Mizen Head

Ireland's Most Famous Bridge and Lighthouse

Mizen Head is one of Ireland's five peninsulas in the Cork region. It is best known for the pedestrian bridge over the sea, the signal station and the lighthouse. You can enjoy walking, where you have a great chance to see various wild animals. Here are the best tips to see and do visiting Mizen Head. With the location, the best time and more information.

This is the most southerly peninsula in Ireland. That can only be reached via a wonderfully winding road. The journey there is already an experience, so take your time. I travelled to Mizen Head twice, first in the morning and later in the afternoon. Once with rain and once with sunshine. It was a completely different experience, but both were very cool. Bad weather is part of these kinds of places I believe.

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Mizen Head sits high on the crags. To get to the signal station you first have to walk 99 steps, although you can also take the path for the disabled. Take the time to walk here, there is a lot to see.

The Signal Station

The interior of the signal station at Mizen Head. ©Corno van den Berg

The signal station is behind the visitor centre. You can visit the station keeper's house, but also the engine room, the broadcasting room of Marconi, and the collection of Mizen maps. There is also an exhibition about the animals that live here, including the sea creatures that can often be seen.

To the west, you can see Fastnet Rock topped by a lighthouse. For many Irish, this is a special place. It is known as Ireland's Teardrop. The reason is simple: it was the last thing Irish emigrants saw when they left their beloved Ireland behind on their way abroad.

Mizen Bridge

Mizen Bridge. ©Corno van den Berg

The bridge, also known as Mizen Bridge, connects the signal station to the mainland. From the bridge you have a wonderful view over the coast, the rocks and the ocean. It is best to photograph the bridge by first walking across the bridge and then climbing up the rock to the right via the path. Then you have various vantage points to capture it.

The Lookout Point

The lookout point at the top. ©Corno van den Berg

When you climb up you will see a lookout point over the coast on the right. The iron platform seems to float, giving you a special view of the surroundings. It is a popular photo spot. When you are here you will soon understand why.

Wildlife at Mizen Head

If you look into the sea below you from the bridge, you have a good chance of seeing seals. The bay is calmer for the animals than the sea. And so you regularly see them basking on rocks. Or they swim and play in the water. Whales and dolphins are also regularly spotted in the surrounding waters. So pay attention, especially if there are few waves you can see relatively easily. I also saw many birds flying by, such as the mischievous puffin, auk, kittiwake and gannet.

How to Get to Mizen Head

The very tip of Mizen Head. ©Corno van den Berg

From Skibbereen, it is about a 50-minute drive via the N71, R592 and R591. Although you can get behind a tractor, as happened to me. Then it takes much longer, but you can still enjoy the landscape. I took almost two hours for this route, as there is plenty to see along the way. Such as Altar Wedge Tomb (dolmen) and Ballyrisode Beach (famous beach).

Best Time to Visit

The visitor centre has limited opening hours. For example, you can't visit everything on a summer evening. Check online for actual opening hours to visit Mizen Head.

More information:  official website 

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