories and information and the fun. Thanks to Teresa also for taking us to Avondale and to the grandchildren for their patience. Truly a memorable experience.
    Terence and Eleanor
    A Day Walk on Trooperstown & the Vale of Clara
  • Dear Christopher,
    And thank YOU, our fearless leader!   You did a great job tending your flock!
    I had a most wonderful time, albeit a little more challenging than I had expected.
    But, I am grateful that the wind only knocked me down on some Valencia heather and not over a cliff! ;
    The scenery was stunning and the lodgings (particularly Casey’s and The Grand) and meals were superb!!
    And the icing on the cake was the pleasure of your company and great sense of humor!
    A perfect package all together!!
    I have more compliments to pay, but I will save them for the next time we connect.  Perhaps you, Teresa and I can
    chat via Facetime after the New Year.  I’d also like to talk a little bit more about the Wicklow Mountains Tour.
    Hope you have a wonderful and well earned holiday in New Zealand!!
    Take care and all the best,
    Carmel
    Wild Atlantic Way South West
  • Dear Christopher, thank you for another wonderful vacation! I really enjoyed seeing another area of your beautiful country. Thank you for leading us on some amazing hikes, and for taking care of everything while we were here. It was a very relaxing week, and we’re going home renewed and rejuvenated. Until we meet again!

    Nicole
  • Christopher, as the official Irish Tourism Board’s representative, it gladdens me to award you the Golden Shamrock, our top tourism award. That last part was bullshit. I had an amazing experience and I am so glad that I got to see Ireland’s most intimate spots. Thank you for a wonderful trip and all of your knowledge and humour. Looking forward to doing another trip together!

    Adam

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