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Hiking the Sheep’s Head Way

Bantry & Sheepshead loop

  • Climbing-a-style-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways
  • Donkeys-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways
  • Bantry House The Sheeps Head Way Ireland Ways
  • Sign-post-Yellow-man-and-feuding-rams-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways
  • Landscape-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways
  • Sign-post-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland-Ways
  • Mussel-farm-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland-Ways
  • Sheeps-Head-Lighthouse-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland-Ways
  • Water-Wheel-Bantry-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland-Ways

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The Sheep’s Head Peninsula was designated a European Destination of Excellence in 2011. The remoteness of this part of Cork, contributes to the wonderful presence of this unique environment, culture and habitat, making it extremely popular with walkers. The Sheep’s Head Way is a long distance trail which follows mountain tracks, goat paths and rural roads around the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.

This Wild Atlantic Way walk starts in Bantry along the Northern edge of the peninsula to a lighthouse at its most westerly point and back via the Southern coast. The trail is very accessible and well signposted, combining low and rugged hills, with coastline and sea cliffs. The trail can be walked all year round but is at its best from Spring to Autumn.

The Sheep’s Head Peninsula is a finger of land stretching 40km into the Atlantic Ocean situated between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay. Bantry Harbour, naturally sheltered by Whiddy Island, is one of the oldest ports in west Cork and was a strategic landing point for an attempted French invasion in 1796. Bantry House houses a fine art collection (open to the public). Bantry itself is a bustling market town and remains the main shopping town of the south west. A famous farmers market takes place every Friday morning in the main square.

Trip highlights

  • Travel back in time, walking along ancient livestock paths
  • Experience afternoon tea and a tour around Bantry House and Gardens
  • Spoil yourself with award winning local produce along the Sheep's Head Way
  • Enjoy inspiring views from the top of Seefin and from the Sheep's Head Lighthouse

1 Bantry

Bantry House The Sheeps Head Way Ireland Ways

Today you will be making your way to the coastal town of Bantry, once a busy fishing port, mussel-farming having replaced the traditional trawling in recent years. After you have checked into your accommodation, take a stroll through this busy market town, visit the water mill-wheel beside Bantry library just off the town’s main street or Bantry house and walled garden, home of a fine art collection and open to the public (Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm).

2 Bantry to Glanlough - 16km


5H15 | +395m / -367m
Your first walking day on the Sheep’s Head Way tour, you will leave the busy hub of Bantry behind in favour of quiet roads and mountain tracks. For the first part of the day you will be travelling on a variety of boreens (‘rural roads’ in Irish). This is a nice warm up, as you gradually gain altitude and eventually turn off the boreen in favour of a mountain track following the ridge line of the mountains that make up the spine of the Sheeps Head peninsula. You will descend into the pleasant sea side village of Glanlough and your accommodation for the evening.

3 Glanlough to Cahergal - 21km

Sign-post-Yellow-man-and-feuding-rams-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways

7H | +725m / -669m
This morning after a hearty breakfast you will return to the Sheep’s Head trail and resume your tour, hiking through open moorland, following the peaks and on to the highest point of this trip, Seefin (324m). Seeefin offers commanding sea views, through nearly 270 degrees. You will descend from this high point back onto an ancient goat path for a few kilometres before rejoining the ridge line, along mountain tracks over peaty ground to Caher mountain (324m). From this high point you will descend to the old goat path again to Cahergal.

4 Cahergal to Kilcrohane - 13km


8H | +479m / -528m
Today’s journey along the Wild Atlantic Way will seem much easier by comparison to your last two days, with very minimal ascent or descent, predominantly walking along boreens and coastal paths with views of Bantry Bay and The Beara Peninsula to the North. At the western most point of The Sheeps Head Peninsula there is a viewing point, The Sheeps Head lighthouse, which is accessed by a flight of steep steps.

The viewing point takes in spectacular coastal scenery. The lighthouse positioned 83 metres above the sea was built in 1968 and shines white/red light 18 miles out to sea, warning mariners of submerged rocks.
Leaving the Lighthouse behind you will continue on a coastal paths above sea cliffs and rural roads to your accommodation for this evening in Kilcrohane.

