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West Cork Beaches

West Cork Beaches

A look at some popular West Cork Beaches in the surrounding area of Bantry and 14 Wolfe Tone Square.

Garryvoe Beach

Garryvoe beach is a mix of pebbles and rock set in the beautiful south-east of Cork. It lies on the R632 a short drive up the coast from Shanagarry. In summer this Blue Flag beach is a popular destination for families and the facilities here are good, as you would expect. There is access to the beach for wheelchairs and pushchairs and a children’s play area.Across the bay lie the Ballycotton Cliffs, which have a good cliff-top walk with excellent views and an opportunity to spot some of the local wildlife. On clear days it is possible to see Ballycotton Island from Garryvoe Beach, with its picturesque lighthouse.


Garrettstown is a popular sandy beach. Despite this it still retains a rural feel and has not been over developed.It’s a great family beach with all the facilities including a seasonal lifeguard service. With a ramp down to the beach Garrettstown is also accessible.This is one of the most popular surfing beaches in the area and is home to a surf school.


Barleycove is a stunning, sandy beach in a sheltered bay between Mizen Head and Lyroe peninsulas close to the Southwesterly tip of Ireland. The pristine sand is cleaned regularly and the beach has been awarded coveted Blue Flag status. When the sun shines this can be one of the loveliest beaches you’ve ever visited. Whatever the weather it is a great place to come to shake off the cobwebs. The beach is large enough for good walks and has lovely views over the dramatic Cork coastline. 

Barleycove Beach

Barleycove beach is backed by extensive sandy dunes which were formed by a tidal wave which swept through the Atlantic after the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. The dunes provide a habitat to a variety of animal life and have resulted in the beach being designated an EU Special Area of Conservation.

This beach is an ideal destination for a family day out. Barleycove is approached via a boardwalk which turns into a moving bridge as the path crosses over a river estuary. Signs warn of dangerous currents and rip tides.this rural beach can be quite difficult to find, and this, combined with the fact that there is plenty of space means that it seldom gets too busy. A single seasonal hotel sits immediately adjacent to the beach and offers fine views across the bay.

Inchydoney Beach 

This vast, sandy beach, on Inchydoney Island, is one of the most beautiful to be found along this stretch of the coastline. The pale, pristine sand is backed by dunes and gentle rolling countryside. The beach has two separate sections, divided by the rocky Virgin Mary Headland. The swell here can be excellent and there are good opportunities for surfing. A surf school operates on the beach, which caters for all levels of ability. The beach is also popular with families who come here to play in the sand, picnic and hunt for shells or marine life in the rockpools around the headland. Lifeguards operate here during the summer season and the beach has been awarded Blue Flag status. An award-winning hotel and spa overlooks the beach.

The Island of Inchydoney is connected to the mainland by two causeways, and it is easy to drive here from the vibrant town of Clonakilty, where a good range of facilities can be found. Cork city is just over an hours’ drive away.The approach road to the car park is quite narrow and during the summer months it can be quite difficult to find a parking spot. Although the beach itself is popular, there is plenty of room for everyone here and it never feels overcrowded.

The Warren Beach

The Warren Beach, Rosscarbery, is a small sandy rural beach backed by dunes and situated at the mouth of the Roscarbery River. The Rosscarbery Estuary is a sea inlet fed by small rivers from the north and north-west. At the southern end of the beach is a harbour wall which protects the entrance to the rivermouth. A few small boats still fish from here.  The area around the beach has been designated as a Natural Heritage Area and wildlife abounds

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