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West Cork Walks

21.03.2011 Festivals, Things to Do No Comments

West Cork is a walker’s paradise with expansive sandy beaches giving way to rugged coastline and quiet country lanes meandering through gently rolling countryside. There is an abundance of wildlife and the ever changing countryside provides a dynamic environment for any walker. West Cork has always been a popular destination for walkers as it offers such extensive opportunities to explore and escape the grind of everyday life. Walking amongst some of Ireland’s most panoramic surroundings will only hasten you to forget your daily routine and the demands of work, as you relax into the tranquil pace of ‘West Cork life’.

The Beara Way
An extensive trip, covering some of West Cork’s most dramatic scenery, the entire walk takes in some 197km from start to finish. For those of you looking for less of a marathon hike, it can be easily broken down into sections, and also include all important food stops to sample a taste of West Cork! From cliff top strolls overlooking Bantry Bay to the fishing community of Castletownbere then on through the Slieve Misklish Mountains, there is an unending variety of views, history and fauna. There are glacial valleys, sweeping bays, craggy mountain ranges, boundless loughs all interspersed with picturesque towns and villages that seem almost untouched by the outside world.

The Sheep’s Head
The rugged Sheep’s Head Pensinula is a perfect example of the rugged and dramatic coastline, signatory of West Cork, providing views of both Bantry Bay and Dumanus Bay throughout the walk. In total it is 88km but it is very easy to take shorter routes that still provide the same quality of views and surroundings. Bantry itself is one of the most historic towns in Ireland, as it is believed that the first settlers arrived into Bantry Bay as early as 4000BC and since then, throughout history it has been an important stop for both French and English battleships, a port of immigration and a community based on surviving in harmony with the land. The Sheep’s Head Walk is dotted with archaeological monuments paying tribute to this rich history.

Baltimore Walky-Talky Festival Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd October 2011
There is even a festival dedicated to walking in West Cork: A weekend to meet those who’s passion is not only walking but sharing their knowledge on their heritage. A chance to explore the coastal region and islands that identify Baltimore. There are walks for all ages and abilities and this weekend is a social event that should be in everyones calender. Baltimore offers dining experiences not to be missed, so after your exertions of the trail, there is plenty of opportunity to refresh overlooking the harbour and islands.

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