The River Ilen

The River Ilen is at the heart of Skibbereen, the largest settlement on the river. The Ilen rises five hundred metres up on Mullaghmesha Mountain and flows into the sea at Baltimore. It has five main tributaries- the Saivnose, Coarliss, Achrinduff, Glounaphuca, and Clodagh. The river is especially scenic, perhaps due to its extremely low levels of pollution (ranked Quality A, meaning its pollution levels are significantly lower than the Irish average for rivers). The river is home to several species of fish (brown trout, sea trout, Atlantic salmon) and its banks also host several species, from ducks, swans and otters, to seals (at high tide).

The River Ilen Anglers Club regularly make use of the river, regarded as one of the best rivers for salmon fishing in Ireland. The Ilen is the ideal choice for disabled anglers, as the Disabled Anglers’ Stand at Ballyhilty Bridge provides a more accessible angling experience. This stand is free to use for any disabled angler, but a club ticket must first be procured to comply with insurance requirements.

Skibbereen Rowing Club also make use of the river. Founded in 1970, the club is regarded as the best rowing club in Ireland, with 163 Irish National Rowing Championship wins. The club fields rowers at all levels, from domestic regattas to the Olympic level (Gary and Paul O’Donovan, silver medal winners at the 2016 Olympic Games, are members of the Skibbereen Rowing Club).

 

 

 

By Emma O’Donoghue

Off The Beaten Track: Hidden Skibbereen Walks

There are a number of well-known walking trail guides available here in the Tourist Office, but there are also a number of other beautiful trails that remain lesser known, yet equally worth the walk. Three of these are on quiet country roads (as always, take care and be aware of traffic, and leave no trace), and one wooded trail.

Ringarogy Island Loop Walk (1-1.5 hrs, depending on pace)

 

Ringarogy Loop Walk Map

Start Point: Skibbereen
Take the R595 for Baltimore, passing Inish Beg Island and Kileena holiday homes (both on the right). After left-hand bend, the old railway cottage should be visible on your left-hand side. The road widens and about 500m on the left is the causeway to Ringarogy. You can park on the side of the road on the hard shoulder (at your own risk). This is a beautiful and fairly easy walk with only a few slight inclines. Ringarogy Island can be accessed by walking over the causeway. Stay left at the end of the causeway, walk for about ten minutes, and go left again (recommend doing this walk clockwise).

 

 

Toe Head Loop Walk (leisurely 1 hr walk)

Toe Head Loop Walk Map

Start Point: Skibbereen
Situated between Tragumna and Castletownshend on the R596 from Skibbereen, this is a beautiful walk right out on the headland of Toe Head. This is an easy walk but has a very sharp incline towards the end, but after that it’s all downhill back to the start. Parking is available at Toe Head Beach. From the beach, keep right and do this walk in an anti-clockwise direction.

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Rineen Forest Walk (over an hour)

Start Point: Skibbereen
Take the R596 (Castletownshend Road) for about 6km to Castlehaven Old Creamery, and take the left for Union Hall. After 2km you will come to a Y junction- keep to your right, and Rineen Forest Walk is approx 3km on your right-hand side. There should be a sign visible. You can park in the small car park- barrier is usually down. At the barrier, take the trail immediately down to your right. This narrow path will continue for approx 15 mins before emerging onto the main trail through the forest. After about 20m take the path down to your right, which will take you along a path on water’s edge. At one point near a stream the path appears to end, but actually continues left for a short distance then continues as before. This is a looped walk, with lovely views of Raheen Castle and the ruins of an old lime kiln. This is a fairly easy walk, but there are a few slight inclines, and as always, please take care underfoot (walking boots advised). This can be either an out-and-back walk or a loop walk (to avoid the loop, take the path that climbs up to the left to get to the main forest trail and back to the car park).

