Three Very Different Beaches on the Coast of Cork, Ireland

October 9.

We spent the day in County Cork driving from Skibbereen around to the fishing villages of Baltimore and Union Hall, and then onto Kinsale via the Drombeg Stone Circle and the Timoleague Friary Ruins

This post is about a trio of very different beaches we discovered while driving the Wild Atlantic Way on the coast of Cork.

When driving anywhere we frequently make exploratory turn-offs onto little roads that often turn out to be people’s driveways, or end rather abruptly (and not scenically).

With the WAW app we went down all these tiny little roads and ended up at hidden coves and secret beaches. Even with a fair bit of research I can’t find the names for any of these beaches that we discovered so here goes…

The first beach we came to after Drombeg Stone Circle was sandy with the tide was way out. It was full of sea birds like this Oyster Catcher, with its distinctive red beak and legs, all looking for something to eat in the tidal flats.
A bird called an Oyster Catcher struts his stuff on the beach after Drombeg, IrelandIt was very cold and windy and this poor heron was getting his feathers ruffled. We didn’t even get out of the car.Heron getting his feathers ruffled by the wind on a stormy day on the tidal flats of a beach just after Drombeg Stone Circle in IrelandThe next beach along came with a batch of warnings. A sign warning of hidden sharp rocks under the waterA sign warning of hidden sharp rocks under the water at the beach after Drombeg, IrelandA sign warning of restricted breeds of dogs.
Warning sign on which dog breeds must be muzzled on a beach near Galley Head in IrelandA sign warning of rip currents.
'Danger, Rip Currents' sign at a rocky beach near Galley Head in IrelandFor me the joy was the slatey rocks on the beach that looked like Chinese paintings. Wavy slate-like rocks resemble a Chinese painting at a beach near Galley Head in IrelandWhile the rocks of the north half of the WAW tended be uniformly grey, once we hit County Kerry and County Cork the colours showed up in glorious abandon.Wavy slate-like rocks resemble a Chinese painting at a beach near Galley Head in IrelandThese rocks look like slate but with wavy patterns that resemble the limestone karsts of Asia.Wavy slate-like rocks resemble a Chinese painting at a beach near Galley Head in IrelandWavy slate-like rocks resemble a Chinese painting at a beach near Galley Head in IrelandAfter this we carried onto to Galley Head, with its its own private castle, underground inlet, textured rock formations and a private lighthouse that made it rate an entire post all on its own. The ocean waves crashing on the striated rocks of the cliffs at Galley Head, IrelandThe last beach we poked into, after Galley Head, was completely different again, with ferns and bracken at the edges. Ferns & bracken at a beach near Galley Head in IrelandGrassy sand dunes. Life buoy signs at the grassy dunes of a beach near Galley Head in Ireland Stormy skies. Stormy skies over the ocean on the beach after Galley Head in IrelandA map from an info sign in the region. We had spent the night in Skibbereen, driven to Lough Hyne and the fishing villages of Baltimore and Union Hall, and then onto Galley Head at the end of this map.
Cork Peninsula Route Around IrelandThis Lonely Planet map shows exactly the same region as above but highlights different towns and sites. The Bronze Age Stone Circle in Drombeg, at the far right of this map, is just after Galley Head.Lonely Planet Map of Route we took through Beara Peninsula and then Mizen HeadThe map below starts roughly where the above map stops. The beaches in this post were before and after Galley Head, and then we carried on to Kinsale stopping at the Timoleague Friary Ruins.Route on a Lonely Planet Map of Kinsale and CorkThe WAW app no longer seems to be available but Ireland.com has some great write-ups about the drive. This region is called the Haven Coast on ireland.com and their site has some great ideas for a road trip.

 

2 responses to “Three Very Different Beaches on the Coast of Cork, Ireland

  1. Love the rock abstracts, especially the last, most colorful one. One of my favorite things to photograph!

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