BANTRY HOUSE - Home of the Earls of Bantry and their descendants
Bantry House is not only one of the finest historic houses in Ireland but it also commands one of the best views overlooking Bantry Bay in West Cork. It has been open to the public since 1946, the first to be so in the country and possibly also in the British Isles. The house is still owned and lived in by Egerton Shelswell-White, who is a direct descendant of Richard White (1, Earl of Bantry), and his family.
An award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the Car park and Visitor Centre, the Signal Station is a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge, the Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes, choughs – the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off shore. South, the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, Ireland’s Teardrop, was the last landfall seen by many emigrants to America and one of Marconi’s first telegraph stations. Mizen Signal Station had the first Radio Beacon in Ireland, 1931; the history of Safety at Sea communications is here, Wireless Signals, Racon, GPS and DGPS. Displays about the lives of the Irish Lights Keepers who left the Mizen in 1993, The Bridge with full Navigational Aids Simulator, Automatic Weather Station, Maps, Guided Tours. Mild Climate all year. Visit Mizen Café and Shop@theMizen. Coaches and Bus Tours welcome.
Walk the Sheep’s Head Way, winner of a Waterford Crystal Walker Award. Chosen as the best walk in Ireland by Country Walking magazine, this 55 mile long distance walk has a huge variety of terrain all with beautiful views and there are many long and short loop walks available.
There is a magnificent “ring” drive starting outside Bantry along the Goats Path to Kilcrohane, back then through Ahakista (stop off at beautiful Air India Memorial), then onto Durrus. Contrast the sheer cliffs and stark beauty of the north side (the sunsets are incredible) with the more lush south side where the road runs right alongside Dunmanus Bay.