5 Kilcrohane to Durrus - 21km

Landscape-The-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways

7H | +474m / -499m
The route to Durrus is a pleasant days walk, along the Wild Atlantic Way coastal paths, boreens and mountain tracks. In the morning you will be ascending and contouring the lower slopes of Seefin mountain, the only major ascent of the day, this height gain gives you beautiful views of the dramatic Atlantic coastline, Dunmanus Bay and Mizen Head Peninsula to the South. Your accommodation for the evening is in Durrus, a key point for people driving and cycling along the Wild Atlantic way.

6 Durrus to Bantry - 20km

Climbing-a-style-Sheeps-Head-Way-Ireland Ways

6H30 | +525m / -526m
The last day of your tour will see you walk inland, along a mixture of quiet rural roads, agricultural land, mountain tracks, wild heather fields and ancient drumlins. These quiet winding roads, through ancient communities, offer the ideal environment for you to reflect on your weeks walking before returning to the busy town of Bantry and a celebratory meal this evening.

7 Bantry


After your breakfast your walking holiday along the Sheep’s Head Way with us finishes.
Why not ask our team about adding an extra nights accommodation if you wish to rest and soak up the atmosphere in the seaside town of Bantry or consider transferring back to Cork, Ireland’s third largest city. With settlement in the Cork area dating back to the 6th century there is a wealth of history and culture to explore including stone circles, castles, manor houses, walled gardens and of course the Jameson Whiskey experience.

Hotels and Houses have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food, and friendliness of the staff (why not ask our sales team about optional upgrades to superior rooms or suites where available along you tour). As this is our tours pass areas of outstanding natural beauty and cultural heritage, it is worth while considering adding in a rest day in the middle of your tour. Accommodation displayed is subject to availability and if the hotel/guesthouse described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard of comfort and price.

Bantry - Standard

For your first nights accommodation we have chosen a 3 star hotel in Bantry town, offering all the conveniences you would expect and overlooking the eternally beautiful Bantry Bay.

Glanlough - Standard

Our first choice accommodation is a charming guesthouse overlooking Bantry Bay, in the village of Glanlough. Your hostess prides herself on the warmth of her welcome and quality of service she provides.

Kilcrohane - Standard

Your accommodation this evening is a very well presented 300-year old traditional Irish farmhouse, situated in a delightful location on the shores of the Atlantic. Guests are invited for a morning swim before breakfast if they wish.

Durrus - Standard

Tonight you will stay in a purpose built guest house, with designed layout and furnishings to offer Bed and Breakfast accommodation with style, distinction and warmth. Each bedroom has been individually styled with a pleasing blend of antique and contemporary furniture.

Bantry Average Temperature & Rainfall

Bantry-temperature-Wild-Atlantic-Way-walking-holiday-Ireland-ways Bantry-rainfall-Wild-Atlantic-Way-walking-holiday-Ireland-ways

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.




Cork Airport 85km:

Step 1: Cork Airport to Cork City | Bus Éireann – Bus No.226A | Travel time 0H20, leaving every 30 minutes.

Step 2: Cork City to Bantry | Bus Éireann – Bus No.236 | Travel time 1H45, leaving every two hours all day | Fare €33 approx one- way.


Dublin Airport 347km:

Step 1: Dublin Airport to Cork City | Aircoach | Travel time 3H30, leaving every hour (10:30, 11:30, etc.) | Fare €17 each way / €27 return.

Step 2: Cork City to Bantry | Bus Éireann – Bus No.236 | Travel time 1H45, leaving every two hours all day | Fare €33 approx one-way.


Dublin Airport 357km: (Via Dublin City Centre)

Step 1: Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre | Aircoach | Travel time 0H30, leaving every 15-30min | Fare €6 approx. one-way.


Step 1: Dublin Airport to Dublin City Centre | Dublin Bus – Bus No.747 | Travel time 0H40, leaving every 15min | Fare €6 one way. (NOTE: This bus also stops at Heuston Train Station).

Step 2: Once on O’Connell Street it is a short walk, LUAS (tram) or taxi ride to Heuston Train Station.

Step 3: Dublin City Centre (Heuston Train Station) to Cork City | Irish Rail | Travel time 2H30, leaving every hour all day | Fare €14-€35 approx each way.


Step 3: Dublin City Centre to Cork City| Aircoach | Travel time 3H, leaving every hour (10:00, 11:00, etc.) | Fare €10 approx. one-way.


More information:

Air Coach – Airport Transfer

Irish Rail – Train

Bus Eireann – Intercity Bus

Irish City Link – Intercity Bus

Dublin Bus – Dublin City Bus

Luas – Dublin Tram service