 

Coastal Walk (over an hour)

 

Coastal Walk Map

Start Point: Skibbereen
On this walk there are a number of very sharp corners, so please take careTake the R596 for about 4km, taking a right at the lake for Tragumna. Follow that road for about 1.5km until Tower Lodge is in view, then take a left until Tragumna Beach and park in the car park there.. Leaving the car park, keeping the beach on your right, pass the Skibbereen Eagle Pub. You will start climbing (at this point, there are 3 very sharp corners, so please take care and swap to the other side of the road at these points) and after approx half a km you will reach the top of the incline. Take the road to your left, and after about 500m you will come to a Y. Take the road to your right. Continue your walk, and you will start climbing down and will find yourself back on the main coast road, looking across at Toe Head. Turn right and continue your walk along the coast road until you arrive back on Tragumna.

         

 

 

By Emma O’Donoghue

The Skibbereen Area’s Marvellous Megaliths

West Cork has many megaliths (stone monuments) and the Skibbereen area is no exception. These stone monuments- from stone circles and forts to funeral stones, served diverse functions from the defensive to the calendrical, and would be well worth a wander to anyone interested in ancient Irish history.

 

Please note that parking is not available at all megalithic sites. Some may be situated on private land, so please ask appropriate permissions. As always, leave no trace and treat the monuments with respect.

Knockdrum Stone Fort (N 51° 31′ 35.5″, W 009° 11′ 37.5″)

 

Located approximately a kilometre east of Castletownshend, Knockdrum stone fort sits on a ridge, from which the Gurranes standing stones (the Five Fingers) can be seen. This impressive stone fort contains within its grounds a souterrain, an underground tunnel used for storage and as an escape route in case of attack.

Gurranes Stone Row (Five Fingers) (N 51° 31′ 50.9″, W 009° 11′ 25.9″)

Known as the Fingers, this stone row is within view of Knockdrum stone fort. Despite only three of the stones currently still standing upright, this stone row is impressive and well worth a visit.

Drombeg Stone Circle (N 51° 33′ 52.4″, W 009° 05′ 13.3″)

Perhaps Ireland’s most famous stone circle, Drombeg is located twenty minutes from Skibbereen town on the N71 and R597. There is a small car park for visitors only a short walk away. The stone circle consists of seventeen impressive sandstone standing stones encircling an altar stone. Within 35 metres there is a fulacht fiadh and the remains of stone huts. Drombeg and two smaller stone circle sites (Bohonagh and Reenascreena) form an equilateral triangle, and are thought by some to be somehow connected or part of a larger complex.

Knockanoulty Ring Fort (51°29’47.9″N 9°18’57.2″W)

Knockanoulty Ring Fort is located just over a mile from Lough Hyne and other nearby sites (such as the Lough Hyne Funeral Stone, the ruins of St Brigid’s Church, and a ruined holy well). The townland of Knockanoulty is bordered by the townlands of Barnabah, Ballinard, and Ballymacrown.

Lough Hyne Funeral Stone

Found throughout West Cork, coffin stones were used to rest the coffin while family, neighbours and friends said their final goodbyes to their deceased loved one within their own townland, before the burial took place. This stone can be found a short walk away from Lough Hyne, in a cleared area of undergrowth.

Reenascreena Stone Circle (51 37′ 4.155″N, 9 3′ 48.129″W)

Located less than a mile from Reenascreena village (birthplace of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa), the stone circle consists of thirteen stones and is surrounded by a shallow ditch. There are two pits within the circle, one of which was found to contain fragments of cremated bone, suggesting that this was a site of ritual importance and perhaps served as a burial ground at some point.

Bohonagh Stone Circle (51° 34′ 48.37″ N, 8° 59′ 56.35″ W)

Bohonagh stone circle is located just over a mile from Rosscarbery town. The circle has thirteen stones, and there is also a boulder burial 25 metres to the southwest. Similarly to Reenascreena stone circle, cremated bone fragments have been found at the site, suggesting that it was of ritualistic importance.

