What to do in West Cork

Make sure to map the destinations and build your ideal itinerary as all of these are within a day’s drive of our West Cork Rental house in Barleycove

The best things to do in West Cork are our favorites

We’ve got a few suggestions for your next holiday destination. West Cork is a beautiful region in Ireland that is famous for its rugged coastline, stunning scenery, and friendly locals. If you’re planning a visit to this region, there are plenty of things to see and do. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best activities and attractions in West Cork.

The Ring of Beara / Visit the Beara Peninsula

There are lots of interesting places to see along this route. You’ll enjoy driving through some stunning scenery. You might want to stop at a few sights along the way.

The Beara Peninsula is one of the most beautiful areas in West Cork, with its stunning landscape of mountains, lakes, and forests. It’s a great place to take a scenic drive, go hiking, or explore the charming towns and villages that dot the coastline.

Mizen Head

A beautiful place to visit in Ireland.

The Mizen Head signal station is located at Ireland’s most southerly point. It was built to help ships navigate safely into Irish waters. You can learn about the history of the signal station and how it works today. You can also see the remains of an old lighthouse, and you’ll be able to enjoy some great views of the Atlantic Ocean as well.

Gougane Barra

Gougane Barra Lake is located in Ireland. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills. You can enjoy this place when you go there.

Dursey Island

Cable cars are very useful ways to get around cities. They are also fun because you can see the whole city while riding them. This particular cable car is located in Ireland. It transports people from the mainland to an island called Dursey. It was built in 1969. It takes about ten minutes to travel from the mainland to the island.

The island is beautiful, but I’m too tired to go there now.

Unique West Cork accommodation

There are plenty of great options for accommodation in West Cork. You could stay in a hotel, or opt for something more unique. Go glamping in West Cork!

The coastal road to Allhies is sensational. From Healy Pass to Allhies is a drive that I’ll never forget.

This corner of Ireland makes me feel like I’m the only person left on Earth. There are no other people around. The weather is perfect. The scenery is beautiful. The roads are winding and scenic. I want to go here again!

You see the view above as you descend towards the village. There is a mining museum nearby.

Beaches beaches and more beaches

West Cork is full of beautiful beaches. You can find them near Inchydoney Beach, Barleycove Beach, and Rosscarbery Beach.

Sheep’s Head

The Sheep’s Head Peninsula isn’t included in many guidebooks to the best things to see in West Cork. This is a shame because the peninsula is home to some beautiful scenery. A scenic drive here takes you on a 70 km loop that hugs the coast.

Those who drive this road can expect peace, quiet, endless coastal views, and the type of scenery that makes them question why they haven’t moved here already.

Unique places to visit in West Cork

The second section of our guide covers the more unusual things to do in West Kerry, for those of you who fancy something different. We’ve got some hidden islands, natural attractions that lie nicely off-the-beaten-path, and even a few quirky festivals to tickle your fancy.

Ireland’s Teardrop

You should go to Cape Clear Island if you want to see some beautiful scenery and get away from the crowds. There are many activities you can enjoy there such as hiking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and more.

You’re almost there! Make sure to check out Ireland’s Teardrop before heading back to the boat.

Whale watching

Whale and Dolphin Watching is something to see if you’re visiting Cork. You’ll be taken around the coast of Cork and see lots of different sea creatures.

Whale watching is an activity you should try if you’re visiting Ireland. You can go to Cork city or even to the coast of Kerry. There are many tour operators who offer whale-watching trips. You can also book your trip online.

Brow Head

Places like Brow Head give Ireland its X factor. No fancy visitor centers. Crowds aren’t allowed. Nature, as it was intended, is what you’ll see when you’re there. You’ll be perched at the top of a steep hill looking down a narrow grass-lined road leading to Crookhaven.

I’ve been here before. This place looks familiar. I’m sure I’ll remember how to get back.

Healy Pass

Healy Pass is hands-down one of the bendiest roads that I’ve ever driven in Ireland. The road was built in 1847 during the Famine. It looks like a giant snake from the sky, slithering its way around the two highest summits of the Caha mountain range. Healy Pass is a part of Ireland that looks like it’s been forgotten about and left untouched. 

Two or three other cars were driving along the road. When you reached the top of the pass, there was a view of Healy and Kerry on either side.

Bull Rock is one of the most unique places to visit in West Cork

The three rocks are located off the western point on Dursey Island. They are named as follows: Cow Rock, Calf rock, and Bull Rock. If you want an adrenaline rush, you can go on a boat ride with the guys at Dursey Boats.

Priest’s Leap

Priest’s leap is a narrow mountain pass that connects Coomholla bridge with the village of Bonne. It’s pretty much one lane for most of the drive, which makes it a great place to see everything from Bantry Bay to the Caha mountains.

This road is not recommended for nervous drivers. If you are a very nervous driver, try avoiding this road during bad weather conditions.

