Skibbereen is the capital of the Carberies and is a most progressive town. The town developed on the banks of the river Ilen just where the river turns to flow in a westerly direction towards the sea. This town was one of many in Ireland, which sffered very badly during the period of the Irish Famine in the 1840's. The Famine plot survives today in the Abbey Cemetery west of town and Skibbereen Heritage Centre has a full exhibit on this important era.
Things to do around Skibbereen
Skibbereen Heritage Centre
Located in the riverside Old Gasworks Building, tells the tragic story of Ireland’s Great Famine of the 1840s through one of the worst aected areas in all of Ireland. Also oers an in-person genealogy service for the greater West Cork area (by appointment) as well as an exhibition on nearby Lough Hyne. Gift shop, adjacent parking, full wheelchair access and a great welcome!
Off the road to Baltimore, Lough Hyne, Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve, is a salt water lake fed by the sea by a narrow tidal channel known as The Rapids. It nestles in fold of hills 5km south west of Skibbereen, just of the Baltimore road. An area rich in plants and animals, there is a hill walk with magnificent views, as well as lake side roads for easier strolls. Rich in history and heritage, the Lough Hyne Visitor Centre at Skibbereen Heritage is recommended prior to a visit to the lake for an informed experience of this unique area.
Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre
West Cork Arts Centre is a hub of arts activity right in the heart of Skibbereen. This summer Uillinn hosts Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger (20 July to 13 October), a world class exhibition from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, USA, which has the largest collection of Great Hunger-related art in the world. The exhibition is accompanied by a rich and diverse programme of tours, talks, lectures and events at Uillinn, and throughout West Cork. See www.westcorkartscentre.com for details.
Whale and Dolphin Watching in West Cork
Come aboard our fast and well equipped catamaran Voyager, for a whale and dolphin watching trip around the beautiful islands and headlands o the West Cork coast. Enjoy a truly close up view of the whales, dolphins and porpoises that frequent this unique environment.
Tel: Nic on 00353 86 120 0027.
Canon Goodman Statue
Located in the grounds of the Church of Ireland. A life sized statue of Canon James Goodman. Canon Goodman (1828-1896) was a collector of Irish music, a Professor of the Irish language and was Rector of Abbeystrewry Parish over a 29 year period.
The Islands of West Cork
Bere Island is the largest of the West Cork islands. The island was a former British military base and a number of forts survive from those times.
Is one of Carbery’s Hundred Isles that lie scattered throughout Roaring Water Bay and beyond. It has an incredible diversity of landscape for such a small island.
Cape Clear Island
Ireland’s southernmost island and is one of the surviving Irish language speaking areas in the south west of Ireland. Ireland’s southern most inhabited Gaeltacht island, 3 miles long by 1 mile wide, lies 8 miles off the coast of West Cork. 3 miles west of the island stands the solitary Fastnet Rock. Saint Ciarán, the island’s patron saint was born on Cape Clear. Saint Ciarán’s well is one of the first features you encounter on arrival at Trá Chiaráin where the Islanders gather each year on the 5th of March to celebrate his feast day.
Sherkin Island is located in the beautiful Roaringwater Bay and is the second largest of Carbery’s Hundred Isles.
Whiddy Island is located in Bantry Bay, which is one of the world’s finest deep water harbours.
Dursey Island is located at the extreme south -westerly tip of the Beara Peninsula. Access is by the only cable car in Ireland, a dramatic experience as it carries you across the spectacular Dursey sound.