Sheep’s Head Way

93km Hiking Trail along the Irish Coast

Sheep's Head Way is a famous coastal hiking trail in Ireland. Walking along steep cliffs, between the sheep and wild animals, and ending at the famous Sheep's Head Lighthouse. These are the best tips and the most beautiful hiking route of the Sheep's Head Way.

The route is part of Ireland's famous Wild Atlantic Way. You walk on the Sheep's Head peninsula in West Cork between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay. You will cross many bays, wonderful rock formations and stunning views. With various waterfalls, wild waves and a striking number of birds en route.

The Sheep's Head Way is almost 93km long. It begins in the historic town of Bantry in the west of the Cork region. From where you hike all the way to the end of the Sheep's Head Peninsula. With glorious views of Bantry Bay and the Beara Peninsula along the way. Looking south, you look out across Dunmanus Bay to the Mizen Peninsula.

Hiking the Sheep’s Head Way

The yellow signs along Sheeps Head Way. ©Corno van den Berg

Along the way, you will meet people who have completed the entire Sheep's Head Way in 6 days. You can choose from more than 25 different hikes. The difficulty level is usually easy to medium. These routes vary from 1 to 7 kilometres and are all circular. With the same start and end point. All routes are well marked with posts with a striking yellow colour.

Connecting Hiking Trails

The rugged coast along Sheeps Head Way. ©Corno van den Berg

There are several connecting hiking routes that connect to the Sheep's Head Way. Overall, there is a 125-mile network of trails along the Sheep's Head Peninsula and around Bantry. These extend in the eastern part to Drimoleague, Mealagh Valley and Kealkil. They even go on to Gougane Barra, you have countless possibilities.

Sheep’s Head Lighthouse (4,2 km)

At the far endpoint in the west, you find the lighthouse. ©Corno van den Berg

The land ends at Sheep's Head Lighthouse. This part is according to many one of the most beautiful, and perhaps the most beautiful part of the route. You can also only do this part, even if it is relatively short. The hike takes you to the lighthouse at the endpoint. This hike is perfect for people with little time, but who still want to experience the ruggedness of the Irish peninsulas.

There is a parking lot at Coomacullen called the Tooreen Turning Point. It is located in the extreme west of the peninsula. If you are short on time, this is the best place for a few hour's hike. Take your time, this is a wonderful area.

Accommodations Along Sheep's head

There are several hotels, cottages and Bed & Breakfasts along the route. The choice is not extremely large, but it is remarkably good. Larger towns such as Bantry, Ballylickey and Glengariff are also less than an hour's drive away. These have supermarkets for all your groceries, so you can eat lunch on the go, for example. You can enjoy also several restaurants and bars. In the smaller places, I noticed that they can sometimes be closed.

Check these accommodations in Bantry

My favorite is Bru Na Pairc B&B

Location of Sheep’s Head Way

En route you come across this lake. ©Corno van den Berg

Sheep's Head is a relatively unknown peninsula in Ireland. It lies between the famous peninsulas of Beara and Mizen's Head but deserves at least that much attention. Which you will understand once you have visited.

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