Islands galore

If you’re looking for great places to go in West County Cork, you might want to check out some of these amazing islands.

There are many islands in Australia. Some of them are named after people or places.

Bantry House and Gardens

Bantry House and Gardens are both beautiful places to visit in rainy weather. However, you should avoid visiting them during the summer months because the gardens are overgrown and the house is closed.

Visitors can take a tour of this beautiful mansion, explore the gardens, or enjoy afternoon tea.

Garnish Island

There are many beautiful places around Ireland. This place is one of them. It is located in Bantry Bay near Glengarriff. It is a very popular tourist spot.

Seal Island is an amazing place! There are lots of seals here. You can go to the Martello Tower and see a great view of the seals.

Best places to visit in West Cork if you fancy exploring on foot

The final section of our tour of the best things to do around West Cork tackles walks, hiking, and long-distance ramblings. Below, you’ll find everything from the Bearna Way and the Baltimore Beacon Walk to some incredible places to explore in West Cork that is perfect for walking.

The Sheep’s Head Way

A loop trail around Sheep’s Head peninsula. 

A peninsula is a long narrow piece of land jutting into a body of water such as a lake or sea. The word peninsula comes from Latin meaning ‘peninsula’ or ‘little penis’.

The Beara Way

The Beara Way is a great hike for those who love nature and want to see Ireland’s wildest scenery! You can walk along the coast or go inland. This trail takes you through forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, bogs, beaches, cliffs, caves, ruins, castles, and more. You can do the whole thing in three days or less if you’re an experienced hiker.

Mount Gabriel

A mountain in Ireland is named after St.Gabriel. It is located near the town of Schull. There is a road that leads up to the top of the mountain. You can see views of the harbor and other parts of the coast.

The Baltimore Beacon walk

The Baltimore Beacon is a lighthouse located in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland. It was built in 1876 by the U.S. Lighthouse Board. It is an active aid to navigation and is operated by the United States Coast Guard. It is also known as the Baltimore Light.

The beacon was built on the orders of the British after the rebellion in 1798. The current structure is thought to have been erected sometime around 1845. There’s a tiny parking lot right next to the beacon, but you can’t miss it. Make sure to park there.

Knockomagh HillLough Hyne

This picture shows a beautiful view of the countryside. There are many nice views around this area. The hill is located near Skibbereen. The trail is well-maintained. People with lower physical abilities should be careful when walking along the path.

It took about an hour to reach the top. This was because we stopped now and then to admire the view.

Sailing in Schull

West Cork is one of Ireland’s most beautiful regions. There are lots of sailing schools there, including Schull Sailing. People from all over Ireland come here to learn about sailing.

Fastnet Short Film Festival is an event held in Schull, Cork every year. This festival showcases short films made by young people from around Ireland.

Surfing at Garrettstown Beach

Garrettstown Beach is a great place to surf. Surfing lessons are available at G Town Surf School.

Deepsea Diving From Baltimore

Baltimore is a small seaside town in West Cork. It’s a gateway to many of our favorite islands, including Sherkin, Cape Clear, and Hare Island. It’s also one of the best spots in Ireland to go scuba diving, thanks to great visibility, and lots of shipwrecks to explore for experienced divers!

Baltimore Diving Centre offers a wide range of diving courses, from a few hours up to five days.

Go Night Kayaking in Lough Hyne

You can go kayaking in Ireland! There are many different types of kayaks available. Some people prefer to paddle alone while others enjoy paddling together with friends or family. Kayaking is an exciting experience because you get to see the ocean and the stars up close.

Don’t forget to look up at the sky and enjoy the view. Look down and you might see some otters swimming around.

Enjoy a Beach Day in Barleycove

Sand Dunes and Long Beach at Barley Cove is a favorite among tourists. A tsunami happened in 1755 which created this amazing landscape.

There are many places to eat near the beach. Some of them include O Sullivan’s bar, which is a favorite place to go when you want to relax after a long day at the beach.

Swimming at The Blue Pools in Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a beautiful town in County Cork, Ireland. It is known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’ because of its many gardens and green spaces. There are also several beaches nearby. You can go swimming in the Blue Pools, or take a boat ride to see dolphins or whales.

The Eccles Hotel Glengariff is an old hotel dating back to 1745. It has some of Ireland’s best hotel rooms, and you’ll wake up feeling ready to explore.

Explore Picturesque Kinsale

Kinsale is consistently voted one of the most picturesque towns in Ireland. It’s known and loved by people around the world because of its gorgeous scenery and delicious cuisine. The town is famous for having the greatest concentration of restaurants per capita in Ireland.

Breakfast must be eaten at the Lemon Leaf Cafe. Local produce should be bought at the weekly farmers market. Lunch should be taken at Poets Corner Cafe. A stroll around James Fort and Charles fort is recommended. Dinner should be eaten at the famous fishy seafood restaurant followed by drinks at the folk house bar.

And if you fancy help with your digital marketing make sure to stop by Kinsale SEO.

