Bullig Bay Loop, Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland

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!

About Susanne Iles

Contemporary symbolist artist, writer,curator,and geek/nerd girl . Interested in photography, mythology, alchemy,ancient history,science,gaming and magic.
This entry was posted in Beach, Beara Peninsula, Bere Island, Birds, Castletown Berehaven, Castletownbere, Dunboy Castle, Historical Site, Ireland, Island, Puxley Manor, Ring of Beara, Shore Angling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Bullig Bay Loop, Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland

  1. dospoet says:

    Awesome Susanne, your images are it so atmospheric of the place. These photos are beautiful and the comments are both interesting in themselves and also proof that the place has captivated you.

    Please consider a more permanent record such as doing a local book on these places, this is a prime example of a picture being worth a thousand words; a person can stand at your vantage point and not only see where they are going but what they can see as they go down the trail with successive pictures. It would take some more detail but not much more than what you already have.

    As a ‘geek/nerd’ with a little practice and modern technology you could use a digital dictaphone as you walk along and later use a sound recognition to digital character to get most of the transcription transferred to digital characters and prepared for a final edit. You would seem to be an ideal person to put such a project together and you should consider it. I have experience at the publishing end, I am now in the process of switching to small print, repeat runs digital printing and would be delighted to share the information with you re book production if interested.

    There are probably hundreds of readers who would be interested in such a book, especially with Bill also recommending it as I think he would, especially if you do direct distribution to customers and I always found the local Beara shops and supermarkets great to stock and look after my own books. Please give such a book project as outlined serious consideration.

    Keep up the good work. DO’S.

  2. Karen Lee-Lohmann says:

    Hello, dear Susanne!
    All along my life an inner voice came up from time to time, invited me to look at Ireland (was born in Germany, roots in Scandinavia etc.) – without to listen to that voice so well. But in the last times this voice got happenstances, and I had to look up! … the landscapes, waters, skies (most around the Beara) – poetry – keltic wisdom – strange, beautiful language – and – and – . Now I know who called within that inner voice : my poem-soul ! (I’m a writer.) How it was possible to miss that so long ?!

    Now: I can’t visit Ireland this time in person. But until I have to stay on this side of the water I walk trough your wonderful blog-sides, drink there some drops for my (sometimes homesick) longing – and simply enjoy my walk.
    Your sides are perfect for that.
    I don’t know if I would be your guest so well, follow your roads in a book, because the secret of your sides are (for me) in just the today’s hellos. Always this dearly and smart, aesthetical sensitivity that lives inside to do just this step. Careful to enjoy, filling the soul but without to take. And the photos … I can feel it through all that way to Germany as if you just was there – as well because I know that you just was there. Both. The quality of the photos. And my knowledge about that you just was there.

    Thank you.

    All the best and beautiful moments for you and your family and all you care for.

    • Susanne Iles says:

      @Karen…thank you for your most joyful letter, your words are such a blessing..in time perhaps we can share a cup of tea together and share our stories….

      • Karen Lee-Lohmann says:

        Good morning, dear Susanne!

        Woke up with the birds (which is easy in summer), put my bedspread out to air it under the rising sun, got my big pot of milk-coffee and set at my writing-table to continue my writings. Now it’s 7:35 am. Came up a little restless feeling – time for a first break – and did what usually I do not do in the middle of writing : opened my e-mail-box :
        What a lovely welcome of this day to read your dear hello!
        Thank you, Susanne.
        And of course your idea about the cup of tea makes me happy. I care for it dearly …

        Have a wonderful day !
        And please give regards from me to the beautiful place in which you live, with a smile within. Thank you.


  3. Susanne,

    I stumbled upon your site while doing a search on the Children of Lir for an artist friend of mine. I have explored and studied the area of Ireland around Dublin and County Meath, and I have spent much time in my family’s home county, County Clare, and I have traveled to the Dingle peninsula where a good friend lives, but so far I have not had a chance to explore Cork or the southernmost areas of Ireland. My son and his fiance (then, now wife) traveled to Cork and the south on their first trip with just the two of them, and they have made the area their own special place. They spoke of the beauty of the seashore and the forests, something your site made graphically clear. Reading your accounts and looking at your photography, I found myself longing for Ireland. I have not been back since 2004 when I participated in the Tara Festival and rituals on the sacred hill. I also found myself wanting to expand geographically my knowledge of Ireland, specifically into the areas you describe (and the far North which I also have not yet explored). Thank you for rekindling the flame of the homeland in my heart tonight. Perhaps it is time once again to petition the Tuatha De for the means to come home again. Thank you for your vision that sparked my own vision anew. May the renewal of Spring bring you great renewal and prosperity.

    Michael R. Gorman
    Sacramento, Ca

    • Susanne Iles says:

      @Michael Thank you for writing such a beautiful letter. I can tell, truly, there is a song in your heart. Beara is one of the loveliest places on earth..there is a special kind of magic on the Peninsula. Sometimes I don’t think Ireland is an island at all. Sometimes I think Ireland is a collection of stories masquerading as land.

  4. James Byrne says:

    Beara is one of Ireland’s richest archaeological treasure houses and one of the loveliest places on earth as well as it has a wild majesty; it’s believed to be the site of the first landing of the Celts in Ireland. For more information you can visit http://www.hillwalkireland.com/blog/walking-the-beara-way.

  5. This is a great location in Ireland which is enriched with greenery. The wet and clean breeze here can make your mind relaxing and make you comfortable. Infect the Bullig Bay Loop is a great mixture of greenery and ocean sight.

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