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Bantry Bay & Liscongill - County Cork

Hello all!

I'm going to Ireland for the first time with my family and we are planning on visiting two cities in Cork where my grandparents grew up (Bantry Bay & Liscongill). I know they are a bit off the tourist track... Is anyone familiar with these places? Does anyone have any suggestions on what we should do or see there?

Any feedback is appreciated!

Jessica

Posted by
33 posts

I don't know those towns exactly, but they are at the gateway to the Beara Peninsula, which is a lovely drive. On par with the Ring of Kerry, but quieter and smaller. There are a number of ancient sites along the way, if that's something that interests you, and some lovely villages. It would take about half a day, including stops. Lorge Chocolatier is locally famous for treats.

Otherwise, maybe not much to see, except real Ireland. You'll love it.

Posted by
2198 posts

I guess it depends on how much time you have and what your particular interests are. If you're up for scenic drives and some terrific hiking - without the crowds along the Ring of Kerry - then the Beara peninsula really can't be beat. As you say, that part of Ireland is well off the usual tourist track, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
West Cork was particularly hard hit by the famine years, and you'll still see signs of the out-migrations of that era around the countryside. There's an abandoned village nestled in a pretty little valley near the village of Lauragh for example - we enjoyed it so much that we went back twice and spent half a day wandering around the little valley and the stone ruins. It was like hiking into Brigadoon. Can provide directions if you're at all interested.
The cable car over to Dursey island at the tip of the Beara peninsula is the only one in Ireland. Capacity: 3 people and a cow. Dursey island itself is a little time capsule of the famine era - there are abandoned churches and farmsteads dotting the landscape as you hike along.
Since the area isn't covered very well by the usual guidebooks I'd recommend picking up a copy of "Back Roads Ireland" to preview attractions and scenic drives. Can find used copies on Amazon for just a few dollars.

Posted by
456 posts

Southeast of Bantry is the fishing hamlet of Baltimore where you can hop a ferry to Cape Clear Island, which is also accessible from Schull northwest of the island. A drive around the rugged Beara Peninsula down to the coastal village of Allihies and back over the Slieve Miskish and Caha (via Healy Pass) mountains is quite scenic.