Whet your appetite for the experience ahead in Fastnet Hall. The entrance of Fastnet Hall features a spectacular mosaic sculpture by The Ewe Sculpture Garden creator Sheen Wood; it is entitled Water and Rock. See a 10th scale model of Fastnet Rock, a wildlife collage by Richard Mills, or a film entitled Local Keepers and the Irish Lights by Tish Barry.
From here, he walk down to the signal station is about 10 minutes. The Mizen Head Fog Signal Station was built in 1909 to help prevent the loss of life and shipping on the rocks. Breathe the same fresh ocean air as the station keepers and see the spectacular, neck-neck craning views. See and artistic tribute to the clever engineering of the current Fastnet, reconstructed in granite between 1899-1903 for a cost of 84,000 euros. Walk down 99 stairs to cross The Arched Bridge.
Enter the keeper’s kitchen and bedroom, all retained in the actual life of the men who lived there. Check out the actual story and photographs of the rebuilding of Fastnet Rock. The Signal Station is full of maps, radio equipment, and weather forecasting data collected by the keepers. It conveys an accurate sense of the actual daily lives of the men.
After climbing back up those 99 steps, refresh in the Mizen Cafe. They prepare fresh home baking, French pressed coffee, and hot teas. Or enjoy a toasted sandwich and a glass of wine.
How to get there
From Bantry, take the turn marked Crookhaven R591. Travel through Durrus, taking a left at the fork towards Goleen. Keep going to the end of the road and turn right at the T-junction. Go all the way through Goleen and continue until you see the sign for Mizen Head Drive. Do not take the first turn to the right after the village; go straight until you see the second sign.
From Skibbereen, follow the signs for N71 until you reach Ballydehob. Go straight – do not take the right turn for N71 at outskirts of Ballydehob). You will see signs for Mizen Head Drive. Follow the route R592 through Schull and through Goleen; keep going until you see the sign for Mizen Head Drive. Do not take the first turn to the right after the village; go straight until you see the second sign.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
Mid – March, April, May, and October: open daily, 10:30AM – 5PM.
June to September: open daily, 10AM – 6PM.
November to mid-March: open weekends only, 11AM – 4PM.
Adult: 2.50 euro
OAP/Student: 1.75 euro
Children under 12: 1.25 euro
Children under 5: free
Family ticket (2 adults/3 children): 7.00 euro
Groups Less 10%
Mizen Tourism Co-operative Society Ltd.
Goleen, West Cork
Tel: 028 35591/35253
The signal station keeper was full of wise cracks. On the way out, I asked him where he was from. “Imagine the most self-centered, conceited city in the world…” “Ah,” I guessed right away, “you’re a New Yorker!” “That’s right,” he said. I guess he wants to be as close to New York as he can possibly get in Ireland.