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West Cork Walks

If you fancy exploring Glengarriff on foot, we have some recommendations for our favourite walks and spots to explore in West Cork.


The River Walk

Distance From Hotel: 1.5km

Walk Length: 1km

Duration: 25 mins

Difficulty Level: Easy

This peaceful loop trail is the perfect introduction to the Glengarriff Nature Reserve. Walking through the old oak woods and along the banks of the Glengarriff river, you may be lucky enough to spot a Freshwater Pearl Mussel nestled in the river. This rare species lives to over 120 years old, making it the longest living animal in Ireland. Beneath this oak canopy you may also discover the luscious oceanic growth of ferns, lichens and mosses amongst the evergreen Holly trees. 

Directions: From the main car park cross the footbridge and turn left. Halfway through this circular walk you will come to a footbridge leading into The Big Meadow walk. To complete the River Walk continue until you near the public road and climb the steps leading you back to the carpark.

 

Lady Bantry’s Lookout

Distance From Hotel: 1.5km

Walk Length: 1km

Duration: 30 mins

Difficulty Level: Moderate

This woodland climb is steep but the panoramic views from the top make it all worthwhile and an absolute must do on a clear day. From the top these incredible views span across Glengarriff to Garnish Island, Whiddy Island and Bantry Bay.

Directions: Leaving the car park head south along the track, cross the narrow footbridge and follow the footpath, which was once an ancient road down the Beara peninsula. After you cross the public road the steep ascent to the scene lookout begins. 


The Big Meadow

Distance From Hotel: 1.5km

Walk Length: 3km

Duration: 90 mins

Difficulty Level: Easy

The main attraction of this walk is The Big Meadow, an area of ancient grassland covered in anthill, various wild flowers and several stately oaks. Throughout winter, Kerry cattle graze the meadow to maintain the growth and grassland. Beyond the meadow you will pass through a tree lined woodland track leading you to a new man-made lake, created to preserve the rare Downy Emerald Dragonfly. 

Directions: Follow the river walk until you reach a footbridge, crossing this bridge keep left and cross the second footbridge. Turn right to access the meadow and at the bottom turn left to follow the woodland track to the small lake. As you approach the gate onto the public road turn left onto a track. Follow this track for 1.3km until you reach the sign for Lady Bantry’s Lookout. To left to head back to the carpark or turn right if you want to climb up to the incredible viewing point!

 

Esknamucky

Distance From Hotel: 1.5km

Walk Length: 2.8km

Duration: 90 mins

Difficulty Level: moderate

Also known as the ‘High Walk’, this trail ascends through woodland leading to fantastic views of the surrounding trees and mountains. This trail also compliments the Waterfall Walk which is described in more detail below. 

Directions: From the car park follow the track north to the public road and turn left, crossing the stone bridge over the Canrooska River. Follow the right hand path at the picnic table, along the river bank to the beautiful waterfall. This leads you to an ascent to a series of spectacular viewpoints before descending again into a woodland trail lined with Eucalyptus trees. Turn left off the track to head down to the public road, cross the road here and turn left onto the River Walk leading back to the carpark.

 

Waterfall Walk

Distance From Hotel: 1.5km

Walk Length: 0.5km

Duration: 15 mins

Difficulty Level: Easy


This trail is perfect for the temperamental Irish weather, as the waterfall here is even more impressive after a rainy day. This waterfall is situated on the Canrooska River and flows down to join the Glengarriff river. 

Directions: This walkway follows the same pathway as the Esknamucky walk. From the car park follow the track north to the public road and turn left. Then take the right hand path at the picnic table, along the river bank to the spectacular waterfall.

 

Blue Pool Park

Situated in the heart of Glengarriff village, Blue Pool Park is a wonderful public area and the perfect place for visitors of all ages to explore and relax. Here you will find the two ferry departure points, along with some incredible shore side trails and best of all West Corks famous colony of seals! The Seal Point is also the perfect place to view the inner harbour, highlighting the Seal Colony’s popular bathing area. This park also has a newly installed rustic-style playground which is well worth a visit with the kids.