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Sheep's Head - Barán Loop
Ahakista, Co. Cork
Hidden gem
Free to visit
Free car parking
Sheep's Head is a peninsula between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay in County Cork. The peninsula has three villages, Durrus, Kilcrohane and Ahakista, where this loop starts and finishes.

Sheep's Head is a peninsula between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay in County Cork. 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. Because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream, it boasts perhaps the mildest climate in Ireland, daffodils have been known to pop out in January! The visitor to the Sheep's Head will love its idyllic quietness and the ease with which you get to know local people. There are plenty of things to do on the Sheep's Head including a range of historic tombs and monuments, a magnificent ring driving route, sea fishing, bathing spots, sandy and shingle beaches. For the hardened walker, the Sheep's Head Way is an 88 kilometre long distance trail which follows old tracks and roads around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back. The well signposted trail combines superb moorland crest and rugged cliffs, as well as easy lowland terrain. See also 98B&C loops.

A-B. With your back to Arundel’s Pub, turn right and follow green (and blue and purple) arrows along the road for just 100 metres to the road junction where you turn right and, almost immediately, turn left onto a minor roadway. The blue and purple arrows are for the longer Seefin and Glanlough 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 Glanlough Loop continues straight, you turn left and cross a stone stile, following the green (and blue) arrows.

B-C. Now the loop starts the ascent of Ardanenig, easy along an old laneway at first and then a fairly steep climb on a mountain track for 400 metres to reach a point near Rosskerrig Mountain where the Seefin Loop turns right, but where you turn left.

C-D. Continue to follow the green arrows as the loop crosses Rosskerrig Mountain and descends to join the Sheeps Head Way on an old roadway where you turn left.

D-A. Now you follow green arrows (for this loop) and yellow arrows (for the Sheeps Head Way) along a surfaced roadway for over 1 kilometre before the Sheeps Head Way turns left at a memorial to Tom Whitty. Continue straight here and shortly afterwards join the main road for the peninsula. Continue straight at the junction, pass the pub with the tin roof on your right and reach the 3 way junction at A above. Turn right here, it’s only 100 metres back to the trailhead.

Trail details
Loop trail
Tips from locals

Watch out for the quirky "Tin Pub" in Ahakista.

Contact details
Reenacappul, Ahakista, Co. Cork, Ireland
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