Boat Trip From Castletownbere

This is a very important part of the story. Fish is an important source of protein for humans. In fact, people eat more than 50% of their daily calories from seafood. That’s why there are many fish farms around the world. However, if the ocean gets polluted, then the fish won’t survive. So, we need to protect the ocean.

You can go fishing or Sea Safari with Clonakilty charters. A fun-filled sea tour is available too. You can spot dolphins, whales, and maybe even Atlantic puffins!

Find Your Inner Artist on Sherkin Island

There’s something special about Sherkins Island, with people now call it the “Island of Artists”, as there is endless creativity there. Many of the residents make their income for the Creative Arts, be it Painting, Knitting, Weaving or Poetry. I’ve been travelling there every Easter and Summer all my life, mostly to visit my cousins who live there, but also to Escape Civilization and to Take Some Time To Detox From My Online World.

West Cork Island is a beautiful place to visit. You can enjoy your time there by going to pubs, visiting museums, and enjoying other activities.

Take a Boat Trip to Garnish Island

The island has its own microclimate due to the warm Gulf Stream. Plants and vegetation grow well there because of this.

Dolphins, whales and seals all inhabit the waters near Garnish. There are ferries running between April and October.

Go glamping on Cape Clear Island

Why not go camping in a teepee on an island off the coast of Ireland? There are many great places to stay in West Cork, but Cape Clear is definitely one of the best. You’ll get amazing views of the ocean and the island. You can also visit the goat farm and try some delicious homemade ice cream.

Visit the Beautiful Bantry House

Visitors come to see this magnificent mansion, but they also get to see the history of the White family. The house has been around for hundreds of years, and it has seen many changes throughout the years. This mansion has been owned by the White family for over 200 years.

Visit the Model Railway Village in Clonakilty

Model railway village in Clonakilty, West Cork is such a unique and enjoyable experience for children and adults alike. There are model representations of West Cork’s best known towns and villages, which can be walked around and watched as a train moves its way through the model buildings. Visitors can have some tea in the cafe located in a converted railway carriage, or take their choo choo road train into town, one of Ireland’s most beautiful.

Catch a Ride on The Cable Car to Dursey Island

The cable car is an exciting mode of transportation. Waves crashing below make it a thrilling experience.

There are no shops, pubs or restaurants on this island. People who come here must bring everything they need with them.

Hike the Sheep’s Head Way

The Sheep’s Head Way is a stunning walking trail along the Sheep’s Head peninsula. It’s a great place to see beautiful scenery and nature. The Sheep’s Head Way was created by Tom Whitty, an american from Philadelphia, who settled on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in the 1980’s. He saw potential of the sheep’s head as a top hiking destination and set out over 2 years to turn his idea into reality.

The walk has gone on to be a very popular tourist attraction in Ireland.


Crookhaven is a sleepy fishing village near the seaside. There are historic pictures of the village on the wall of O’Sullivan’s bar. The village is not too far from the beautiful Barley Cove Beach. This is an ideal place for outdoor activities with children such as surfing, horse riding, sailing and cycling.

The Irish Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is an amazing place to enjoy the sky above your head. You can sit down and meditate while looking up into the sky. There are many details to notice about the garden. Some of them include the flowers, the rocks, the water, and the sky.

Go on a seafood tour of Bantry Bay

West Cork is famous for its fresh seafood, and you can get it fresher than anywhere else! Bantry Boat Hire provides a fun little boat ride to visit the lobster traps, mussel farms, then over to Whiddy Island to enjoy a bowl of mussels and a pint or two of Guinness. Yummy!

Sailing in Kinsale is a great experience if you want to see the town from a boat. You’ll get to enjoy the views of the coastline while sailing around the harbor. There are many events going on during the summer months, including regatta races. Classes and courses for beginners are also available.


Kitesurfing is a sport that requires you to be very flexible and strong. You need to be able to move your body quickly and easily. You also need to be able to control your speed and direction. This means that you need to be able to bend your knees and ankles. Your legs must be strong enough to support your weight while you’re moving forward. You should be able to jump high into the air if you want to do tricks.

Mountain biking

Mountain bikes are becoming more popular in Ireland. There are many bike rentals available. There are also many active local mountain bike clubs. And there is a huge investment from the Irish government hoping to make Ireland a premier mountain biking destination.

Two ponies are better than one. There are two pony trekkers centers open in the Bantrey area offering a variety of trekking experiences.

Visit James Fort

A great place to visit in Ireland. You’ll love this place!

Cable car to Dursey Island

Dursey Island is an island near the Beara Peninsula. It is reachable by cable cars. There is only one cable car in Europe that crosses the ocean. You can enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean while riding the cable car.

Immerse yourself in the Gaeltacht on Cape Clear

Cape clear is located in the south of Ireland. It is an island off the coast of Maryland. There are many things to do here such as visiting the old standing stones, castles, ruins, and going whale watching.

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