Location & Routes

The Sheeps Head Way, West Cork, South IrelandThe Sheep's Head Way, located in West Cork, Southern Ireland, is a peaceful, unspoilt peninsula which has some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Ireland.

GPS location:

Durrus N 51 37.279 W 9 31.336 

The Blackgate, Kilcrohane N 51 33.886 W 9 45.398

Bantry Town: N 51 40.816    W 9 27.204



The Sheep's Head Way is a 200km walking route located on the narrow Sheep's Head peninsula in West Cork between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay.  The route also extends eastwards from Bantry to Drimoleague ( www.drimoleaguewalkway.com )  and Gougane Barra offering further walking opportunities in the region.  


The narrowness of the peninsula means that you are never far from the glorious Atlantic Ocean, even on the outward stretch when you climb to the route's highest point, 300 metres above sea level, on the heathery Seefin ridge.  The terrain is very varied and includes old boreens, open grassy and heathery hill, rock, field paths, quiet roads and some short stretches of woodland path.  The aggregate asccent over the whole route is 2,460m, which includes a few long ascents.  In good weather those who like the uplands can extend the ridge section of the route, or use a number of alternative loops.


The remains of an old copper mine, a blow hole, stone circles, standing stones, high  cliffs, a Napoleonic signal tower and old churches are some of the varied attractions to be discovered along the way.  Patience may be rewarded by the sightings of dolphins and whales off the westernmost tip of the headland.  Here too is the Sheep's Head lighthouse.


The colourful villages of Kilcrohane, Ahakista and Durrus en route provide refreshments and accomodation. 


The interlocking rams logo for the Sheep’s Head Way a registered trade mark.  The rams are one of the images depicted/carved on the 6th century Kilnurane Standing Stone which is located near Bantry.  The image illustrates the Gospel story of the people of Gideon and the Israelites who fought for many years; no one won and no one surrendered, they accepted to live together! Thus the interlocking rams symbolise togetherness and resilience. 




Directions to Sheep’s Head peninsula:
Nearest town is Bantry. 
From Cork take the N71 to Bantry (or at Bandon take the R586 to Dunmanway, Drimoleague, Bantry). 
Approx 3km outside Bantry on the Cork side turn left onto the R591 - following signs for Sheep’s Head/Durrus.  In Durrus take the right hand fork toward Ahakista/Kilcrohane.  See GPS info above right.




Walking information Links:

See www.irishtrails.ie for information on walking in Ireland and on the Sheep's Head in particular click here www.irishtrails.ie/trail.aspx?id=29
For information and downloadable maps of Failte Ireland Loop Walks on Sheeps Head go to  www.discoverireland.ie/Things-To-Do/Activities-and-Adventure/Walking-and-Hiking/Find-a-Walk


See www.sheepsheadroutes.ie for good information on routes 


OSI Discovery Series Maps 85 and 88 4th Edition indicates the walking routes and many loop walks.



Cycling Route

This cycle route starts at Ballylickey and ends in Roaringwater Bay, near Ballydehob. It is 120km long. The signposted route travels down the northern side of Sheep’s Head Peninsula, then returns to Durrus. Turn right in Durrus and ride on to Ballydehob. See our leaflet which is available at local shops & Failté Tourist Information Offices for further details.