 

 

By Emma O’Donoghue

West Cork’s Incredible Islands

The coastline of West Cork has numerous beautiful islands, each somewhat of a treasure in their own right. Easily accessible from Skibbereen town, each of these islands have something fascinating to offer, and provide the opportunity to deviate from the more conventional tourist paths. From beautiful nature walks, to medieval ruins, to amazing art galleries, West Cork’s islands truly do have it all.

All of the islands are accessible via ferry, with the exception of Dursey Island (accessible via Ireland’s only cable car). For ferry times, please check online under the island name (these may be seasonal and/or subject to change).

 

Long Island

Credit: Marsh Media (Facebook)

Located only ten minutes by boat from the shores of Schull, Long Island, at five km long to less than one km wide, is aptly named. With a permanent population of only ten people, Long Island is ideal for those who enjoy walking, bird-watching and sea angling. Long Island’s best attraction is perhaps White Tower Lighthouse on its eastern end, which marks the entrance to Schull Harbour.

Credit Heir Island Ferries (Facebook)

 

 

Bere Island

Credit: Bere Island Co. Cork (Facebook)

Located between Berehaven Harbour and Bantry Bay, Bere Island has historically been of massive strategic importance. As such, the island has several Martello Towers dating from the Napoleonic Wars, and gun batteries at Ardaragh and Lonehort (surrounded by the fortifications of Fort Berehaven). As a Treaty Port, Berehaven remained in British hands until 1938, used to guard Britain against attacks from the sea. With a current population of just above 200, Bere Island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and the Druid’s Altar wedge tomb can be seen on the island. Bere Island and its surrounding waters are also home to stunning wildlife, with the area known for the extensive bird and marine (killer whales, basking sharks, and dolphins can all be glimpsed on occasion) life.

Credit: Bere Island Co. Cork (Facebook)

 

Whiddy Island

Credit: Whiddy Island Ferry (Facebook)

A short ferry ride from Bantry, Whiddy Island hosts such attractions as the 16th century Reenagig Castle of the O’Sullivan Bere, a fortified gun battery built by the British following the 1796 French Armada scare, and a sixth century ecclesiastical enclosure (church, holy well and graveyard) on the shores of the beautiful Kilmore lake. Whiddy Island is ideal for those who enjoy bird-watching, or just the odd ramble about in the peace and quiet (Whiddy Island has approximately twenty permanent residents).

Credit: Whiddy Island Ferry (Facebook)

 

 

Dursey Island

Credit: Dursey Island (Facebook)

Accessible via a ten-minute journey across the Dursey Sound in Ireland’s only cable car, Dursey Island, Dursey is an oasis of calm for birdwatchers (rare birds from Siberia and America are often spotted there) and nature walkers alike, with a permanent population of under ten people, and no shops, pubs or restaurants. Notable sights on the island include the ruins of O’Sullivan Bere’s castle (sacked by the English in 1602), the ruins of the church of Kilmichael (built by monks from Skellig), and the two hundred-year old signal tower built as a defence against potential French attack by sea (with beautiful views of Mizen Head and the Skelligs).

 

Sherkin Island

Credit: Sherkin Island (Facebook)

Located ten minutes from Baltimore by ferry, Sherkin Island is known for its community of artists, with numerous studios throughout the island as well as its own Fine Arts Degree course, and the annual Sherkin Island Regatta. Sherkin has a population of over one hundred people, several of whom are artists. The island is also home to some beautiful beaches, Cow and Silver Strands, both sandy beaches with beautiful views. Also to be found on Sherkin are the ruins of a fifteenth century Franciscan abbey, the old O’Driscoll castle, and the automated Barrack Point lighthouse (dating back to 1835).

