Anybody interested in marine biology must visit Lough Hyne, Ireland’s only Marine Nature Reserve. It is situated 10 km from Baltimore in West Cork and is a fascinating place. There is an information board at the lakeside describing its origin, geology and unusual wildlife. A 5km loop walk starting at the lake takes you past a prehistoric ringfort, gives spectacular Atlantic Ocean views, descends to Barlogue pier at the sea-entrance to the lake and finally follows the lakeshore back to the starting point. Another, rather longer walk, takes you climbing through the woods to the summit of Knockomagh Hill which offers views not only of Lough Hyne but also panoramas of the West Cork coastline from Galley Head to Fastnet Rock to Mizen Head and beyond. The walker can choose to return to the starting point by descending the hill or can continue walking north over the back of Knockomagh Hill and returning to the lake via a small green road past a couple of ancient holy wells.
By studying the relevant Ordinance Survey maps enthusiastic walkers can devise many more walks to suit their time and energy in this superb area.
Coastal walk on the island of Reengaroga. Walk approx 2 hours, suitable for buggies/children.
Meet on the pier in Baltimore for ferry trip to Cape. Looped walk on the island. Return ferry at 4pm from Cape. . Walk approx 2.5 - 3 hours, suitable for all terrain buggies but route is quite hilly.
Heritage walk around Baltimore including visit the lifeboat station and view Dún na Séad Castle. Walk approx 2 hours, suitable for all.
Meet at the entrance gates and walk around the estate, walled herb garden, orchard, river, farm and woodland lanes . Walk approx 2 hours, suitable for all.
Meet on the pier in Baltimore for registration and ferry departing at 14pm. Walk on Sherkin Island. Walk approx 2 hours, suitable for all terrain buggies/children. Suitable Clothing Required.
There are many fine walks in the Baltimore area offering great views, places of historic and archaeological interest, the seashore and a wealth of flora and fauna. A walking guide map & brochure is available at reception for the Baltimore area, Loughine, and the Islands of Sherkin & Cape Clear.
For a short stroll you could visit the pretty harbour with its ancient O’Driscoll castle now imaginatively being converted to a family home. This was the ‘Ti Mor’ of the name Baile Ti Mor. Baltimore was an important fishing and boat-building area and was dominated by the O’Driscoll clan who profited from the plentiful stocks of mackerel and pilchards. The history of the area can be read on the plaque erected in the harbour. Round the corner is the old railway station where up to 16 fish-laden trains departed for Cork daily. The fish was thence exported to the USA. Now the old station is the location for the Glenaans Sailing School.
A longer walk can take you on around the Cove and up the winding road to the Beacon…or Lot’s Wife (the pillar of salt) as it is called. Beacons and Signal Towers were erected all around the coast by the British in the early 19th Century when they feared a European invasion. After the climb up to the Beacon please be very careful as strong winds could easily push the unwary over the high cliffs. However the climb is well worthwhile as the views over to Sherkin Island and out to sea are magnificent.
If flora and fauna interest you there is no better walk than across the bridge to Ringarogy island. A pleasant one and a half hour loop walk takes you first past the mud-flats where myriad birds are to be seen, most notably shelduck with their green heads, white breasts and red legs and beaks. Also curlew and oyster-catchers and green and redshanks are to be seen grubbing in the mud when the tide is out. The walk follows a quiet road around the island where fuschia, honeysuckle, rhododendron, hawthorn, montbretia and many kinds of seaweed can be identified.
For a bird’s eye view of Baltimore there is another loop walk that passes The Community Hall and then turns inland towards Spain Tower – a gaunt example of one of the 19th Century Signal Towers. A system of signalling from one tower to the next was put in place so that the whole coast was watched. The coastal views along this route are superb.
Experience the beauty of Bohonagh Stone Circle, Castlefreke and Rathbarry Castles and Antiquities, Historical Monument to Lord Carbery. The mile - Long Strand, Castlefreke Woodlands and Ownahincha Beach.
We have a large selection of horses and ponies to suit all ages and abilities.
Beginners are especially welcome and our carefully selected Irish Cobs are sure to give you a safe pleasant introduction to riding and the Irish countryside.
Groups are kept small and are fully escorted and supervised at all times.
