Sheep’s Head Cycle Loop
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This amazing ride travels the length of the Sheep’s Head – a beautiful, remote and rarely visited peninsula in West Cork. It’s the perfect cycling destination, with no through-traffic and few people living in the area.
There is a low ridge running along the centre of the peninsula, which provides all of the best views on this ride. You cross it three times and can see the length of the Beara Peninsula to the north and the Mizen Peninsula to the south.
You will see plenty of cyclists around here precisely because it is so quiet. Cars are only occasional at the best (worst) of times.
Kilnaruane Pillar Stone near Bantry features unusual 9th Century carvings and is only a couple of minutes walk from the road.
The Sheep’s Head – There is a lighthouse on the western point of the peninsula. It is a 2km trek from where the road ends.
Pieta – Marian Statue – The marble statue and cross on top of a hill beside the road were erected in 1968.
Sheep’s Head Cycle Loop Useful Info
The first deviation inland takes you over two climbs where the road surface can be very rough. It’s still a great ride, but if this concerns you there is the option to take the main road along the northern cost of the peninsula until you join the route and turn south towards Ahakista.
There are numerous road options on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula – this route takes you along the top of the central ridge as much as possible. But you can easily shorten the route on the day.
There are buses from Bantry to Cork. Bus Eireann has more details. There are no train stations in the area.
Though you never have any high passes, some of the climbs can be quite steep, which is typical of the Sheep’s Head area.