Ballyroon Mountain Walk
We meet at the Black Gate car park at 9:00 – 9:30 am. Taking the trail west along the Old Military Road, we'll stop at the Marriage Stone; a most unusual and interesting monument. Continuing on, we take a detour off the marked way to an as yet unexplained archaeological site, which I recently stumbled across. Please feel free to give your interpretation of it!
Moving on across some moorland, we start the ascent of Ballyroon Mountain with simply gorgeous views over Dunmanus Bay to Three Castle Head on the neighbouring Mizen Peninsula. We'll pass along by the Tooreen Signal Tower near the summit; sadly in ruins following a storm some years ago.
Onwards to the WW11 Lookout Shelter; previously used for looking out over the Atlantic Ocean to spot enemy ships, aircraft or submarines. We'll make our descent via Tooreen Hamlet and stop at the coffee shop for a break. Continuing on to the famous Sheep's Head Lighthouse at the very end of the Peninsula and its stunning views out over the Atlantic.
We then take the trail along the north side of the Peninsula. This to me is the most mysterious and melancholic part of the Sheep's Head Way with its high cliffs, ruined farmsteads and field systems once cradling life on the edge. They are now memorials to tragic losses. Finally we head down to the Cove, Carac Cairn and over the Poets Way, back to the Black Gate.
Type: Loop walk.
Duration: 7 - 8 hours approx.
Grade: A tough but very satisfying walk, both for scenery and history
Distance: 16 kms
Highlights: Marriage Stone, Ballyroon Mountain, WWII Lookout Shelter, Sheepshead Lighthouse, Carac Cairn
Price: € 50 p/p
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