Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ireland, West Cork, summer 2017

In July 2017 some good friends were getting married in Ireland so we decided to make a weeks holiday of it. So the three of us, Pina our dog came too travelled across from Holyhead to Dublin by ferry. We broke the journey to Holyhead staying the previous night in a B&B in the lovely Welsh town of Betys y Coed in the stunning Snowdonia National Park. At time of writing we seem to have 'lost' a lot of our photos from this trip so all you see were taken on an iPhone which is why some aren't as good as we'd like them to be.

After a couple of days in Dublin we drive down to Durrus to our home for the next few nights at Carbery Cottage Guest Lodge. Carbery Cottage is an award winning, dog friendly B&B, situated on the Sheepshead peninsula. It is a wonderful place, Julia and Mike who own and run it are incredibly welcoming and are full of great advice about what to do and see. Their breakfasts are delicious and filling with all the produce sourced locally. Best of all dogs are made very welcome.

View from our bedroom's terrace.

Pina making herself at home
Welcome tea and yummy brownies
Looking for somewhere to eat on our first evening Julia recommended Arundels at the village of Akahista, less than a 10 minutes drive from Carberry Lodge. The food was good and this pub/restaurant was busy and seemed to be the place to go in the area. For those of you who have heard of Graham Norton, the Cork born BBC1 chat show host, Akahista is where he spends his summers in a beautiful house next to the Akahista Bar (see below).

The beauty of West Cork is that there is so much to do and see which is why this is the third time we've visited this neck of the woods on holiday. One of the highlights of the trip was our drive round the Beara peninsula. It offers some spectacular views especially the stretch between Allihies and Eyeries as well as the narrow winding Healey Pass. At the start of the peninsula you'll enter the town of Glengarriff, do stop here and take the ferry across to Garnish Island. This small island was turned into an exotic garden in 1910 for Annan Bryce a Belfast businessman. Framed by views of Bantry Bay the island contains a collection of flora from around the world. If you're lucky you'll spot some seals from the ferry as you journey to and fro. if you're peckish when you get back from the island, give the Park Bistro a go, you'll find it on the main street.

Italian Garden on Ganrish Island.

View from the Healey Pass

Another trip well worth doing is out to Mizen Head, the most south-westerly tip of Ireland. The Mizen Head visitor's centre and lighthouse are the main attraction. If you haven't got a head for heights there is an alternative route to the light house to the bridge below. One word of warning, the road to Mizen is narrow so watch out for cars coming in the other direction driving quicker than they should.

Views from Mizen Head

On the way out to Mizen Head you'll see signs for Crookhaven a pretty sailing harbour, highly recommend a stop here for lunch and a bite to eat, some great seafood if you like it at O'Sullivans.

View from Crookhaven

As I mentioned at the start of this blogpost, Carbery Cottage where we stayed is located on the Sheepshead peninsula, it's well worth a drive to the end of the peninsula to walk as far as the lighthouse for yet more stunning views. The only downside for us that dog's aren't allowed on the walk so Pina had to wait in the car, still can't fathom out why.

Sheepshead lighthouse in the background 

If you enjoyed this post about West Cork and are interested in reading more about the area click here and here.