For August’s edition of Walk of Month, we’re taking a trip across the Irish Sea to the Emerald Isle itself. The Beara Peninsula in County Cork is one of the most ruggedly stunning landscapes in the whole of Ireland, dominated by mountain ranges but decorated with picture-perfect fishing villages all along the shoreline bordering the wild Atlantic Ocean.
It’s a popular destination for walkers with the 196km Beara Way a fantastic choice for long-distance walkers. However, today we’re looking at the shorter Garinish Loop, which can easily be done in an afternoon before heading to one of the lovely traditional taverns nearby for some well-deserved pub grub!
The Garinish Loop is a 4km coastal walk that starts and finishes at the boarding point for the only cable car in Ireland- the Dursey Island Cable Car. It’s described as a ‘moderate’ walk and can be quite challenging in places where it ascents so it’s probably more suitable for adults. It should take around an hour and a half to complete; wearing walking boots and drinking plenty of water is always advised.
Begin your walk in the car park of the Dursey Island Cable Car. Cross over the stile and follow the purple arrows towards the west of the Beara Peninsula. At this point, the route ascends quite quickly to its highest point (150m). It can be a little tiring on the legs but the view at the top, looking out across the Sound to Dursey Island, is more than worth it!
The next section takes you downhill and out across open countryside towards Garinish Point. From here, you’ll be rewarded with fine views of the open sea and both Garinish Island and Long Island. Here you’ll need to exit the open land via a small gate and follow the route to the quay at Garinish. You’ll need to turn right at the quay on a roadway.
Follow the roadway for around 500 metres and you’ll reach a narrow laneway, which will be on your right-hand side. Follow the purple arrow signs and turn right up the laneway. Eventually, the laneway reaches a roadway, where it turns left and joins a tarred road.
Turn right at the tarred road. Note that the long-distance route turns left here but you need to make sure that you turn right to make the 1km return to the cable car.
To view the route map, please click here.
Rent a cottage in the Beara Peninsula with Sykes Cottages
If you want to tackle the Garinish Loop then why not make a weekend of it and book a holiday cottage in the Beara Peninsula? Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Beara Peninsula is a delightful part of West Cork that’s famous for its stunning scenery and as home to one of Ireland’s best ports for whitefish, it would be a crying shame to miss out on trying its wonderful seafood restaurants! Sykes Cottages have a wide range of self-catering holiday lets in the area that would make perfect bases to explore West Cork.