Sept 20th – 22nd 2024
Cost: €375pps, Single supplement: €125 (limited Places)
(Hilltoptreks Members 10% discount)
Deposit: 10% required at the time of booking.


  • 2 nights BB in Maritime Hotel Bantry
  • 1 Evening meal
  • Guided Walks on Sheep’s Head Way and Gougane Barra
  • Visit to Whiddy Island.
  • Transport is also available. (€40 rtn)

Walking and Hiking in West Cork

A walking weekend in west Cork would not be complete without visiting Gougane Barra and the Sheeps Head Peninsula.

Walking in Cork

Walking in West Cork


Bantry Bay, Gougane Barra, Sheeps Head Peninsula, Whiddy Island.

The Sheep’s Head Peninsula sits in the very south west of Ireland and has some of the countries most untouched and isolated places for great walks. The Peninsula Reaches out into the Atlantic sea offering panoramic views along its great shorelines and mountain tops. We will enjoy two walks on the fantastic sheep’s head trails and one of them will bring us to Gougane Barra. The other trail will brings us further south along the peninsuala itself.

We will be staying in the picturesque village of Bantry over looking Bantry bay. The Sheep’s head Peninsula sits in county Cork. It is as rich in it’s history and archaeology as it is in its natural scenic beauty.

On Whiddy Island, which is almost fully depopulated there is a small school building on the Island as well as a small bar.

What’s Included:

  • 2 nights BB with breakfast in the Maritime Hotel in Bantry
  • 1 Evening meal
  • Guided walks with qualified guides.
  • Visit to Whiddy Island.
  • Transport is also available.


Available from the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street (Dublin) at 09:00am.
If you are making your own way, we will meet you in the Maritime Hotel at 13:30.

Itinerary: Walking Weekend in West Cork.

Day 1) Travel from Dublin to Bantry and visit Whiddy Island.

Gillian on the Sheep's Head trail

Gillian on the Sheep’s Head Trail

In the morning, we will leave Dublin and make our way towards Bantry in West Cork. This is a small, colourful  coastal town sitting in Bantry Bay.  Our hotel is in the heart of this town, and you have a great range of shops, restaurants and pubs within a short walk.

When we arrive we will take the ferry to Whiddy Island, it’s just a 10 minute ferry ride.

Whiddy Island, short walk and visit the local “Bank House” Bar.

This small island is only about 5.5Km by 2,5km, so we wont have to much walking once we get there. The Island used to have population in late 1800s of approx 450 people bit today there are only about 30 people living here.

After a little lunch we can take some time to explore on a short walk to visit the old school house and surrounding scenery. The island sits in the middle of Bantry bay so there wonderful views of both the Beara and Sheeps peninsulas as well as Bantry itself.

Grade: Easy.  Length 3 km, Duration: 1.5hrs.

Afterwards we will travel back to Bantry by ferry and our hotel is right beside us. There will be time to freshen up before having dinner together. Afterwards we can  check out the nightlife in this lively town and perhaps enjoy some music in one of its traditional pubs.

Day 2: Walk on Sheep’s Head, West Cork, Guided walk

Glanlough Loop Walk: Walk 15Km, Ascent 350m, approx 5hrs.
Grade: moderate- strenuous Length 15km, Duration: Approx. 4hrs, Ascent: 350m, Terrain: Old Roads and Lane-ways, Open Mountains trails.

Morning / Afternoon: This morning we will be making our way to one of the smaller peninsulas in this area called “The Sheep’s Head”.

The walk is known as the Glanlough Loop and walks from one side of the peninsula to the next. It gives you wonderful views of the surrounding coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. The walks on this Peninsula were created by the local farmers to bring more people into this area. They maintain the trails and are very welcoming to all guests in their small part of West Cork.

After our walk, we will return to Bantry and you could explore this coastal village or Bantry House and Gardens.

Evening: There are many places to enjoy a great meal in Bantry and your guide can recommend a few.


Day 3) Walk on Sheep’s Head Way (east) and Guagane Barra

Walking in West Cork

Gougane Barra

Today we take another walk on the Sheep’s head trail, more inland this time between Kealkill and Gougane Barra. Depending on time and groups abilities we can enjoy a loop walk in the Mealagh Valley near the town of Kealkill. There will be one or two walks we can choose from in the valley for a short 3Km to visit a very impressive stone circle and woods or a longer 10Km walk to take in the valley.

After our walk we can make our way to Gougane Barra for a snack before we make our return journey to Dublin.

We should be back in Dublin for approx 18:00.

What to bring along for this Walking Weekend in West Cork.

N.B. Ireland’s climate is of a moderate type and suited to walking all year round. Although it is quite changeable so starting a walk on a fine clear morning may not be the case for the afternoon.

  • Hill walking Boots
  • Rucksack for walks (25L)
  • Walking Trousers (Not Jeans)
  • Waterproofs (Just in Case)
  • Walking Socks
  • Thermal top / T-shirt (Not Cotton)
  • Sun Cream

About the walks and fitness levels:

All the walks are taken at a pace to suit the group.
The groups can have a mixed level of fitness and age usually.
If the weather is to bad on a certain day to do the suggested walk, then the guide will suggest an alternative one.
The Guide will have the final say on the day of the chosen walk for the safety of the group.

The Accommodation: The Maritime Hotel.

• All bedrooms are en-suite with bath & shower, tea & coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board and hairdryer.
• A comfortable lounge area, fine dining restaurant with seasonal & locally sourced food produce..
• There are live music sessions in the bars close by every weekend.
• Fresh breakfast is cooked to order with table service


1 evening meal is included as part of the tour

Breakfasts are included and there is a wide selection to choose from including a Full Irish, fruit, cereals etc.

Lunches for the walks: We will stop in the mornings at Delis or shops to get these.

Sept 20th – 22nd 2024

Cost: €375pps, Single supplement: €125 ((limited Places)
(Hilltoptreks Members 10% discount)
Deposit: 10% required at the time of booking.

Cancellation Policy:

  • A cancellation fee of 100% applies for cancellations made less than 2 weeks in advance, or in case of no-show.
  • A cancellation fee of 50% applies for cancellations made less than 4 weeks in advance.
  • No cancellation fee applies for cancellations made 4 weeks or more in advance.

If you cannot make the tour on the date requested and you contact us within 2 weeks of your tour date, then we may be able to provide an alternative walking weekend depending on availability.

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