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Sheep's Head Way

County Cork, Republic of Ireland

from Walking in Ireland


ABOVE: A local resident enjoys the view from Sheep's Head Peninsula in West Cork.

The Sheep's Head Way is a national waymarked trail on the Sheep's Head Peninsula of West Cork (also known as Muntervary or Rinn Mhuintir Bháire in Irish).

The circular trail's total length is 88 km or 55 miles, and you can easily spend four days walking from Bantry to Sheep's Head and back again without retracing your steps. If your time is limited, you can drive to the visitor center near the end of the peninsula and walk shorter loops along the cliffs and bogs around the Sheep's Head Lighhouse.

Before walking the trail on your own, you'll need good maps: A Map & Guidebook to The Sheep's Head Way, and Maps 85 and 88 of the Ordnance Survey Ireland's Discovery Series. (If you're just visiting the tip of the peninsula, Map 88 will be sufficient.) You can purchase these at the Bantry tourist office.

photoTip: The Sheep's Head Way isn't a difficult trail, but many areas are unimproved, and at times you'll be stepping from rock to rock or squishing through boggy moorland. I strongly recommend boots with ankle support, such as the shock-absorbing Z-Coil boots in the photo.

Accommodations and dining: Lodgings are available at a few locations along the Way (such as Seamount Farm in Glenlough, which offers walking tours) and in Bantry, West Cork. Our small group stayed at the West Lodge Hotel & Pondlodge Cottages, which is in a parklike setting on the edge of Bantry. The modern 95-room hotel is convenient if you're driving, and it offers resort and babysitting services for families.

Bantry Bay Hotel photoSeveral other hotels are in the area, including the Bantry Bay Hotel (located on The Square in downtown Bantry, e-mail: [email protected]) and Bantry House, a stately home wih eight bedrooms for guests.

If walking makes you hungry and you don't mind splurging on dinner, try O'Connor's Seafood Restaurant in downtown Bantry. O'Connor's has been owned by the same family for three generations, and today's proprietors--Peter and Anne O'Brien--serve fish, lobster, and Bantry Bay shellfish in both traditional and creative ways.

For more information on The Sheep's Head Way and Bantry, see:

123Travel: The Sheep's Head Way

Visit Bantry

Next page: More photos with captions

Walking in Ireland - General Information:
Introduction Resources and Web links
Types of walking trips  

Walks in Northern Ireland:
Giant's Causeway Rathlin Island
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Guide: Chris Murphy

Walks in Southwest Ireland:
Roaringwater Bay Sheep's Head Way
Sherkin Island Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Heir Island Guides: SouthWestWalks Ireland
Cape Clear Island  

Related articles:
Molly Gallivan's Cottage and Traditional Farm
Bunratty Manor Hotel (Shannon Airport)

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