Credit: Sherkin Island (Facebook)

 

Cape Clear

Credit: Cape Clear Ferry (Facebook)

A Gaeltacht island 13km off the coast with a bilingual population of about one hundred and thirty people, Cape Clear is also known as The Storytellers’ Island and puts on a Storytelling Festival each year (30th August to 1st September 2019). The island hosts Ireland’s only manned bird observatory, and whale- and dolphin-watching trips are also available around the island. Also worth a look are the old lighthouse and the nearby Fastnet Rock, and for those interested in history, megalithic standing stones, a twelfth-century ruined church and a fourteenth century castle can all be found on Cape Clear.

Credit: Cape Clear Ferry (Facebook)

 

Heir/Hare Island

Credit: Heir Island (Facebook)

Also known as Inis Uí Drisceoil, this small island is home to twenty-five people, over two hundred different varieties of wildflowers, and the numerous majestic sea birds that make their homes in the cliffs. With ferry crossings every two hours, visitors to the island can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, cookery school, art gallery, and sailing school- plenty to keep anyone busy! Heir Island also has a lesser known international flair- the intrepid tourist can walk across the Paris bridge in the townland of Paris, all without leaving Ireland!

Credit: Heir Island (Facebook)

 

Garnish/Garinish Island

Credit: Garinish Island (Facebook)

Located in Glengarriff Harbour in Bantry Bay, Garnish Island (also known as Ilnacullin) hosts beautiful and extensive gardens, made possible by the near-subtropical climate created by a combination of the Gulf Stream and the sheltered position of the island. These gardens are fully accessible to the public, along with a Martello Tower restored by the OPW (for the history enthusiasts). There is a small fee for entry to the island and all of its attractions. Garnish Island can be accessed by ferry from Glengarriff Pier, and seals are often seen on the picturesque journey to the island.

Credit: Garinish Island (Facebook)

 

 

By Emma O’Donoghue

Skibbereen Area Beaches (Not To Miss)

Please note that while all beaches listed are generally considered safe for swimming, conditions permitting, lifeguards are on duty only at Tragumna. Please swim responsibly- never alone or in rough conditions. Remember to always respect the water. Some access road to these beaches are narrow, so drive with care.

Tragumna

A Blue Flag beach with toilet and parking facilities, Tragumna is a lovely beach for families of all ages. Just 6km from Skibbereen, Tragumna has lifeguards during bathing season (weekends in June and September, daily in July and August), and lifesaving equipment available off-season.

 

Lough Ine (Hyne)

Lough Ine (5km from Skibbereen) is Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve and the only inland saltwater lake in Northern Europe. Lough Ine boasts a lovely woodland nature trail and stunning views of Castle Island, and is ideal for kayaking, swimming and nature walks.

lough hyne

Sherkin Island

Cow Strand

Accessible via a ten minute ferry ride from Baltimore, Sherkin Island is home to two beautiful sandy beaches, Silver Strand and Cow Strand, and lovely views.

Silver Strand

Sandycove

Sandycove is situated on the coast road between Castletownshend and Tragumna. The beach is very small and sandy, and can be accessed by steps. Sandycove can be very busy during the summer, but is worth the visit.

 

Tralispean

A ten minute drive from Skibbereen along the R595, this small but picturesque beach can only be described as a hidden gem (no facilities, however). Tralispean is a beautiful sandy beach, and popular with families.

 

Squince Harbour

Squince Harbour Beach is located in Myross Island (access via causeway), Union Hall, and is a gravel beach boasting several rock pools. With a lovely view of nearby Rabbit Island, Squince Harbour Beach is an excellent location for both kayaking and swimming.

 

Ballyalla

Ballyalla hosts a small quiet stony beach with a pier, about three miles from Skibbereen. Beautiful when the tide is in, and ideal for the adventurous swimmer willing to take the plunge (literally!). Ballyalla is a very safe beach, with life buoys provided.

 

Carrigillihy

Located in Myross Island, Union Hall, Carrigillihy is a small stony beach with a beautiful view of Rabbit Island, and in the summer, of the many small boats that moor there. Carrigillihy is excellent for those who enjoy seaside walks.

