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Skibbereen and Baltimore

Skibbereen

 

Skibbereen
The local hub for banking, clothing, household goods and groceries, Skibbereen is a busy town. At the top of Main Street is the famous newsagents where you have to buy your lottery ticket: several winners had bought in this shop! Next door is Fields coffee shop which serves delicious pastries, and behind is Fields grocers: this is an amazing supermarket packed with everything you could possibly need, including the best of West Cork produce (cheeses, meats, fresh oysters) as well as an extensive selection of imported items and a well-stocked wine and whiskey section. There are plenty of good pubs for evening entertainment, and the nearby village of Baltimore is a great place for evening food and drink.

Baltimore
A popular little fishing port with a wealth of top-class food and drink in a tiny area on the harbour, where locals and visitors gather in the evenings. The ferries to Sherkin Island and Cape Clear depart from the harbour here; there are sailing clubs; there is a swimming pool and leisure centre for residents of the Baltimore Harbour Hotel (phone +353 28 20361).

Although some do close in winter, the choice of restaurants and pubs makes this a great place to stay in summer. The famouse seafood restaurant, Chez Youen is right on the harbour, the bistro-style The Mews is nearby, and the inexpensive grill and pizzeria La Jolie Brise is very popular, while if you're up to climbing the hill, then Rolf's Hostel and Restaurant is a tranquil and comfortable place to restore your spirits.

The Beacon, Baltimore

 

There are also several pubs serving bar food of varying standards. Miles of walking too, along the inner and outer bays, and up to the Beacon, a white-washed cone which marks the entrance to the bay, with marvellous views.

Further away is the 'bottomless' Lough Hyne, an inner sea-lough, and Knockomagh Hill, which gives great views over the lough, the ocean and even some of the islands on a good day.

Cape Clear Island is 15 km or 45 minutes by boat from Baltimore: less than 200 people live in this Irish-speaking community now, and it's known more for its rare birds, wild flowers, seals and dolphins. Sherkin Island is closer to Baltimore (10 minutes by boat) and even more sparsely populated than Cape Clear: on a good day, the sandy beaches are very welcoming.

Skibbereen tourist office:
phone +353 28 21766

 



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