Sheeps Head Peninsula Drive, Route Map and Guide, Bantry, West Cork, Wild Atlantic Way

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: October 4, 2016
  • Updated: February 12, 2018
Location: Cork
  • Distance63 miles
  • Time0 s
  • Speed0 mph
  • Min altitude10 ft
  • Peak571 ft
  • Climb2,694 ft
  • Descent2,694 ft

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The Sheeps Head Drive and Cycle Route is a 70km (43 mile) full day driving loop or multiple day scenic coastal road trip starts from Bantry town in West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way and is one of our top 25 scenic drives in Ireland.  Located in the south west coast of Ireland, The Sheep's Head Peninsula is a narrow finger of land protruding into the wild Atlantic Ocean and is nestled between the more famous and larger Beara Peninsula to the north and Mizen Peninsula to the south. Take this scenic driving route with you on our free App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.

Sheeps Head Drive, Bantry on the Wild Atlantic Way by Valerie O'Sullivan
Sheeps Head Drive, Bantry on the Wild Atlantic Way by Valerie O'Sullivan

Forming a small but unmissable part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Sheep's Head may be overlooked by some but I can highly recommend stopping overnight and maybe consider a few nights which will allow you to follow a great food trail around the ring and also enjoy some of the best walks in Ireland including the well sign posted 200km long Sheep's Head Way walking trail which combines a series of great walks along low and rugged hills with coastline and cliffs. The Sheeps Head Way route also extends eastwards from Bantry to Drimoleague (www.drimoleaguewalkway.com) and and onto Gougane Barra via St. Finbars Way Pilgrim Path offering further walking opportunities in the region.

Sheep Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland by Raymond Fogarty
Sheep Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland by Raymond Fogarty

The Sheep's Head is a peaceful unspoilt peninsula with some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Ireland. Measuring approximately 28km in length and just 4km across its widest point, this rugged peninsula is a beautiful place to explore and because of the proximity to the Atlantic Gulf Stream, the climate is always mild. With wild scenery, picturesque loughs and fantastic coastal views, the Sheep’s Head Peninsula is one of Ireland’s treasures. Despite its unrivalled charm, this is in fact a little visited part of the country, which has managed to sidestep the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Peakeen Ridge, Sheep's Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way
Peakeen Ridge, Sheep's Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way

The drive starts in lush and green Bantry where you can take a passenger ferry during the tourist season to the nearby Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay. The route continues through some magnificent coastline scenery and hairpin bends on the road to Kilcrohane pass standing stones, promontory forts, holy wells and more along the way. From Kilcrohane, you can travel west to the end of the peninsula where you can stop and soak in the views. From there, overlooking Dunmanus Bay, you head east past the village of Ahakista with some nice beaches and onto Durrus, a village with many gardens, and end your journey back in Bantry. The narrowness of the peninsula means that you are never far from the glorious Atlantic Ocean on this great drive and never too far from any of the many trail heads in this walker’s paradise.

Lough Akeen on Sheeps Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland by Raymond Fogarty
Lough Akeen on Sheeps Head Peninsula, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland by Raymond Fogarty

Take this scenic driving route with you on our free App for iPhone and Android and share your photos on the ActiveMe facebook page.