 

Cape Clear

Located 13 km off the coast of West Cork and accessible by regular ferry from Baltimore (year round) and Schull (summer only), Cape Clear (a Gaeltacht region) is a remote but beautiful island. Full of scenic harbours and gorgeous pebble beaches, Cape Clear is ideal for nature and seaside walks.

 

 

 

By Emma O’Donoghue

My Town My Plan: Skibbereen 27th May

West Cork Hotel 7.00 til 9.00 pm on Mon 27th May  FREE

This is an open meeting for anyone interested in the future of the town. SECAD are providing supports and training to work with individuals and groups from across the town on a whole range of projects designed to improve the town and the networks and collaborations within it.  

See details here from SECAD and follow the link below to book your place.

To reserve a place, please call Nuala at SECAD on 021 4613432 or email noconnell@secad.ie

INFORMATION HERE: TRAINING EVENTS PAGE SECAD

“Would you like the chance participate in the process of planning for your local community? Join SECAD for the free My Town, My Plan training programme, funded through the LEADER programme and aimed at community group members and individuals who are interested in planning for their own town and surrounding areas.  It will run from Autumn 2019 in your town and will allow neighboring community members to discuss the future of their own area.  Groups can choose four of the topics listed below

Theme A: Enterprise and Asset Management:

Developing Community / Social Enterprise

Owning and managing community assets

Incubating and supporting the development of local business and trade

Future opportunities for retail and developing a retail strategy

Communities and Renewable Energy Production

Theme B: Social: Community & Volunteer Supports:

Designing an Age Friendly Town

Developing A Healthy Town Programme

Community financing for development of community services

Social inclusion in our town

Integration of new communities

Mental Health

Theme C: Environment:

Climate Change – How we can make a difference at a community / town level

Eco-Aware Town Design

Creating our Town Biodiversity Development Plan

The first meeting in May 2019 will be critical as it will allow SECAD & trainers from Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT’s) Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence to shape your specific training programme to be delivered from September 2019.

We need as many people from different backgrounds, interests, ages and cultures to participate.  Please take this opportunity to become part of this important process aimed at sustaining your community’s vibrancy and resilience”

THE SECAD  MEETING WILL BE AT THE WEST CORK HOTEL SKIBBEREEN MONDAY 27TH MAY 7.00 PM

To reserve a place, please call Nuala at SECAD on 021 4613432 or email noconnell@secad.ie

INFORMATION HERE: TRAINING EVENTS PAGE SECAD

“The Future of Skibbereen” May 16th

An open discussion about Skibbereen and its future

The Chamber of Commerce invites everyone to an open discussion about our town at the

Eldon Hotel

Thursday 16th May

7.30 pm

Candidates invited

All West Cork candidates standing for the County Council elections next week have been invited to participate.

Come along and meet the candidates for the local elections and discuss their VISION for the Future of Skibbereen.
This will be an opportunity to think about what you want for the future and to start a discussion with those who would be our elected councillors.

Speakers and Topics

Invited speakers will introduce various aspects of Skibbereen and its future.  Tourism, jobs, the environment and the public realm.

Candidates will be asked to respond and answer questions from the floor.

Please come, all are welcome.

This is a chance to discuss our town and its future with our prospective County Council representatives.

SECAD training

This meeting will be a forerunner of the planned training in Skibbereen by SECAD

“Would you like the chance participate in the process of planning for your local community? Join SECAD for the free My Town, My Plan training programme, funded through the LEADER programme and aimed at community group members and individuals who are interested in planning for their own town and surrounding areas.  It will run from Autumn 2019 in your town and will allow neighboring community members to discuss the future of their own area.  Groups can choose four of the topics listed below

Theme A: Enterprise and Asset Management:

Developing Community / Social Enterprise

Owning and managing community assets

Incubating and supporting the development of local business and trade

Future opportunities for retail and developing a retail strategy

Communities and Renewable Energy Production

Theme B: Social: Community & Volunteer Supports:

Designing an Age Friendly Town

Developing A Healthy Town Programme

Community financing for development of community services

Social inclusion in our town

Integration of new communities

Mental Health

Theme C: Environment:

Climate Change – How we can make a difference at a community / town level

Eco-Aware Town Design

Creating our Town Biodiversity Development Plan

The first meeting in May 2019 will be critical as it will allow SECAD & trainers from Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT’s) Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence to shape your specific training programme to be delivered from September 2019.

