We left East Cork on a wet and miserable Sunday morning, heading to West Cork with its wonderful scenery. The weather cleared. The sun shone. It was a perfect day for drifting along the coast enjoying the moments. Here was the Wild Atlantic Way in all its glory! After a wonderful breakfast in Budds of Ballydehob, we headed to Barley Cove to stretch our legs. The magnificent beachscape here and sand dunes were created by a tsunami in the aftermath of the great Lisbon earthquake in the 18th Century.
Next stop was Mizen Head itself with its rugged landscape, pointing out into the Atlantic Ocean at Ireland’s most south-westerly point. The visitor centre here forms the entrance to the Mizen Signal Station, built on an island in 1905. Access is via a very secure walkway and bridges with a number of easier walks to viewing platforms. Everywhere you look the cliff scenery is spectacular
The walkways allow for close encounters with birdlife and a close-up view of some spectacular geology.
It takes about 10 minutes to walk down – longer to walk back up via the famous 99 steps!
The signal station with keepers quarters was severely damaged in the storms of last winter and they and the Marconi Radio Room were still under repair at the time of our visit. All the more time for us to enjoy the fantastic views of Dunlough Bay and out towards Sheeps’ Head and the Beara Peninsula. Afterwards, we meandered towards Three Castle Head. Access to the site is via a working farm, unsuitable for our dogs, unfortunately, but we enjoyed the lovely countryside.
This is what we missed – next time, hopefully!
We then headed towards Crookhaven via Browhead with its interesting fieldscapes. Traces of 19th Century copper mines remain here.
From the pier in Crookhaven…an old quarry works can be seen.
We headed back via the famous church in the townland of Altar. This Church of Ireland building was erected between 1847 and 1852, at the behest of Rev. William Fisher, who gave work to the poor people of the area, with funding from Famine Relief. He named it ‘Teampol-na-mbocht’ – the Irish for Church of the Poor.
Nearby is a fine example of a Wedge Tomb
It was a beautiful end to a beautiful day, overlooking Toormoore Bay.