A Taste of West Cork Food Festival is coming to the islands this September to give visitors a real flavour of West Cork island life
West Cork’s inhabited islands have some great flavours to offer as well as amazing stories to tell, so sign up for events throughout the award-winning foodie festival which runs from 6th to 15th September 2019.
Make sure you book in for what are set to be sell out events!
1. Bere Island Parkrun
Saturday 7th September FERRY DEPARTS CASTLETOWNBERE AT 9.00AM. PARKRUN 9:30AM – 10:45AM PARK RUN: FREE | BUS AND FERRY: €10 | BOOKINGS: 086 – 242 3140
Every Saturday the Bere Island Parkrun takes place at 9.30am. A 5km run – it’s you against the clock. The event takes place at the GAA club in Rerrin village, Bere Island. And it’s free! Please register online before your first run. Meet in the Bakehouse Café after the run for coffee and home baked treats.
2. ISLAND OF THE ARTS
Saturday 7th September 10.30AM | 12 NOON | 1.00PM | 2.00PM FERRY DEPARTS BALTIMORE PIER | €12 (ADULT RETURN) €4 (CHILD RETURN) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT AISLING ON 087 766 96 57
Island is known for its stunning scenery, but it is also home to a vibrant artistic community – giving it the name ‘Island of the Arts’. Meander the lanes of this beautiful island and visit the artist studios across the island. The artists will show their work, discuss their practice and talk about living and working in this very special place. On disembarking the ferry, maps of the artist trail, information and advice on the art trail routes will be distributed to passengers wishing to partake in the trail. As you explore the island, take a welcome break for lunch and refreshments at the Jolly Roger, Sherkin House or Sherkin Northshore. (The Sherkin Island bus will be available as part of its regular service). Recommended donation: €5 (ferry and bus fares excluded)
3. TEN ISLAND TOUR
Saturday 7th September 2.30PM-4.30PM | €25 | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 087 263 8470
This tour leaves from Baltimore Pier and cruises around the beautiful islands of Roaring Water Bay, with a full commentary on the history of the islands that slip past while you enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks.
4. BALTIMORE AND THE ISLANDS
Sunday 8th September 11.00AM-5.00PM | €100 (Includes PICNIC LUNCH) BOOKING ESSENTIAL: INFO@ATLANTICSEAKAYAKING.COM
Head out from the beautiful and picturesque fishing village of Baltimore, paddle past the iconic Baltimore Beacon. Paddle past a seal colony and explore some of the many inhabited and uninhabited islands in Carbery’s Hundred Isles including Sherkin Island, Heir Island, West and East Sceam Islands, Spanish Island and the Catalogue Islands, pausing for a picnic lunch en route.
5. ISLAND COTTAGE
Sunday 8th September 12.OO NOON FERRY | DEMONSTRATION 12.30PM – 12.45PM | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 028 – 38102
Join John Desmond for a cooking demonstration of ceviche of cod and celeriac rémoulade, with tastings. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit Heir Island. Why not bring a picnic for after the demonstration, or take a walk around this sheltered island’s diverse landscape. Alternatively try a taste of sailing at the Heir Island Sailing School at 2pm (contact 028-38511).
6. RESPONSIBLE WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING
Tuesday 10th September 9.30AM & 2.15PM | €55 | BOOKING: 086 – 120 0027 OR EMAILNIC@WHALE.IE
The coastal waters off the southwest of Ireland are a feeding ground for a number of whale species and a year round home for several resident dolphin species including the Harbour Porpoise. Baleen Whales commonly seen off the south coast include Fin Whales and Minke Whales, which makes whale watching in West Cork some of the best whale watching in Europe. Humpback whales feed in the waters of the southwest on a variety of small shoaling fish and may be seen just a few kilometers offshore. Join marine zoologist Nic Slocum on board Voyager for a memorable and informative four hour whale and dolphin watching tour off the West Cork coastline. During the tour, visit North Harbour, Cape Clear Island for refreshments. On the return journey cruise along the beautiful West Cork coastline and around the islands viewing the castles, harbours and inlets that have changed little since the days of the old clan chiefs of O’Mahony and O’Driscoll. Additional whale watching tours are available during the festival, phone or email to enquire about availability.
7. AN AFTERNOON ON CAPE CLEAR ISLAND
Tuesday 10th September 10.30AM FERRY TO CAPE CLEAR ISLAND (FERRY TO BE PAID ON BOARDING) €20 | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 028 – 39159
Join island resident, Seamus O’Driscoll, for a leisurely walk on Cape Clear Island and learn the history of Ireland’s southerly most island. The walk finishes at Cape Clear B&B, Ard Na Gaoithe where a delicious afternoon tea will showcase all the island has to offer! From fresh homemade scones, smoked salmon with wild sorrel leaves and cream cheese served on Cape Clear Island’s own brown bread and delicious millionaire squares, all topped off with a nice hot cuppa! This amazing treat is not to be missed! Ferry departs the island at 16.30pm
8. A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Wednesday 11th September 10.30AM FERRY | 11.00AM MEET AT SHERKIN HOUSE €25 | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: EVENTIBRITE.COM
Join Garry Minihane for a guided walk on Sherkin Island, one of Carbery’s hundred isles. This walk (approximately 8 kilometres) will take you on a journey of discovery around this spectacular island. The walking trail is part on and off road, with a mixture of flat and hill walking and one beach crossing. Underfoot can be a bit rough at times – so a good solid pair of runners or walking boots is recommended. After the walk, return to Sherkin House for a specially prepared lunch of delicious Sherkin Island mussels showcasing West Cork produce.