We need as many people from different backgrounds, interests, ages and cultures to participate.  Please take this opportunity to become part of this important process aimed at sustaining your community’s vibrancy and resilience”

THE SECAD  MEETING WILL BE AT THE WEST CORK HOTEL SKIBBEREEN MONDAY 27TH MAY 7.00 PM

APPLY TO SECAD TO ATTEND.

TRAINING EVENTS PAGE SECAD

 

Walks Around Skibbereen Town

ABBEY LOOP WALK
Moderate Loop Walk • Distance: 4.3bm
Total Climb: 60m • Time: 1 to Ihr 15min
Terrain: roadside footpaths, public part?, quiet roads & riverside walh.
Description: from trailhead at Shibbereen Heritage Centre towards West Cort? Hotel on lien Street, crossing Kennedy Bridge through O’Donovan Rossa Memorial Park to Marsh Road. Through Glencurragh and Curragh Road with gradual rise to high point with panoramic view of Shibbereen and lien Estuary before descending along a quiet country road to Abbeystrowry Burial Ground, site of an old Cistercian abbey and famine burial pits. Crossing the N71 and Newbridge to riverside wall? bach towards the Heritage Centre.

ROCK LOOP WALK
Easy Loop Walk • Distance: 4.5hm
Total Climb: 30m • Time: 1 to Ihr 15min
Terrain: roadside footpaths, public roads, off road path and town streets.
Description: from trailhead at Shibbereen Heritage Centre towards Bridge Street and through the old Railway Cutting to Mardyhe. Onto the Baltimore Road and bach towards Marhet Street before rising up the Gortnaclohy Road onto Chapel Lane. Passing two old burial grounds to High Street and then off road to Windmill Roch, site of the famine memorial with view over town. Continue down to North Street past the cathedral and the courthouse to the Relief Road and bach to the Heritage Centre via Hen Street.

COMPASS LOOP WALK
Moderate Loop Walk • Distance: 5.1bm
Total Climb: 50m • Time: Ihr 15min to Ihr 30min
Terrain: roadside footpaths, quiet public roads & town streets.
Description: from trailhead at Skibbereen Heritage Centre onto Upper Bridge Street and continuing as far as St. Patrich’s Cemetery. Turning up the country road towards Compass Hill with panoramic views towards Baltimore and Lough Hyne before descending onto Baltimore Road and going bach towards the town centre along Marhet Street. Passing the Town Hall and Maid of Erin Statue through Main Street to Bridge Street past the Canon Goodman Memorial and Abbeystrewry Parish Church and bach to the Heritage Centre.
See SU na Slâinte brochure

SKIBBEREEN SLI NA SLAINTE
Easy Loop Walk • Distance: 4.7hm
Total Climb: 20m
Time: 1 to Ihr 15min
Terrain: roadside footpaths, riverside c^rr–. walh & town streets.
Caution: All walhs are on public roads or paths. All walkers are responsible for their own safety.
Please be mindful of traffic and obey the rules of the road.
«
CORK COUNTY COUNCIL
COMHAIHUCOKTAKCHOÊtCAl @ skibbereentidy to Skhibbereen Walks are developed by Skibbereen Tidy Towns with grant aid from Cork County Council and West Cork Development Partnership

Three interlinked loop walks around the historic market town of Skibbereen. Beginning at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre you visit the town’s
historic sites, climb the surrounding hills and are rewarded with panoramic views of the town and lien River estuary

Skibbereen Arts Centre

West Cork Arts Centre was established in 1985 in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. It is a publicly funded arts facility that creates opportunities for the people of West Cork to have access to, and engagement with, local and global arts practice of excellence.

