This year during the Easter Holidays we were lucky to meet up with my mother and sister and spend some time together in West Cork. It’s not extremely far from where I live, so not too far for me to drive, but having a view of the ocean for a while is rather nice! Our base was close to Bantry, a small market town, and ideally located for a visit to the peninsulas of West Cork, as well as the wonderful Glengarrif Forest.
|Stormy sea view from our "base"|
The first days were stormy, rainy and cold to a point where I almost started to regret choosing this location. Fortunately, we had the foresight to pack some games so a lot of time was spent being competitive around the kitchen table! Most days we went out as well, at least for a short while, and enjoyed a walk around Glengarrif Forest or did our shopping in Bantry and spent time browsing in a bookshop.
|Leaning into the wind at this top on Sheep's Head peninsula|
A couple of days later we went in cloud and rain to the Beara Peninsula, but by the time we arrived in Castletownbere the sun came out. A while later, turning North close to the far end of the peninsula, the clouds descended for some atmospheric misty ocean views.
After a few days the weather changed, and how! While the temperatures would not have convinced me to wear short sleeves, it was lovely and sunny, and coats could be left behind at least some of the time. The sun made everything look that much more friendly and we decided that a visit to Garinish Island (Ilnacullen) was called for. The ferry across the natural bay of Glengarrif slowed down to allow the passengers to get a good look at the seals on the way.
|Seals on the rocks in Glengarrif harbour|
|Another seal at Glengarrif|
The gardens on Garinish are lovely, and even though some of the steps are uneven and steep, we had a leisurely walk all the way around.
|Italian garden at Garinish|
|View from the garden on Garinish Island|
|Tree ferns on Garinish Island|
|Wind vane against the blue sky, Garinish Island|
Not wanting to leave out a Cork peninsula, we finally made a trip onto the Mizen Head peninsula. The weather being glorious again, we stopped at Schull and visited a lively market and the harbour, and stopped again at the mud flats and sandy beach at Toormore for a picnic.
|Mud flats at Toormore|
Finally, we arrived at the very end of the peninsula, Mizen Head itself. Though you have to pay an entrance fee, the views of the ocean from several lookout platforms are definitely worth it.
We were lucky it wasn’t very busy (signs indicating waiting times suggested that it may be heaving with people at other - presumably summer - times), and we could walk all over and enjoy the view for as long as we wanted.
|Mizen Head with Beara Peninsula on the horizon|
A few more walks in Glengarrif Forest, along the promenade in Bantry, and a visit to some standing stones were squeezed in before it was time to leave.
|Standing stones at Kealkill|
Next time there will be some sewing to show, I promise!