The weather was glorious yesterday so we decided to make our way to the beach. We chose the shoreline of the Bullig Bay Loop because it is within hiking distance of our home and the trail head is well groomed and easy to access. We started at the entrance to Dunboy Woods (near Dunboy Castle) and followed the path.
Parts of the trail are richly forested with ruins of guardhouses, watchtowers, and walled enclosures tucked here and there in the undergrowth. It will only be a matter of time before Nature reclaims it all.
The path winds easily down to Bullig Bay. It is so beautiful! There’s an accessible little island in the centre and the water is clean and clear. Large fish were lazily swimming around the floating kelp beds, their fins sparkling in the sunshine.
The beach is rocky so I would recommend sandals or water shoes if you plan to go for a swim. That being said, there are parts of the beach where the stones have been finally ground by the waves, making it more comfortable for walking barefoot or just stretching out in the sun.
Because the day was still beautiful we decided to take the long way home and continue on our journey around the Bullig Loop. The trail takes you through forest and then up to a well marked stile and farmer’s field. This is where things get a little tricky. Once through the stile you look up, way up a hill with a narrow pathway. It’s important to get your bearings here because, as you can see, the path is virtually invisible at first. The important thing to do is look for the trail marker. See it there? Way at the top? It looks like a little stick just right of centre. That’s the direction we needed to go.
Thankfully the path becomes very obvious in no time. (I wonder how old those walls are?)
Although this last leg of the Loop was a little steep it was totally worth the hike even though we’d already put in a full day at the beach. The views of the Ardnakinna Lighthouse on Bere Island were stunning. I’m hoping to get over there to explore the island before the end of summer. The history and magic of Bere Island is supposed to be breathtaking.
Before heading through the gate and back onto the road to our home we lingered a while at the top of the trail and soaked in the views of Castletownbere and Bere Island. It’s really a moving experience to feel the sun on your face, and the ocean breeze in your hair while listening to the seagulls calling and wheeling around the cliffs below.
When you come to the Beara Peninsula for a visit make sure you pack a picnic lunch and a camera. I can guarantee that you will be in no hurry to leave.
Have a great summer everyone!