9. CAPE CLEAR CAPER
Saturday 14th September 10.30AM FERRY TO CAPE CLEAR (FERRY TO BE PAID ON BOARDING) €37 (INC LUNCH, GUIDED WALK & BUS) | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: NEIL@SIOPABEAG.IE OR 028 – 39099
On arrival at Cape Clear, head to Seán Rua’s Restaurant to meet your guides and and before heading off on the Cape Clear Caper, savour delicate periwinkles and Clonakilty black pudding, delicious dipped in island homemade summer fruit coulis. Archaeologist and local historian, Diarmuid Ó Driscéoil, along with biologist Dr Geoff Oliver, host an information packed walking tour of Cape Clear Island. Visit Mara farm, a working farm, and meet the native Irish breeds of cattle, ponies and pigs, the free range ducks, hens and guinea fowl. At the farm, enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea and a freshly baked scone, while watching a local farmer demonstrate the wool making process from sheep through to garment. Walk to the Heritage Centre (for the less energetic there is the option of a bus to the Heritage Centre) and view the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse Multimedia Exhibition along with exhibitions of the island’s history, shipwrecks, archaeology, signal towers and telegraphs, place names, famine, education, genealogy, folk and farm, fishing, boatbuilding and the Baltimore Fishery School. Stroll down the hill to Seán Rua’s Restaurant, in North Harbour, for lunch. Enjoy a plate of West Cork seafood chowder, served with kelp bread and Fiona’s fresh baked brown soda bread, followed by a sweet bowl of blackberry infused carrageen moss – delicious! Board the ferry back to the mainland at 4.30 …or stay overnight on the island! (see Cape Clear Skies Overnight Experience below).
10. CAPE CLEAR SKIES
Saturday 14th September ARD NA GAOITHE B&B: DOUBLE €90 | TWIN €110 (ALL EN SUITE) BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 028 39160 CHLÉIRE HAVEN YURTS: 1-2 PEOPLE SHARING €115 | 3 PEOPLE €125 4 PEOPLE €135| 5-6 PEOPLE €145 BOOKING ESSENTIAL: CHLEIREHAVEN@GMAIL.COM DINNER RESERVATIONS: NEIL@SIOPABEAG.IE OR 028 39099
(Quote ‘West Cork Food’ when making your reservation) After enjoying the Cape Clear Caper, spend the night on this most Southerly of Ireland’s Islands. In a festival special, Cape Clear offers two overnight options. Stay in the local family run Cape Clear Island bed and breakfast, Ard Na Gaoithe, where a warm welcome awaits you, or for something a little different, make the most of this magical island by staying in an authentic Mongolian yurt at Chléire Haven (glamping at its best!). Enjoy an a la carte dinner at Seán Rua’s before joining local musicians for a toe tapping traditional music session at Club Cléire. The next morning, wake to the soothing sounds of Atlantic waves and birdsong. Spend the morning exploring, take a leisurely stroll and enjoy lunch in one of the island’s pubs or restaurants, before heading down to the pier at 3pm to board the Orange Ferry for a tour to the iconic Fastnet Rock,(€15 on boarding). Head back to reality on the mainland at 5pm – refreshed and rejuvenated by a night on the island!
11. EXPLORE WHIDDY ISLAND
Saturday 14th September 11.30AM FERRY | 4.00PM OR 6.00PM RETURN | €20 (INC FERRY) BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 086 – 862 6734
The unique location of Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay is a haven for wildlife and many species of birds. Join island resident Tim O’Leary for a guided walking tour of Whiddy Island, delve into the interesting history of the island while exploring the historical sites and ruins, ending at the Bank House Pub for a delicious lunch of freshly caught and smoked mackerel, mussels and homemade brown bread. (The walk is about 5 kms)
12. RNLI BARBEQUE AT SHERKIN HOUSE
Saturday 14th September 1.00PM – 5.00PM | FROM €20 | 028 – 20116
Award winning chef, Derry Clarke, will once again be behind the coals cooking up a feast at the annual fundraiser barbeque in aid of the RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat Station. This is an afternoon of excellent food and entertainment in a spectacular setting – with dramatic views from the island across to the Baltimore Beacon.
13. ISLAND ADVENTURE
Sunday 15th September 11.00AM – 5.45PM | €40 OR €90 FOR FAMILY (2A+2C) BOOKING ESSENTIAL: 087 – 389 9711 OR 028 – 39159
Join Cape Clear Ferries on this scenic tour which sails through the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay, passing Sherkin Island on the way, before making a stop on Cape Clear Island, where you can visit the Heritage Centre, enjoy a leisurely lunch in the pubs and restaurants and explore the island. The ferry departs Cape Clear pier at 3pm for the famous Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, also known as the Teardrop of Ireland as it was the last sight of Irish land that immigrant ships saw before they disappeared over the horizon bound for America. The water around Cape Clear Island and the Fastnet Rock are known for wildlife sightings of minke whales and dolphins. The ferry captain will be keeping a good lookout and will certainly heave to should these amazing creatures make an appearance on the day. The boat circumnavigates the iconic Fastnet Rock lighthouse for the best views and photo opportunities. The tour ends back at Baltimore at 17.45pm.
14. BANTRY BAY TOUR
Sunday 15th September 3.00PM – 5.30PM | €50 | BOOKING ESSENTIAL: WWW.BANTRYBAYBOATHIRE.IE OR 083-888 1102
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of beautiful Bantry Bay on an exclusive guided tour with Bantry Bay Boat Hire. Leave Bantry Pier in self-drive powerboats for a tour of the natural harbour and cruise around the islands in the bay. Learn about the local history and the thriving local fishing industries. The tour stops on historic Whiddy Island for a delicious sharing Seafood Platter served with Irish brown bread and a glass of Guinness at the Bank House, before returning to Bantry Pier. Life jackets and a full safety briefing provided.