Lough Bofinne is three miles east of Bantry in County Cork and is regularly stocked with adult rainbow trout. It is an attractive 25 acre, clear water lake where anglers can also find the occasional pike, perch, eels and rudd.
Location: Bantry, Co. Cork. T: +353(0)26 41222
Coomhola River - The Coomhola River drains into the top of Bantry Bay in County Cork. It gets a good run of grilse every season; it also gets a small run of sea trout in July and August. Bantry, Co. Cork. T: +353(0)26 41222
Bantry Bay Golf Club, 2km from Bantry is a demanding 18 hole course, designed by Christy O’Connor, Jnr. 9 hole courses at Glengarriff & Castletownbere.
HORSERIDING & TREKKING
For those who would like to view the countryside from horseback horses are available locally for trekking.
WATERSPORTS - For those interested in watersports there is enough to wet the appetite in Bantry. Check locally with the tourist office for further information.
CYCLING - Both the Sheep’s Head Way and the Beara Way have designed cycle routes that link up with a cycle route form Cork City. Bicycles can be hired locally. Contact the Tourist Office.
Food Markets - Bantry hosts a vibrant market every Friday. Choose from local cheeses, organic fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and meat or simply browse the stalls, keeping an eye out for precious antiques amongst the bric a brac.
WALKING - There are two walks recognised by the National Waymarked Ways Committee in the Bantry area, namely Sheep's Head Way and Beara Way.
Contact the Tourist Office.
BANTRY HISTORIC TOWN WALK - Bantry is the gateway to Ireland’s mountain-strewn southwest, at once an old fishing port, thriving market town, and heritage gem. Sitting pretty amidst wooded hills at the head of Bantry Bay, its history showcases Wolfe Tone, the War of Independence. Bantry has two heritage trails, marked in blue (1.8km/40 mins) and red (1.3km/30 mins). The routes take in a varied range of stop-offs, ranging
from St. Brendan’s Church to Kilkeenagh Burial Ground and Godson’s Folly - site of a former hotel whose owner once blasted a path to his establishment through a huge rock, spending so much money in the process that he put himself out of business.
Elsewhere along Bantry’s heritage trails, you can see the site of the town’s old ‘fish palaces’ near a church devoted to St. Brendan the Navigator, the Mill Wheel (located beside the library, and unusually, still in use), the Presbytery Pillar and Garryvurcha Church & Graveyard, amongst others. Old Courthouse, Bantry. T: +353 (0)27 50229
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Bantry, in the heart of West Cork, is a region of lush vegetation, palm trees and semi-tropical flowers. Hemmed in by mountain ridges, the sea and cascading mountain streams, it is a place of unparallel beauty where the landscape changes with every mood of wind and sky. Bantry, with its brightly decorated shops and houses, is a hive of activity. The town square has been changed to a large promenade with seating, trees, flowers, statues and a fountain centre-piece. Bantry is an old town with many connections. According to legend the first people to come to Ireland arrived at Donemark, near Bantry town.
Bantry House & Gardens - Bantry House was the first Irish stately home to open its doors to the public in 1945. This Georgian house is still occupied by the descendants of Richard White who purchased it in 1739. The first Earl of Bantry, Richard White (1797 - 1851) received his title for the part he played in defending against the attempted invasion of the French Armada in 1796. The 2nd Earl of Bantry accumulated a large collection of furniture, tapestries and other works of art which are now on display to the public. Bantry House is the venue for the annual West Cork Chamber Music Festival. (Open March to October). DK Guide listed among the best buildings in Britain and Ireland.
Bantry Museum - This small museum, run by the Bantry Historical Society, contains many artifacts of life in Bantry in the past. Open times: Tue-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, closed for lunch: 1-2pm. Exhibits include many local artefacts
phone: 027 55564
Kilnaruane Pillar Stone - Megalithic monuments and ancient standing stones are in abundance in the area. The Kilnaruane Carved Pillar Stone is located on a drumlin, a mile outside the town, close to the Westlodge Hotel on N71 route. It is a monument of early Christian times that may have formed the shaft of a High Cross. One of the panels depicts a boat with four oarsmen.
Mizen Head & Mizen Head Visitor Centre - Mizen Head with its almost vertical cliffs and a lighthouse station, is the extreme south westerly point of Ireland. On the head, which is linked to the mainland by a suspension bridge, is the Mizen Head Visitor Centre. Here can be seen on display the fascinating story of the building of the Fastnet lighthouse plus the Keepers’ kitchen and a bedroom that have been retained to recall the lifestyles of the men of the Irish Lights. The rest of the lightkeepers’ rooms have been converted to include an audiovisual room, a map and archive room, an underwater room, a bird and sea watch room and a storm room.
Whiddy Island - Situated just off the mainland Whiddy Island has many interesting historcial remains including the ancient church and graveyard of Kilmore, Reenavanig Castle the first residence of the White family, locations of ‘Fish Palaces’ when the fishing industry was booming during 18th century and three gun batteries which were some of O’Sullivan Beres fortifications. The site of the First World War American Sea Plan base is still visible. Whiddy Island is the location of a crude oil storage terminal. From May to September a regular ferry operates from Bantry Pier to the island.
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