It supports a multi-disciplinary arts programme with a focus on contemporary visual art . It is a resource and development agency, providing expertise and physical and human resources to assist artists, other arts organisations, groups and individuals to realise arts projects.

It is committed to exploring new and innovative ways of combating the challenges facing audience development and participation, and the development of opportunities for artists, especially in relation to those located in rural communities.

Currently WCAC provides a range of education and community programmes for adults and children at the Centre in Skibbereen and throughout the West Cork region. The unique and enriching opportunity to experience and work with real artworks and live artists is explored through many of its programmes. Our Artists’ Residency programme (Artists’ Studios and Dance Studio) offers Artist in Residence studio opportunities to artists locally, nationally and internationally. West Cork Arts Centre places education at the heart of its activities with a wide range of arts workshopscommunity-based projects, film screenings, seminars, talks and gallery tours on offer throughout the year.

West Cork Arts Centre covers the Skibbereen and Bantry urban and rural area which stretches from the Beara Peninsula in the west, to Clonakilty in the east, from Dunmanway in the north, to the islands of Cape Clear and Sherkin in the south. A considerable number of artists and crafts people from Ireland and abroad are living and working in the area.

Partnerships with other organisations and agencies are formed to deal with this geographical area and this is a vital strategy for realising the objectives of the Centre

The Islands

There are many islands to explore near to Skibbereen.  Across the harbour from Baltimore the West Cork coastline merges into the myriad islands and rocky islets known collectively as Carbery’s Hundred Isles. Each of the main inhabited islands — Cape Clear, Sherkin and Heir — has developed a unique personality through being separated from the mainland and its neighbours, if only by a few hundred yards in some cases.

The islands themselves are fascinating places to visit and the waters around them offer possibilities for kayakers, sailors, divers, wildlife-watchers and anglers. The best way to find out about them is to come here and explore for yourself!  Ferries available from Baltimore and Schull.

Lough Hyne & Visitor Centre

Lough Hyne Visitor Centre at Skibbereen Heritage Centre

Discover Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve and unique salt-water lake.

Find out about the history, folklore and formation of this renowned natural phenomenon at Skibbereen Heritage Centre before you visit the lough, (5km from the Centre).

Audio-visual on Lough Hyne shown in French, German and English.
Film footage of underwater Lough Hyne and its extraordinary marine life.
Learn about the long history of marine research at Lough Hyne since it was ‘discovered’ by scientists in 1886.
Explore its rich history and folklore – the O’Driscoll castle, its holy wells and the fable of the king with donkey’s ears!
Follow with an informed visit to the lake itself, (5km from Skibbereen Heritage Centre), with information on walks and other activities there.

 

Heritage Centre

Enjoy a visit to Skibbereen Heritage Centre, located in the award-winning Old Gasworks Building which overlooks the River Ilen.

Skibbereen: The Famine Story at Skibbereen Heritage Centre

Learn about the Famine of the 1840s when one million Irish people died and at least another 1.5 million emigrated.

Skibbereen became infamous as one of the worst affected areas in all of Ireland. The true enormity of this national tragedy is revealed through Skibbereen’s Famine stories.

Rediscover this era through exhibits, dramatisations and interactive stations.
Listen to the personal accounts of those who experienced the Famine in Skibbereen.
Take a ‘virtual tour’ of Famine sites in the town and hear the stories associated with them.
Follow with a visit to Abbeystrewry Famine burial pits (one of 3 mass Famine graves in Skibbereen) where up to 10,000 victims are buried.
Skibbereen Heritage Centre
Old Gasworks,
Upper Bridge Street,
Skibbereen,
Co. Cork,
Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)28 40900
Email: info@skibbheritage.com
Website: www.skibbheritage.com