The Ring of Beara

Half in Kerry and half in Cork, the Ring of Beara - the Beara Peninsula is Ireland in a nutshell, with a landscape that is beautiful, magical and full of rugged charm.

Location

The Beara Peninsula, Counties Cork & Kerry

History

Half in Kerry and half in Cork, the Ring of Beara - the Beara Peninsula is Ireland in a nutshell, with a landscape that is beautiful, magical and full of rugged charm.

The most westerly of Cork's peninsulas, and arguably its most spectacular, the Beara Peninsula is shared by county Kerry and presents exhilarating hill walking along the 196km Beara Way and a drive circuit of breathtaking scenery in the Ring of Beara. A route much less travelled than the Ring of Kerry, Beara's secret is one that is still quite well kept.

 

The Ring of Beara links the towns of Glengarriff in Cork with Kenmare in Kerry, in a round about fashion. Glengarriff is an attractive little village deep within Bantry Bay. Boat trips run from Glengarriff to Garnish Island famed for their wonderful Italianate garden. Between Glengarriff and Castletownbere the road is flanked by exposed banks of jagged rock with the rugged peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain and Hungry Hill in the Caha Mountains. At the hamlet of Adrigole is the turn off for the Healy Pass, a serpentine road that cuts through the mountains to the village of Lauragh with views of spectacular glaciated valleys. The road cuts through Castletownbere, a characterful town with an authentic work-a-day feel and definitely worth a stop. Boat trips run from here to Bere Island and megalithic stone circles, such as the Derreenataggart Stone Circle, punctuate the area. From Castletownbere take the road down to Dursey Island, a place of desolate beauty that is worth visiting. There is nothing on the island other than sheep, but you won't get the opportunity to travel to an island via a tiny cable car swinging 30m above the waves, that many times in your life! From this Dursey detour, you pick up the road to Allihies a quaint former copper mining town, reminiscent of St Austell in Cornwall. The road then twists and turns through the iridescent fuchsia clad hills to the brightly coloured cluster of buildings of Eyeries a village renowned for its tweeness. The road winds further up through the mountains and the hamlets of Ardgroom and Lauragh before coming out to Kenmare. The complete loop will take you back to Glengarriff via the Caha Pass, a precarious winding road literally through the mountains, tunnelled in the 19th Century.

The Ring of Beara would take a day's driving though you may wish to stay longer to explore its beauty on foot. Kenmare is a good base, as there aren't many options for accommodation out on the peninsula itself.

Opening Times

No opening times

Visit Length

3hrs

Admission

No admission fees

Information

Leaflets: Yes Guided Tours: Yes Audio Visual: Yes Exhibition: Yes

Facilities

Restaurant: Yes Car Park: Yes Coach Park: Yes Disabled Access: Yes


 

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