The Beara Peninsula is a spectacular peninsula. One of the fingers of land jutting out of the south west corner of Ireland in Munster. It is saved of all the hustle and bustle that can be found in Kerry, simply as it is not possible to drive around in a coach. Here lots of photos and photography of the region.
Beara Best Peninsula ? is the question that springs to mind. Recently there have been a spate of articles on the internet about which is the best peninsula to go to and why. But what is the reason that more and more articles are voicing an opinion in favour of the Beara. Is it because of the rugged natural beauty of the Beara, or maybe simply that the peninsula is so isolated. Not really : the Sheeps head is just as rugged and in some ways more isolated. Is it because it has enough small villages with accommodation options to cater for the intrepid traveler? Again not really.
The Beara is the number one peninsula to visit due to the reason that it has some spectacular roads that allow the visitor all the way to the end of the peninsula but also give or take a few miles an option to circumnavigate the peninsula without having to back track. Apart from if the visitor wants to visit the Dursey Sound, there are a few miles off the circuit to drive along to get to the famous (Ireland’s only) cable car. So, ultimately, it’s a war of the “Ring of’s”… Only the Ring of Beara or the Ring of Kerry really enable the visitor to do a circuit of a peninsula and it seems when one looks at the ROK that this is what people are really looking for, the adventure of a spin around a peninsula to enjoy the scenery and not have to back track.
The jewel in the Beara peninsula is peace and quiet, simply that, it is impossible to drive around the Beara Peninsula in a coach and this is it’s saving grace. And the reason that it is not possible to drive a coach around the Beara is due to the bend signalled in the following picture.
Beara Best Peninsula
So there is the answer, if you want to be an adventurer and only have one peninsula to do, Beara is the one… If you want to be a sheep following the madding crowd, go to Kerry, you’ll meet loads of people and their coaches and probably want to forget them.
The best recommendation however is to take your time and do all of them, right to their very ends, and if you have the choice stay in the smaller villages towards the end of the peninsulas to get to meet real people and enjoy the craic.
Beara Motorcycling a 220 km route that takes in the Beara peninsula and inland towards kilgarvan Ballingeary and Durrus, done on a nice Easter Saturday with my friend Chris from xrvireland.org , leaving Allihies and taking the quickest route on the North side of the Beara to Kenmare and a short stop in Café Moka for breakfast. It was busy in Kenmare so we headed off sharpish up the main road towards Kilgarvan and further, and then took a twisted set of boreens to Kealkill and further on to Durrus, the aim being to cross the countryside and getting to Durrus avoiding Bantry. Of course it takes a lot longer but some stunning scenery and roads. Cup of tea in Durrus and then a blast back to Allihies on the south side of the Beara. Nice day out took 2 hours to ride the 80KM from Kenmare to Durrus only stopping for some photos.
Goula Beara Cork, a walk to take some photos and generally enjoy the “360” degree view from the top. Not a bad day in January for a walk. I did not want to drive to Hungry hill so I could save on the petrol, sorry to Paul O’Shea about that. Goula has a great view from the top overlooking Dursey Island. You can also see, Bere Island, Calf Rock, Cow Rock, Bull Rock, the Skelligs, Scariff and Deenish Islands from the top and the town of Castletownbere the biggest white fish port of Ireland. Today was not perfect but for this time of year a nice couple of hours if a bit cold on top, especially when you stop to take photos and make a short film. There is a link at the bottom of this page to the video on youtube….
Goula Beara Cork
Looking towards Garnish and Dursey Island
Twisting track up to the Boosters on top of Goula
Bull Rock, Cow Rock (just about) and the Calf Rock
Black Ball Head
Allihies Copper Mine “Man Engine”
Scariff and Deenish Islands
Boosters on top of Goula Beara Cork
Another view of Allihies
Bere Island in full
Evidence of Turf Cutting
Allihies was a major copper producer in the 1800’s and for a short while was the worlds largest producer of copper ore. There are many remains of Cornish mine engine buildings, and hundreds of meters of mine adits and shafts. There is also a very good museum. check out the link Allihies copper mine museum