Bere Island

The West Cork Islands open weekend June 14th & 15th. Special deals available for accommodation on Bere Island. Please check out www.bereisland.net for details, prices starting from € 30 pps and kids half price, just mention the Islands open weekend when booking..... [read more]

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The West Cork Islands open weekend June 14th & 15th Special deals available for accommodation on Bere Island. Please check out www.bereisland.net for details, prices starting from € 30 pps and kids half price, just mention the Islands open weekend when booking.

The Bere Island Mid summer run
Saturday July 12th 2014
Come to Bere Island and take part in a 5K walk, a 5K run or a 10K run. Enjoy beautiful scenery while you run, great views over Bantry Bay.
Traditional music in the bars in the evening.
Come for the weekend and stay on the Island, enjoy local seafood in one of the restaurants. For details of accomodation and restaurants log onto www.bereisland.net

Bere Island – Nature, culture and heritage
Bere Island’s place in history is assured. Its Martello towers date from the Napoleonic wars. Several American ships based here during World War I met their fate at Pearl Harbour. After the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, the island became one of three Irish ports retained by the UK.

Why has it so often been at the centre of events? The answer is the island’s strategic position at the mouth of Europe’s deepest harbour. Berehaven and Lawrence Cove offer unrivalled shelter for boats of all sizes, something settlers have recognised since the Bronze Age – as the Druid’s Altar wedge tomb, St. Michael’s Holy Well and a scattering of standing stones and ring forts testify.

But it is its military might for which Bere is best known. In addition to the Martello towers, the island is home to a signal tower and, Lonehort, a military fortification dating from 1899 and housing two six-inch guns, an infantry trench, engine house and various underground structures.

The result is unique, almost like an open-air museum. A looped walk (guides available) takes in the best of the sites, with wonderful mainland views of the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountain ranges of the Beara Peninsula, and the marina is perfectly suited to visiting sailors.

That said, the deep waters of Bantry Bay are not solely taken advantage of by man. Killer whales, basking shark and bottle-nosed dolphins are all regular visitors, making Bere Island one of the primary bases in the southwest for diving, sea safari, deep-sea fishing and watersports.

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Bere island west cork, Ireland

The West Cork Islands open weekend June 14th & 15th. Special deals available for accommodation on Bere Island. Please check out www.bereisland.net for details, prices starting from € 30 pps and kids half price, just mention the Islands open weekend when booking..... [read more]

Fact File

Location: Bantry Bay, Co. Cork. By road, the ferry port at Castletownbere is roughly 48km (1hr 40 mins) from Kenmare and 51km (1hr 20mins) from Bantry.

Size: 11km x 5km. Bere Island can be enjoyed in a short visit, but a longer stay (around two days) makes for a much more rewarding visit.

Population: 200+

Bere Island boasts a local theatre troupe. It has also been voted Ireland’s Tidiest Island five times in a row!

Facilities: B&Bs, self-catering, pubs, café, restaurants, craft shops, boat hire, heritage centre.

Top 3 Activities: Military history, Walking, Marine life

Festival highlights: West Cork Islands open weekend (June) Midsummer run (July) Golf Classic (August), Regatta (August), Heritage Week (August).

Getting there: Ferries sail year-round from Castletownbere. Sailings take 10 minutes.
Bere Island Ferries (353 27 75009; 353 86 2423140; www.bereislandferries.com) depart from Castletownbere, 2kms away on the Beara Peninsula.
Murphy’s Ferry Service (353 27 75014; 353 87 238 6095; www.murphysferry.com) departs from Pontoon, 3 miles on the Glengariff side of Castletownbere.

Getting around: Visitors can explore Bere Island on foot, by bus, or by hiring a bike.

Find out more:
Bere Island Projects Group (353 27 75099; www.bereisland.net) or Bere Island Heritage & Information Service (353 27 75956; mailto:biheritage@gmail.com, www.discoverireland.ie/islands

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