|Start & Finish
|6 days (?)
Map depicting the entire The Sheep’s Head Way trail.
Walking the Sheep’s Head Way
Some walkers choose to complete the trail in part over several visits and in no particular order, so we have described the route in 11 sections. Each section can be completed within a day or just a few hours. Please scroll down to the directions and maps below for full details of each section.
Start where you want
The Sheep’s Head Way main trail can be accessed from all the major trailheads on the peninsula, either directly or via a loop walk, and from other points where the Yellow Walking Man way marker with a Yellow arrow is found. Consult the google map below for details.
The entire loop as one long walk
Depending on your ability the entire route can be walked in 5-7 days. Starting out from Bantry town and heading westwards along the north side of the peninsula you travel with Bantry Bay to your right. After reaching the furthest point at Tooreen, where the lighthouse looks out across the Atlantic, you head eastwards along the south side of the peninsula with Dunmanus Bay to your right.
Experienced walkers will often complete section 1 & 2 in the first day, section 3 and for some, also 4 & 5 (total 24km) on day two. The next day, section 6 & 7 to Kilcrohane with section 8 & 9 to Durrus the following day. The final day can include section 10 & 11 (21km) back into Bantry.
To arrange overnight accommodation, transport or luggage transfers and find local services please see details on the “plan your visit” page. Also look through the FAQ page and read the DO’s & DONT’s. If you’re still in need of more information then please contact us.
Terrain by Stages
This route is defined as a strenuous trail overall. Some sections are easy or moderate.
|1. Bantry - Booltenagh
Quiet country roads after leaving Bantry followed with quite a steep climb rising up to the ridge of the peninsula. Fabulous views across Bantry Bay.
|2. Booltenagh - Glanlough
A walk along the ridge on more rugged terrain, with views across both bays, then a descent into Glanlough.
|3. Glanlough - Seefin
A more strenuous section with a steep climb up rugged mountain terrain initially. Quite exposed with fabulous views from the ridge.
|4. Seefin- Cahergal
A mixture of quiet country roads and green lanes. A short climb uphill followed by moderate gentle walking along old routes.
|5. Cahergal - Tooreen via Lighthouse
Coastal paths along cliff edges with some more rugged mountain terrain later. Magnificent views, old copper mines and ruins.
|6. Tooreen - Letter West
Some rugged mountain terrain and moderate grassy slopes. Farmland and sea views.
|7. Letter West - Kilcrohane
A mixture of quiet roads and moderate to easy terrain. Open farmland and access to fishing spurs.
|8. Kilcrohane - Ahakista
A mixture of coastal paths and old roadways. Some shoreline and moderate to easy walking.
|9. Ahakista - Durrus
A mixture of quiet country roads, open farmland with some more rugged terrain and moderate climbs.
|10. Durrus - Barnageehy
Some quiet country roads, farmland and then along forest and mountain tracks with climbs and descents. Magnificent all round views from the highest point.
|11. Barnageehy - Bantry
Some climbs but an overall descent to sea level. Mostly along quiet country roads and then through the gardens of Bantry House into the town.
Directions and detailed route map
To follow the Sheep’s Head Way main trail follow the way markers with the Yellow Walking Man and Yellow arrow.
For full directions and detailed route map please choose your walk from the following sections.
- Section 1: Bantry to Booltenagh
- Section 2: Booltenagh to Glanlough
- Section 3: Glanlough to Seefin
- Section 4: Seefin to Cahergal
- Section 5: Cahergal to the Lighthouse
- Section 6: Tooreen to Letter West
- Section 7: Letter West to Kilcrohane
- Section 8: Kilcrohane to Ahakista
- Section 9: Ahakista to Durrus
- Section 10: Durrus to Barnageehy
- Section 11: Barnageehy to Bantry