The Sheep’s Head Peninsula Walk
The “Sheep’s Head” Peninsula or the ancient name of Muintir Bháire, the people of Bháire; is the middle of the three peninsulas in the southwest of county Cork, Ireland’s largest county. It must be the least visited part of Cork and this contributes to the wonderful presence of such a unique place. Bordered by Bantry Bay to the north and Dunmanus Bay to the south, a narrow spine of mountains culminates in Seefin Hill at 345m. The Sheep's Head Peninsula features a long distance walking route of 88km (55miles) which follows old tracks and roads. Your route will take you right to the tip of The Sheep's Head peninsula.
The trail starts and finishes in Bantry. You will walk coastal sections as well inland, forested sections on your return to Bantry. Accommodations on the Sheep's Head Peninsula welcome and look after our walkers exceptionally well.
The Sheep's Head Peninsula Walk Itinerary
Day one: Arrival in Cork. Travel to Bantry lying sheltered behind Whiddy Island. Bantry is the market town of southwest Cork and an ancient port facility. The deep waters have hosted a succession of fleets, French, Spanish and British which add to the good looks of the natives! Gulf Oil came in the 1970’s to build an oil terminal. In order to make the best of the route, your first night is spent 5km from Bantry at the start of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.
Day two: Bantry to Glanlough along the coast.The route starts on small farm access lanes from Dromcloc Farmhouse and climbs one of the mountain roads that cross the peninsula. At the top, it is out onto the hills, a glorious ridge walk through sheep grazing country to 223m, before descending to Glanlough and Seamount Farmhouse. 14 km
Day three: Glanlough to Kilcrohane. Your hosts will assist you today with a route to Kilcrohane. The ridge walk continues over Gouladane, from where you can descend to Gortnakilly or continue on the ridge to Seefin, the highest point of the peninsula at 345m. The walk finishes at Kilcrohane village from where you will be transferred back to Glanlough. 13 km
Day four: Kilcrohane to Tooreen, the end of the peninsula. Your hosts will return you to Kilcrohane. The Way follows the exhilarating coastline of the western end of the peninsula through ruined villages, the Gortavallig Copper Mines to Bernie’s Café at the edge of the world! Your host for tonight will collect you at this point and transfer you to your accommodation in Reenmore. 14km
Day five: Free transfer back to Tooreen. Walk to Kilcrohane along the southern coastline of the peninsula. After the initial climb to the remains of a 17th century signal tower, today’s walk is on lower ground through farms and townlands to return to Kilcrohane village. You host will collect you and transfer you to Reenmore. 16km
Day six: Walk from Reenmore to Durrus.The route follows old paths and droving roads through hillside farms to Durrus, the largest village on the peninsula. There are many pre-Christian remains, standing stones, wells, burial grounds, indicating the ancient importance of the area. Overnight in Durrus. 16 km
Day seven: Durrus to Bantry. Leaving the seascapes behind, the route follows the Four Mile Water valley before climbing through forest to Barr na Gaoithe, the Top of the Wind. A short climb completes the hill walking before descending on minor roads to Bantry town, through the grounds of the majestic Bantry House. 17 km
7 nights Bed & Breakfast guesthouse accommodation; luggage transfers each day; detailed Sheep's head peninsula route descriptions and maps
Other meals; transfers to and from Bantry; entries or excursions.
The Price Of The Sheep's Head Peninsula Walk:
£569 per person sharing
£95 single supplement
£759 person walking alone
Airport for transfers
What To Take
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit
When To Go
The best time to visit The Sheep's head peninsula is mid-April to mid-September. Accommodation will be difficult to obtain on UK national holidays unless booked well in advance (and may require an alteration to the programme).
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.