Sheep's Head Way

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The Sheep's Head Way at Bantry

The Sheep's Head Way is a long-distance trail of 55 miles which winds around the Sheep's Head Peninsula of County Cork. The route follows old tracks and roads around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back.

The trail is very accessible and is well signposted (see image on right). The route combines low and rugged hills with coastline and cliffs.

The route

The walkway is straightforward and well signposted. It can be walked during any time between April and October;[1] out of season the weather can make cliff walks treacherous.

The trail is divided into eight stages—each representing a half-day's walking.

Among those responsible for establishing the Sheep's Head Way were Tom Whitty, an American, local farmer James O’Mahony, and Jim Leonard.

Connecting trails

The Sheep's Head Way network of trails includes 20 looped walks, and extends eastwards to include Kealkill, Drimoleague and Gougane Barra where it intersects with the Beara-Breifne Way.

A Sheep's Head Way cycle trail also exists, and begins in Ballylickey, County Cork. It extends around the coastline of the Sheep's Head peninsula, and ends in Ballydehob.

Outside links


  1. Top Five Scenic Drives in Ireland on


  • Clarke, Amanda: 'Walking the Sheep's Head Way' (2014) ISBN 1500198552
  • Keane, Barry: 'The Beara, Sheep's Head, and Mizen Peninsulas: 40 walks and scrambles' (Collins Press, 1997) p 87 ISBN 1-898256-29-2
Long-distance footpaths in the Republic of Ireland

National Waymarked Trails:   Ballyhoura WayBarrow WayBealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGallBeara WayBlackwater WayBluestack WayBurren WayCavan WayCroagh Patrick Heritage TrailDingle WayDublin Mountains WayEast Clare WayEast Munster WayGrand Canal WayHymany WayKerry WayLough Derg WayMid Clare WayMiners Way and Historical TrailMonaghan WayMulteen WayNore Valley WayNorth Kerry WayOffaly WayRoyal Canal WaySheep's Head WaySlieve Bloom WaySlieve Felim WaySligo WaySouth Leinster WaySuck Valley WayTáin WayTipperary Heritage WayWestern WayWestmeath WayWicklow Way

Greenways:   Boyne GreenwayDublin-Galway GreenwayGreat Southern TrailGreat Western Greenway

Others:   Bangor TrailMalin to Mizen