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Sheep’s Head Cycle Loop Directions

Section 1

0 to 10km

From Wolfe Tone Square, go east along New Street and turn right on High Street at the narrow crossroads you soon reach. Go straight through the next crossroads and up a narrow lane. The road widens as you continue uphill.

You leave the town, go over the top and down the other side to a crossroads with the N71. Ignore the road straight ahead, turn left and then take the first right turn after 100 metres, signed Kilcrohane [5km marker].

Take the second left, up a narrow hill. The surface improves as you climb to the spine of the island, with the first great views of the day to enjoy. Cross over the top and ride down the other side.

Keep left at the first junction, then ignore two left turns together to reach a t-junction with a patch of grass in the centre where you turn right and uphill.

Section 2

10 – 20km

The surface is bad but soon improves, and you cross over the mountains again.

The descent is very narrow. A long way down, take the first left turn, where you can see a small stone house, and the road you are on bends right. This lane will soon take you back to the main road, where you turn left [15km marker].

Take the next left, which leads uphill and is signed Ahakista. This climb goes over to the south side of the peninsula. It is not as high as the others and on it you reach a t-junction at Rossnacaheragh after 3.5km. Turn right on the wider road.

Section 3

20 – 30km

Follow this road and you have a good surface all the way to Kilcrohane. When you reach a t-junction, turn right over a narrow bridge and keep going [25km marker] to Kilcrohane.

After going through Kilcrohane, keep going straight. After 2.9k you ignore a left turn at a fork in the road. Take the right, signed Sheep’s Head.

Section 4

30 – 40km

At the next fork soon after, go left (not up the hill).This is The Black Gate. This road will take you [35km marker] all the way to the Sheep’s Head.

Return to The Black Gate the way you came.

Section 5

40 – 50km

At the Black Gate take the left turn there up the hill. The road twists and turns [45km marker] and crosses over to the northern side of the island. Ignore any left turns. When you reach the coast the road turns east.

Section 6

50 – 60km

After you descend to the townland of Glanalin you ride uphill again and take the first right up a very steep hill.

At the first t-junction, take the sharp right to climb back over the centre of the island, past the Pieta statue at the top, and descend into Kilcrohane. Go left in the village on the main road [55km marker]. Keep straight on this road.

Section 7

60 – 70km

Cycle to Ahakista where the main road turns right by a house. It is signed Bantry and you reach a small pier after the first corner. Stay on this coastal road [65km marker] all the way to Durrus.

You join the R591 at Durrus, where you go left.

Section 8

70 – 80km

After [75km marker] 6.3km you reach the N71. Take a left and ride 1.5km to the first corssroads, which you passed earlier. Turn right up the hill.

Go over this, descend into Bantry Town and when the road narrows you reach a crossroads you passed earlier where you can’t go straight ahead. Turn left, go down the hill and turn left again to reach Wolfe Tone Square.