Sheep's Head is a peninsula between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay in County Cork, Ireland. The peninsula has three villages, Durrus, Kilcrohane and Ahakista where this loop starts and finishes. This is indeed a peaceful and unspoilt spot, which has some of Ireland's most beautiful scenery – and described as the one of the best-kept secrets in the whole country.
A-B. With your back to Arundel’s Pub, turn right and follow the purple (and green and blue) arrows along the road for just 100m to the road junction where you turn right and, almost immediately, turn left onto a minor roadway. The green and blue arrows are for the shorter Barán and Seefin loops. Continue to follow this roadway to Gorteanish – taking note that you overlap with the long-distance Sheep’s Head Way (yellow arrows and walking man) on the way. At a junction of laneways in Gorteanish the Barán Loop and Seefin Loop turn left and cross a stone stile – but you continue straight following the purple arrow.
B-C. Follow the laneway for 500m to reach a surfaced road where you turn right. After another 500m watch out as the loop turns left on a right bend. From here the loop ascends onto a ridge at Doonour where it rejoins the Sheeps Head Way. Turn right.
C-D. Now follow the purple arrows (for this loop) and yellow arrows (for the Sheeps Head Way) for more than 7km along the ridge to pass Glanlough Lake and join a surfaced roadway. After 500m you reach a T-junction where both routes turn right, and another 500m takes you past a farmhouse on your left after which the Sheeps Head Way turns left – but you continue straight, staying on the surfaced road.
D-E. After only 300m you turn left at a road junction, walk for 500m and again join the Sheeps Head Way as you turn right onto a bog road.
E-A. The loop now starts the descent towards the trailhead – a 6km journey which passes through the townlands of Kealties and Tullig.
Take time to visit The Air India Disaster Memorial on the outskirts of Ahakista.