Cork County Tour Sept 2021
An update for your information re a cycle tour in the South of Ireland, we have a sufficient number of members interested to progress to some detailed planning. Based on my enquiries about accommodation, I would suggest the start date is Tue 31-Aug and return on Sun 05-Sept 2021. To be discussed of course!
The tour would involve 4 days cycling, one day travel to and one day travel home. The travel will involve 3 or 4 people travelling in a car carrying bikes to the first accommodation, number of people relative to the number of cars! We will park and leave the cars at the accommodation on the first night which will also be the accommodation on the last night. There is an option to have one car follow the tour as a support vehicle and luggage transport, we can share the driving amongst us. Note, very much like Wales, there are hills and it does rain!
Suggested or draft itinerary:
Day 1. Tuesday 31-Aug
Travel to the Ferry at Fishguard. 13.10 sailing to Rosslare, arrive 16.30
Drive to Macroom and our B&B accommodation. Leave the vehicles here or travel with one!
Day 2. Wednesday 01-Sept.
Cycle Macroom to Bantry Est 35 miles.
Leaving Macroom on the R584, we travel through Inchigeelagh and Ballingeary cand calling into Gougane Barra Forest park, on leaving the park, we cycle for approx. 12 miles through the Kenmanagh Pass to the coast road, turn left here and 4 miles later we should arrive at Bantry.
Day 3. Thursday. 02-Sep.
Bantry to Baltimore. Est 35 miles or 54 miles.
Just after leaving Bantry, 50 meters after the Westlodge Hotel, there is a right turn signposted “Goats Path Scenic Coast Road.” There are two options here, the first is 6 miles along this road there is a left turn SP Ahakista, a steep climb for 3 miles followed by a 2.5 mile decent into Ahakista. The second option is to continue another 8 miles to Kilcrohane then turn left for Ahakista. The longer route has more steep climbs but the views are worth it. We then continue to the village of Durrus and turn right onto the R591 for 4 miles to Drishane Bridge, we turn left here and a steady climb for 2 miles to a right turn and then another 2 mile climb to agap by the side of Mount Gabriel before we descend toward Schull, we turn left toward Ballydehob and then the N71 to Skibbereen. We then take the R595 to Baltimore. The direct and shorter route which misses out the Sheeps head peninsular and Mt Gabriel will be approx. 35 miles.
Baltimore is the site of the ancient seat of the O’Driscolls, their ruined castle crowns a rock overlooking the pier. The O’Driscolls were a family whose power was undisputed from Kenmare to Kinsale up to the 12th centuary, when after that time other clans began to infiltrate on their power. What happened to them I wonder, are there any left?
Day 4. Friday. 03-Sep.
Cycle Baltimore to Clonakilty. Est 50 miles
We head back to Skibbereen on the R596 but after about 3 miles there is a right turn SP Lough Hyne, we follow this road until we arrive at this attractive lake reserve. Continuing past the lake will take us toward Skibbereen but just before, we take the R596 toward Castletownshend, after 3 miles we take a left SP Union Hall and Glandore. We then pick up the R597 for approx. 5 miles to Rosscarberry. Two options –turn right onto the N71 directly to Clonakility for 9-10 miles or turn right off the N71 after 1 mile (SP Owenahincha beach), we keep to the right and after 1 mile we will come to a cross roads where we turn left followed by a right at the next T- Junction. This will take us down to Dirk Bay Beach, we continue straight we will pass through the village of Ardfield, we then follow the signs to Clonakilty. 34/44 mile options.
Day 5. Saturday. 04-Sep.
Cycle Clonakilty to Macroom via Kinsale. Stay in the same accommodation as evening 1.
We take the N71 for <1 mile then turn off right onto the R600 SP Timoleague 8 miles. The direct route from here is to keep on the R600 to Kinsale or we can explore the Peninsular . The route from Kinsale to Macroom depends on the weather and our spirits. Route TBC Est 46 miles
Day 6. Sunday. 05-Sep.
Pack up, load up and drive to Rosslare for 18.10 sailing home, arrive 21.30.
Approximate Costs per person:
B&B £70 x 5
Food and Guiness, £200?
If you still are interested, please contact me accordingly. Next phase is accommodation and transport planning which depends on number of riders etc.