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Sheep's Head Way

7 Days & 6 Nights 4 Read 2 reviews
  • Peaceful & unspoilt Sheep’s Head peninsula on the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Bantry Harbour, sheltered by Whiddy Island & one of West Cork’s oldest ports
  • Uncover traces of Ireland’s rich history; Stone Circles, Holy Wells & Ring Forts
  • Lucky sightings of dolphins & whales in Bantry Bay
  • Enjoy the mildest climate in Ireland with its proximity to the Gulf Stream
Walk through the natural and unspoilt countryside of the Sheep’s Head peninsula on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way coastline in West Cork. Sheep’s Head comes from the ancient Gaelic, “Muintir Bháire”, the people of Bháire, an ancient tribe. Relax as you breathe in the fresh salty air on one of your daily walks and discover the quietest and smallest of the major southwestern peninsulas of Ireland. Uncover evidence of this area’s rich history as you follow trails past old burial grounds and standing stones. Relish the fantastic flavours of the Sheep’s Head Way as you travel through these stunning landscapes that inspire the artisan’s who produce Durrus cheese, fresh wild-caught smoked fish, Clonakilty Chocolate and locally-brewed beers.

What To Expect

This area has managed to maintain its natural charm since it is quite remote from any large towns & cities. Here you will truly feel that you might be the only tourist as it is not as busy as some of the other Irish “Ways”. However this is its advantage, especially if you also enjoy unspoilt scenery, history, cosy B&B’s and the very warm welcome of locals. The walking is rated moderate, but the distances are fairly short, so as long as you are a regular walker you are sure to enjoy this adventure to the max!

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Multi Centre Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking holiday

This trip is suitable for:

Multi-Generational

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Coastal & Island

Grade & Terrain

This itinerary is graded moderate and is suitable for regular walkers. When walking on the ridge along the peninsula this is reminiscent of English/Scottish moorland so can be windswept on the tops. There will be elevation gains and losses to get up to the ridge but no more than 450m and on most days just 350m of gain.

You will be walking along green roads (old cattle drover’s roads), pathways, forestry tracks and minor tarmac roads. During rainy weather some of the trails can be very muddy, boggy and waterlogged, so be prepared to get your boots wet and wear very good quality walking and waterproof boots. Wearing gaiters is also a good option.

As there are no “public rights of way” in Ireland these itineraries do involve road walking. However the roads are generally very quiet and pleasant to walk on with great views with always a wave from the locals. At times though you may have to look out for traffic.

Navigation

This route is way-marked but at times the way marking will be a bit intermittent and sometimes we may follow a different route to avoid a busy road, for example. Detailed route notes and GPS data will be provided for you via the Macs Adventure App. Further information will be provided upon receipt of your booking.

Accommodation Information

The accommodations on this tour are hand-picked B&B’s and guest houses. All offer a particularly warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious full or Irish breakfasts.

Please be aware that there are 2 accommodations on Day 2 that we will use, one is in Glanlough and the other in Gerahies. Both accommodations are between 1 and 2km from the end of the day’s walk. If you stay in Gerahies this will also add about 1.3km to the next day’s walk. Please be aware of these details when calculating your daily walking distances.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested, and a single supplement applies. This trip is also available to solo walkers, and a supplement is again payable (as some costs are not shared). Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins/doubles.

Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options.

Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. For dinner there are either nearby pubs and restaurants in each location or the B&B will provide dinners. In Glanlough the B&B will take you to the restaurant in Akahista  and will also pick you up afterwards.

Included
  • Overnights in B&B's & guest houses
  • Breakfasts included
  • Luggage Transfer
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • A detailed information pack, route notes and maps
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to & from Bantry
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
Extras
  • Extra nights before, after or during your walk

When To Go

This walking tour is available between May and October. You can start on any date subject to availability.

The walk is very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.

Getting to the Start

The closest international airport is Cork Airport. This airport is served by a few different airlines such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus from cities such as London, Manchester, Glasgow, Munich, Zurich and Amsterdam. When you arrive you can take a #266 bus from the airport to Cork Parnell Bus Station. Buses from the airport run approximately every half an hour. From Cork Parnell Bus Station you can catch a bus to Bantry, there are about 5 buses departing per day and the journey takes about 2H.

It is also possible to fly into Dublin and take an Aircoach direct to Cork either from the airport or from Dublin city centre. which takes about 3H30. You can then do as described above and take a bus from Cork to Bantry. You can also fly into Shannon Airport, then take a bus to Cork from here. Buses run approximately every hour and take about 2H35. Then take a bus from Cork to Bantry.

A useful website when deciding on your travel plans is Bus Eireann.

Getting from the End

The tour also finishes in Bantry so you can follow the Getting to the Start directions in reverse.

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and descents / ascents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necesssary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/ cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Bantry and overnight Day 2 Bantry to Glanlough/Gerahies 9 miles / 14 km Day 3 Glanlough/Gerahies to Kilcrohane 8 miles / 13 km Day 4 Transfer to the Cove. Walk to Kilcrohane via Cahergal, Caher and Funeral Path Loops 8 miles / 13 km Day 5 Kilcrohane Loop via Akahista 9 miles / 15 km Day 6 Transfer to Durrus. Walk Durrus to Bantry 12 miles / 19 km Day 7 Onward Travel

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