County Cork, Republic of Ireland
from Walking in Ireland
ABOVE: The harborfront in Baltimore, County Cork. INSET BELOW: Local boats, the Baltimore Beacon on Roaringwater Bay, and a convivial scene at Bushes Bar.
Roaringwater Bay is the southernmost bay in Ireland, and Fastnet Rock--just to the southwest of Cape Clear Island--was known as "Ireland's Teardrop" in the 19th Century, when it was the last part of Ireland that emigrants saw as they sailed to America.
The bay is home to Carbery's Hundred Isles, a cluster of islands near the fishing village and sailing center of Baltimore in West Cork. Baltimore and its islands are well off the beaten tourist path, being some 60 miles or 100 km from the city, airport, and ferry port of Cork.
Baltimore itself is a pleasant little town with a busy harbor and a number of cozy pubs overlooking the bay. From the harborfront, you can take small passenger-ferry boats to Sherkin, Heir, and Cape Clear Islands. And while this article treats Baltimore as a jumping-off point for several nearby islands in Roaringwater Bay, the village is a worthwhile tourist destination in its own right with a sailing school, a Seafood Festival, a Wooden Boat Festival, and the O'Driscoll Clan Mid-Summer Festival, which attracts descendants of the bay's ancient rulers from all over the world.
For more information on Baltimore, see:
Baltimore, West Cork (Official site)
Next article: Sherkin Island
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