A few weeks ago I was able to go back to Bere Island on a day trip. Bere Island is in Bantry Bay just a short distance offshore from the County Cork town of Castletownbere, and overlooks the deep water harbour of Berehaven.
A Pontoon seagull gazes across to Bere Island with its Martello Tower.
We caught Murphy’s Ferry at Pontoon that crosses to the village of Rerrin. The crossing takes about 20 minutes and is very pleasant on a calm day such as this.
The Bere Islanders, who number about 200, are very friendly and welcome visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery, to cycle, to walk, to fish, to watch birds and whales, to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers. The wildflowers were pas their best as we headed into autumn, but I can assure you that you will never see anything like the fabulous linear wildflower meadows that line the roads here throughout the summer.
There is a very rich archaeological heritage on the island, which is well signed.
Around the harbour at Rerrin there is safe anchorage here for some very attractive yachts.
On arrival, the tide was out. How about this as an example of excellence in recycling!
The purpose of the visit was to attend a talk in the Lecture Theatre on the very important role of Bere Island in various times of conflict from the Napoleonic Wars to World War 2 .
These delightful women had travelled over to the island from Durrus to hear the talk and took time to have a picnic lunch in the lovely sunshine.
While inside, the World War 1 building and former chapel, the speaker was having a chat with the early birds.
Afterwards there was time for a whistle-stop tour of the island, but only after some delicious chowder in the Lookout restaurant. I loved the very unusual barometer that was hanging on the wall.
An amazing old barometer!
At the end of the high season the roads are particularly quiet and attractive for walkers.
It’s not all plain sailing though as we discovered when we met some stubborn locals!
NO! You are not passing here!
The island scenery is good for the soul!
And so back to Rerrin to catch the ferry back to the mainland
The tide had filled while we were away and the harbour looked totally different.
The pier when we arrived in the morning
The pier in the evening as the tide rose
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, Fish are jumpin’ …..
Such a beautiful evening, with water lapping softly
No roll-on, roll-off ferries here – it’s a question of trusting in the guy directing as you reverse on….
Reversing on to the Ferry at Rerrin.
It had been a couple of years since my last visit and I have been blessed with great weather on each occasion. It makes you want to go back for sure, to this island sitting in the splendour of Bantry Bay.