Heritage Week 2016 is a fantastic excuse to head out to the West Cork islands!
Discover the often surprising stories of our islands and Ireland’s past with the help of local guides and expert historians between August 20th and 28th!
Celebrate the Celtic Festival of Lughnasadh
20/21 August – Bere Island
Learn about the rich folklore & cultural traditions surrounding Lughnasadh – one of Ireland’s traditional Celtic festivals – during a wonderful weekend on Bere Island. Lughnasadh traditionally marked the start of autumn in the Celtic calendar year, and this festival investigates the ideas and traditions bound up with this transition from summer.
Discover Lughnasadh’s traditions and customs with UCC Folklorist Dr Marie Annick Desplanques. Enjoy an illustrated talk by Paula Barret on Turf Projects, which captures the quality of light and colour provided by the Irish landscape. And explore the island’s unique architecture and archaeology as island guide Barry Hanley leads you on a guided walk through the island’s extraordinary history.
Check out the full programme
Learn the Craft of Basket-Making
21 August – Bere Island
Included in the Lughnasadh Festival is the chance to learn basket-making with Lynn Kirkham.
Learn one of the most popuar crafts of times gone by in thi absorbing workshop with renowned craftswoman Lynn Kirkham (Price: €35 per person. BOOKING ESSENTIAL) – Call 027 75099 to reserve a place or use the booking form on the event page to book online.
It’s your chance to connect with the rhythms and rituals that helped mark the progress of the Celtic year throughout the centuries.
Walk in the Footsteps of Botanist Ellen Hutchins
Ellen Hutchins was Ireland’s first celebrated female botanist, and the Ballylickey scientist had a strong connection with Whiddy Island where she spent time identifying and sketching previously uncatalogued plants.
Ellen’s life is being explored in the award-winning Ellen Hutchins Festival, and this event gives you the chance to explore the seaweeds on the shores of Whiddy Island with Dr Susan Steele.
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Bere Island Heritage Bus Tour
25 August – Bere Island
Bere island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven. Due to its strategic location, Bere Island has played an important role in Ireland’s story over the centuries.
The island is rich in archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age through to Medieval times, including ring forts, standing stones, wedge tombs and burial sites.
The Bere Island Heritage Bus Tour in Heritage Week will run run each Thursday and alternate between the East and West Ends of Bere Island, taking in sights such as the island’s Martello towers and the traces of the island’s military past.
Find out more
Visit Island Museums & Heritage Sites
Of course there are lots of heritage sites to visit on the West Cork islands throughout the year, from the Franciscan Abbey on Sherkin Island to the miltary heritage sites on Bere Island. Visits to Cape Clear’s museum and the Bere Island Heritage Centre are also worthwhile.
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