The private trails are around the farm and up to the summit of Mullaghmesha, where, 580m above sea level, the views are breathtaking and cover a vast area of the West Cork coastline and the Kerry mountains.
Rides commence with an assessment form, then fitting with helmets, body protectors and riding boots, provided by us, before you meet your horse and head for the hills! Well, maybe not quite so fast! First you mount in an enclosed riding arena and are shown how to sit, hold the reins, etc. and control your mount, a condensed lesson in four minutes! For new or nervous riders an escort will walk beside you at all times if you wish.
Cycling in West Cork
Explore the many activities and things to do in West Cork the leisurely way on a bicycle. Enjoy the quiet country roads lined with wild flowers, fuschia, honeysuckle, rhododendron, hawthorn, and montbretia, see all types of landscape from rolling green fields to spectacular coastal scenes where traffic is almost non-existent, & the air is clear.
West Cork is also best known for its colourful villages all of which are brightly painted in a wonderful array of vibrant colours, with wonderful hanging baskets brimming with flowers on the front of every pub and shop.
This is the most cosmopolitan part of rural Ireland with many people choosing to settle in this idyllic setting. After seeing this wonderful area, maybe you will too.
Cycling is an enjoyable family activity and a good leisurely way to enjoy the sights & scenery. Bicycles may be hired on a daily, weekly, or group basis from Roycroft Cycles in Skibbereen, West Cork - who will deliver & collect.
Bike Rental at Roycroft Cycles
have a wide range of bicycles for hire to suit all tastes whether you're interested in exploring the surrounding areas of Skibbereen for a day or planning a week-long excursion around the West Cork area. We have a range of models for hire and all of our rented bicycles are of the highest spec and are carefully maintained.
Cost is varied on model of bike hired.
Tours / Maps
Discover West Cork from two wheels on a self-guided bike tour of the surrounding areas of Skibbereen, & Baltimore.
Roycrofts self-guided bike tours include bike rental , safety equipment, map and a bottle of water to quench your thirst!
& OFFER 7 SELF-GUIDED TOUR MAPS FOR THE FOLLOWING ROUTES:
Skibbereen - Baltimore (via Lough Hyne)
Skibbereen - Castletownshend (via Tragumna Beach)
Skibbereen to Glandore (via Castletownshend and Union Hall)
Skibbereen to Rosscarberry (via Union Hall and Glandore)
Roycroft Cycles stocks a vast and varied selection of bikes and has years of experience matching the right bike to the right rider, & stock mountain bikes, BMXs, children’s bikes, hybrids, folding bikes, racing bikes and much more.
Roycrofts also stock a range of Bike Accessories including bicycle safety helmets, high vis jackets, water bottles and safety equipment; Bike Clothing including cycling gloves, shoes and eyewear; and Bicycle Parts for repairs or upgrades to your bike. In fact at Roycroft Cycles we even offer a bike repair service. All our bikes come with a Free checkup within 3 months of purchase.
Situated in Skibbereen, West Cork, Parking is not a problem, free parking behind shop for our customers.
Monday to Saturday10am to 1pm & 2pm to 6pm
Thursday 10am to 1pm
Situated at : Heron Court, Town Car Park, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
Tel: (028) 21235
Cycling Holidays Tours and Rentals in West Cork
Whether it's a contemporary wedding, blessings or a civil ceremony, you can relax in the knowledge that your wedding will run smoothly.
Alex Rey - Cork
Thank you all so much for a wonderful stay! It couldn't have been more fantastic. The rooms, food and accommodations were lovely. We are planning our O'Driscoll family stay for next year with you!
Paul o’Driscoll - Mayo, Ireland
Stayed a night, it was so good we stayed another. The place is fantastic, cosy, warm. And the staff are great, welcoming and helpful. Food is some of the best food we have tasted on our trip so far.
Paul C -
Walking home after our meal and sampling the home brew from the on-site West Cork Brewery was just what we needed as we were comfortably stuffed with the large, delicious portions of the freshest seafood around, not to mention the home brew..
Mary B -
Crab and prawn starter was very tasty and four of us had tempura of prawn starter as a main course. This was generous in size and really well cooked.
Mark W -