Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Ends of the earth...

The ends of the earth to which I refer is actually Mizen head - Ireland's most south westerly point. Head to Cork, go through the Jack Lynch and keep going and then keep going some more!
When we visited we camped in Barleycove. A gorgeous little campsite just down the road from Crookhaven village with a lovely little beach in a sheltered inlet to enjoy. 

Mizen head is another fifteen-minute drive from there. Top tip is to get there early in the morning. We arrived just as they were opening up and apart from a few student tour guides lazing in the sun at the visitor centre we had the Southerly tip of the country to ourselves. Just as you are guaranteed to see Fungi in Dingle you are guaranteed to see seals off Mizen head. We weren't disappointed. There was a pair basking in the pool below the landmark bridge - absolutely beautiful! 
While we were enjoying the views we noticed a few dolphin fins making their way across the headland. Then a few dolphin fins turned into tens and then into hundreds - it was unbelievable - literally dolphins or as far as you could see. Like a mass migration across the water - what a treat and we got to enjoy the spectacle from the very tip of the country and without a soul around!

It is 7.50 per adult to go through the visitor centre and cross the bridge. There are a few different walkways around and the scenery is worth every cent! Also included is a throwback to junior cert Geography - a spectacular example of a sea arch and sea stack!

Some top tips for your trip to Crookhaven - the campsite owners don't always let you book in advance and operate a first come, first serve basis in the high season. Ring ahead and see what it's looking like then arrive early. Bring a torch for the walk back from the pub at night. It's a narrow road and a busy one when the pub empties out!
Crookhaven village, home of the most southerly pub in Ireland, is a tiny little place and if you are planning on taking a break from campsite cooking and eating out then you will need a reservation during the high season.

On the way to Crookhaven you can take a small detour to Beal na Blaith - the site of the shooting of Michael Collins. It's a humbling place to stop and take in the importance of the history of the area.

Finally, on a summers day, you will be hard pushed to find a more beautiful place to get totally lost so fill up the tank in Dunmanway, turn the sat nav off and just enjoy it!

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