The Sheep’s Head Way is one of the most remote trails in Ireland. As a result, there is a truly authentic, local and community feeling along the Sheep’s Head trail. It has been recognised by the EU for its work in promoting sustainable tourism.
Due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream, the Sheep’s Head Way in west Cork seems to have a milder climate than the rest of Ireland. This also provides opportunity for unique gardens and plants to flourish.
Would you like to help to support local tourism along the Sheep’s Head Way?
The EU recognised the Sheep’s Head Peninsula’s efforts towards sustainable tourism by awarding it with the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in 2009. This award highlights different regions which excel in sustainable tourism every year.
The focus of this award is not only on cultural aspects, but on environmental access. The EDEN award aims to recognise those areas which benefits the local population, as well as visitors.
If you would like to help the sustainable tourism efforts of the Sheep’s Head Way, you can see many initiatives by locals. This could be trying homemade cheese from Durrus Farmhouse, staying at local B&Bs along the way or just admire all of the local west Cork art and crafts at the Heron Gallery.
The warmth of the locals truly make the Sheep’s Head Way a route not to be missed.
The Gardens of Sheep’s Head
The locals of the Sheep’s Head truly lend to the spirit of environmental and sustainable tourism. In Durrus and Kilcrohane, you can find many wonderfully kept gardens. The owners of these invite you to take a look around their grounds, but do ask for prior notice.
You can find Kilvarock Garden in Durrus which has a variety of unique plantlife from the southern hemisphere. They are able to flourish in west Cork due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. Carraig Abhainn Gardens can also be found in Durrus, while Cois Cuain in Kilcrohane offers a garden with a sea view.
The Sheep’s Head Lighthouse
The lighthouse on Sheep’s Head is located on the west of the peninsula, nearly at the very tip.
It is a popular stop on the Sheep’s Head Way, although many day-trippers also make their way down the steps towards the lighthouse.
A nice café to stop at is Cupán Tae, run by Bernie Tobin. It’s a great place to stop, relax, and meet fellow hikers.
The Sheep’s Head Way gives you the opportunity to witness one of the oldest skills and crafts. Blacksmiths may seem like a thing of the past with much faster machines nowadays, however many blacksmiths still use forges to create all sorts of items. Kevin Cronin’s forge gives you the opportunity to see this age-old skill.
Cronin’s forge is famous nationwide for the fantastic handmade decorative and practical items that they make.