The wild circular walking route begins in the town of Bantry in County Cork and runs out along the lonely north coast of the peninsula. On the way, it offers incredible views out to the Atlantic Ocean from the rugged mountain ridge that it follows. The trail reaches the scenic lighthouse at ‘Sheep’s Head’, at the very tip of the peninsula, and then loops back to cover the southern side of the peninsula.
The southern section of the trail leads through the villages of Kilcrohane and Durrus, via grassy slopes, mountain trails, and coastal roads. From Durrus, the route heads inland, before turning back north to reach Bantry again.
The terrain is varied, and includes old boreens (a Gaelic word that literally translates as ‘little road’), open grassy and heathery moorland, field paths, quiet country roads and some short stretches of woodland paths. Approximately 28 km or 31% of the Sheep’s Head Way follows local roads but this is dependent on which tour itinerary you choose.
The route doesn’t have many steep climbs but does include a few ascents which are quite long. The total aggregate ascent is approximately 2,200m over the entire route and the route’s highest point is just 300 metres above sea level at Derrylahard, near Glanlough and east of Durrus.