|Name of walk||Bere Island, County Cork.|
|Date of walk||2014-09-03|
Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork, in the South West of Ireland. The island is just 2kms offshore from the town of Castletownbere, the largest white fishing port in Ireland. The Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountain ranges of the Beara Peninsula tower over the island providing a dramatic backdrop. The island is roughly 11kms x 5kms in size with a population of just over 200. We were due to catch the 11.30am ferry so we would have plenty of time to stop off at a few places on the way.
View over Kenmare Bay.
The Macgillycuddy's Reeks in the background.
We drive on to Kilmakilloge Harbour where Brendan used to rear oysters with his Uncle, Pat McGuigan, in the 70's.
Then to get to Castletownbere we drive over the Healey Pass. Looking down on Glanmore Lake.
Looking out to Kilmakilloge Harbour.
The shrine at the top of the Healey Pass. The Healey Pass crosses the Caha Mountains from Kerry into Cork.
Looking down the Cork side of the Healey Pass.
At Castletownbere we catch the ferry to Bere Island. View back.
The harbour at Bere Island.
After visiting the Heritage Centre and collecting a map, our first walk was up to the Martello Tower at Ardagh. View to the Holy Year Cross on the summit of Knockanallig, a walk to do the next time we are here! We could also see the Bronze Age Gallan Standing Stone, just below on the left of the track up to the summit. (No public access)
The Martello Tower was built by the British in 1805 as a defence against the French.
Only two of the original four on Bere Island remain standing.
There are some great views out.
The next three photos pan around to the right.
The pink heather and yellow gorse are looking good.
We head to Rerrin Village and visit the Post Office/cafe. There was no electricity on the island today, it is off for one day a week to continue with repairs after the Christmas storms. So we get a can of drink and take it down to the Marina and sit on a seat to drink it with this view out. We are then visited by the female jogger who had passed us a few minutes previously. She is the manager of the cafe attached to the Post Office, she apologises for the lack of electricity and offers to make us some sandwiches and to deliver them to our seat with a view. We take her up on her offer, and very nice they were too!
We head to the east end of the island passing Rennin Baracks which is still used by the army. We visit Lonehort Battery, a military fortification surrounded by a deep moat built on behalf of the English Army by the Royal Engineers in 1899. The Battery hosts two six inch guns which are still visible, but rusted. There is a metal fence surrounding the Battery, the 30ft deep moat would be dangerous. This photo is taken through the bars, one of the guns is on the left.
View out from the side of the Battery.
On the way back to the west end of the island we stop at St. Michael's Church, built in 1848. The graveyard has both Protestant and Catholic, Irish and English, and military graves. We then stopped off at the hotel for a drink before our next walk.
We park near a stile and now head for Ardnakinna Lighthouse on the islands western point. The walk there should take us about 40 minutes. View back the way we had walked.
We could not hang about as we had the ferry back to the mainland to catch. We had left just enough time to make it.
The ferry coming into the harbour.
View up to the Holy Year Cross from the ferry.
Coming back to Castletownbere.
The McCarthy's bar from Pete McCarthy's bestseller. Unfortunately they didn't seem to do food of any great substance so we went to The Lobster Bar just across the road, that did!
On the way back we had views out to some of the other islands.
Scariff and Deenish Island.
An excellent day out! But not enough time to see everything in one day. A car and two people return on the ferry cost 25 Euros.