Moving West along from Clonakilty towards Skibbereen, set in the picturesque surroundings at the head of the Rosscarbery Bay is the town of Rosscarbery. This small historic town which is based around a quiet central square is really little more than a village. Despite this however there is plenty to do both in Rosscarbery and the surrounding area, catering for all members of the family.
The town is steeped in history and archaeology making it an enjoyable tourist attraction. St Fachna's Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and legend says that due to his patronage, nobody in the Rosscarbery parish will ever be struck by lightning. Hopefully this applies to its visitors too! Along the road about two miles from Rosscarbery lies Castle Salem. This castle was built during the 15th century and in the 17th century a farmhouse was built onto one of the 3m thick walls which today has been converted into a B&B. It is said that Cromwell gave this farmhouse to an English soldier named Appollo Morris who was a friend of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, who is said to have visited Morris here.
There are numerous megalithic tombs and stone circles to be found around Rosscarbery, the most famous of these being the Stone Circle at Drombeg situated about a mile from the town. This dates back to the Bronze Age, approx. 100 BC and is particularly impressive with 17 stones standing in a circle. Nearby lies a fulact fiadh which was a cooking site dating back to the same period. Here troughs of cold water would have been heated by hot stones thrown into them from the fire.
For the more active visitor there are plenty of outdoor activities within walking distance of Rosscarbery. There are some extremely pleasurable walks around the Ross parish which, depending upon how energetic you feel, can vary in length and severity. A particularly enjoyable one will take you from Cahermore crossroads, about a mile from the town. From there, travel west towards Ardagh. On reaching the crossroads at the Ardagh Burial Ground, take the right turning which will lead you to Castle Salem. The lane will twist past the tree-lined entrance of the castle before climbing challengingly uphill through the woodland. The welcome is all year round, whether it is from the ponies and donkeys grazing the paddocks or the bluebells in May. As you reach the summit of the incline, take a moment to look back and the view of the coast and surrounding area will amaze you. The Galley Head lighthouse seems deceptively near from such a height. Keep travelling right and the lane will meet the Rosscarbery/Reenascreena road. As local farmers testify, the distance between these two villages may only be a couple of miles but the hill which divides them creates a huge change of temperature. It can mean the difference between a frost in Reenascreena and a temperate climate in the lower village. The road winds down past farms and cottages, gradually delivering you back to Rosscarbery.
Dinghies and Pedal Boats may be hired at the Marine Leisure Centre whilst other activities available in the area include sailing, pitch and putt, tennis, horse-riding, bird watching and plenty of fishing. There are also a Pet Farm and an Agricultural Museum which should be visited.
For a more relaxing holiday, there are a number of beaches in the area including Owenahincha, Long Strand and the Warren beach. Local historians maintain that the Warren beach arrived one night over a hundred years ago.There was a ferocious storm causing tonnes and tonnes of sand to be swept into the harbour. This effectively created a beach in one night.
There are a few pubs in the area which provide some excellent pub grub.