At WAWT we have just completed our walking week with 18 German walkers and their guide walking the Four Peninsulas in the southwest of Ireland (Kerry-Cork).
We began by walking the Sheepshead Peninsula from Cahergal via the Crimea, passing copper mines and abandoned villages. This stretch has stunning cliff walks with views across to Bere Island and the Beara Peninsula. Then we walked further, passing by the lighthouse and around Tooreen by the lake, to Bernie’s Sheepshead Café for a well-earned rest and a chance chat with the group.
Next onto Bere Island on the Beara Peninsula; we made the crossing on Colum’s Ferry, then we walked to the lighthouse and up to the signal tower for our lunch with panoramic views over Hungry Hill on the mainland, and Castletowberehaven harbour. Then we followed the Military Road up to the Cross, and down to the Loophead Café, finishing with a pint in the iconic McCarthy’s Bar in Castletown, as the author Pete McCarthy himself recommended!
Next day we ventured on the Dursey to Allihies walk located on the tip of the Beara Peninsula from the Dursey Cable car station over Ballaghboy Mountain, with beautiful views over Black Ball Head and the Skelligs, to lunch on Garnish strand. We continued along Lackacroghan and Knocknahulla to Allihies and the welcoming Allihies Mining Museum and Café, at the walk’s end.
On the Iveragh peninsula we walked the Old Kenmare to Killarney Road, climbing by Pikeen to the Windy gap, before descending towards Galway’s bridge. Turning right, we then ascended through ancient moss-covered Oak woods and Esknamucky Glen, passing Torc Mountain, and down the steps to Torc Waterfall, for teas and coffees at Muckross gardens in the National Park.
The following day found us on the Dingle Peninsula: number four! We began at the renowned Paudi O’Shea’s Pub onto Ventry Strand, by Raheen, and then followed the Dingle Way around the majestic Mount Eagle. Passing by ancient beehive huts, enclosures and lots of other ancient monuments overlooking Dingle Bay with views to Castlemaine and the Iveragh Peninsula beyond. Further on, we overlooked the Blasket Islands and stone-walled fields before descending to Dunquin. Then a visit to the Blasket centre and their café, before some downtime spent in Dingle town.
As a special addition and because time permitted, we walked a fifth peninsula, Mizzen Head, with its signal station, accessed via a stunning bridge, to catch a glimpse of the life of the keepers that once manned the lighthouse, the Marconi radio station itself, not to mention the magnificent folded cliffs and rock formations of the surrounding landscape.
During the course of the Four Peninsulas Tour (or five!) we all got some great exercise and fresh air. We also met some great people, and together were immersed in the special history and culture of the Southwest, and explored a stunning landscape with all its different faces and weathers: Happy Walking at WAWT!