thriving town of Skibbereen is the capital of West Cork, centre for
all the agricultural, industrial and tourist activities of a wide
region. Skibbereen located on the bank of the River Ilen is the hub of West Cork, it is the ideal base from which to
discover the choice of beautiful fishing villages all within 10-15
minutes drive. Mizen Head, Baltimore, Glandore,
Union Hall, Ballydehob and
quaint and remarkably unspoilt. There is also Carberys Hundred Isles,
some of the islands such as Sherkin and Cape Clear just minutes by
boat from Baltimore.
Skibbereen is just 1hr 20 minutes from Cork or 2hrs from Kerry.
But Skibbereen, the town, has more to offer. When the
Irish Famine took its toll in the mid 1800s, the town of Skibbereen
was one of the worst affected in all of Ireland, a fact testified by
the mass graves at Abbeystrewry, where almost 10,000 are buried. This
era is remembered in
Famine Exhibition at Skibbereen Heritage Centre. Follow the
Skibbereen Trail, a historical walking tour of old Skibbereen and
visit sites which have direct links with the Great Famine.
Other attractions in the Skibbereen area include the West Cork
Art Centre, a focus for many of the activities of the artists,
craftspeople and writers who have come to live in this area. In the
immediate area, there is an 18-hole golf course, game and sea angling,
coarse fishing, walking and cycling, scuba diving and sites of
international archaeological interest. Also nearby is Lough Hyne,
Irelands first Marine Nature Reserve. Find out about the history,
folklore and formation of this renowned natural phenomenon at
Skibbereen Heritage Centre. There are also guided historical
tours around Skibbereen so why not explore its history.
The West Cork Garden Trail is held
annually throughout June. For those interested in Cycling in West Cork
and the Skibbereen area there are 3 main routes such as the 3 hour
Atlantic Coastal Loop taking in many of West Corks beautiful
headlands, the 3 house Baltimore Loop, and around the Lough Hyne area,
and finally the Mount Kid Loop a 3 to 4 hour cycle taking in
Roaringwater Bay, Mount Kid and back to Skibbereen. If you have not
brought your own bicycle you can hire a bike in Skibbereen town and
away you go. Tragumna Beach is close by for all those swimmers.
Skibbereen's Farmers Market held ever Saturday morning in Skibbereen's town centre is a delight, where you can
purchase local produce such as fruit, vegetables and herbs, freshly
baked breads and cakes, local West Cork Honey, cheeses (such as the
well known award winning Gubbeen Cheese) and organic meats, and
locally caught fish, what could be better, and local crafts such as
Bog Wood Sculptures, Hand Crafted Furniture from Irish Timber and
pubs in the town and award winning restaurants scattered all around,
there is also plenty to do in the evening.
Skibbereen truly offers the visitor an a la carte
menu, with something for everyone's taste great places to visit,
superb shopping, boating, cycling, whale watching, excellent accommodation, a wide selection of pubs and
restaurants and that relaxed atmosphere that has made West Cork famous
throughout the world.