Sherkin Island – The Island of the Arts
Sherkin Island has all the seclusion of an island hideaway, yet it lies just 10 minutes from Baltimore by ferry. The island has a mild climate (when frost hits the lawns of Baltimore, you can find green grass out here), and yet it still boasts stunning Atlantic scenery to match any on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Little surprise, then, that so many non-islanders have made Sherkin their home. The summer months, in particular, see crowds from far and wide flocking to the island – with the result that the ancestral hub of the O’Driscoll clan (their ivy-clad castle lies just above the pier) is today a melting pot of culture, life, and art.
Sherkin even offers a Visual Arts Degree Programme, and work by the island’s many artists and designers is sold at the Island Crafts Centre in Baltimore.
Certainly, artists have much to inspire them – from the islands dotting Roaringwater Bay to the ruins of Sherkin’s 15th century Franciscan Abbey; from passing porpoises to playful otters, rare birds and spectacular beaches and coves, the island is almost a work of art in itself.
Visitors will find a warm and hospitable welcome year-round, but it is in July and August that Sherkin really comes into its own. Traditional music and the riotous colour of an annual regatta – a big splash in the island’s social calendar – are highlights of a time when walkers, swimmers, sailors, and island-hoppers join to soak up Sherkin Island’s atmosphere.
Eight things to do on Sherkin Island
1. Take a Tour of the Island’s Arts Studios
Find inspiration on a day tour which will take you into Sherkin’s studios to meet the island’s artists and see them at work. It’s a great opportunity to connect with Sherkin’s creative community, and you’ll quickly see why people are inspired by the landscape of the island and the quality of West Cork’s light. Contact Aisling Moran to find out about the next tour dates or to schedule a visit for your tour group. Tel. +353 (0)87 766 9657.
2. Swim from Silver Strand
A swim on Silver Strand with the Atlantic stretching out in front of you, and a view across to Cape Clear, is one of the true pleasures of a visit to the West Cork islands. A lovely stroll from the ferry brings you across the island to this unspoilt spot where holiday memories are waiting to be made.
3. Visit an Island Art Exibition
Sherkin Island’s artists put on regular exhibitions to showcase their work. For details of current exhibtions see our island events calendar.
4. Try Sea Kayaking around Sherkin
Roaring Water Bay, and Sherkin in particular, is one of the premium locations in Ireland for sea kayaking. With sheltered waters, the wild Atlantic seaboard, idyllic sandy beaches, and deserted islands, there is something for people of all abilities. Why not join Pat and H20 Sea Kayaking for an adventure of your own! Pat and H20 Sea Kayaking offer a half-day or full-day tour. No experience is necessary and all equipment is provided. Call 089 2799187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details see H2O kayaking website
5. Connect with Your Creativity on Sherkin’s North Shore
Sherkin North Shore is the place to escape to when you’re looking for a yoga retreat, a writer’s weekend or another inspiring break to connect with your creativity. The welcoming retreat is perched right over Roaringwater Bay in a location that offers stunning sea views and a variety of walks to the island’s five safe and sandy beaches.
Tel. +353 (0)87618 5368, email email@example.com or see sherkinnorthshore.com
6. Feel the Heat in Sherkin North Shore’s Sauna
Come have a Sauna at Sherkin North Shore this summer, after enjoying the beach and cafe nearby. Open 4-8pm each day during the summer, but booking is essential.
Tel: Dan on +353 (0)83 358 0819
7. Enjoy Great Music at The Jolly Roger
Sherkin Island’s pub, The Jolly Roger, just a few minutes’ walk from the ferry, is a great place to relax and enjoy some brilliant music, especially in the summer months! Food is available in summer from 1-7pm.
Tel: +353 (0)85 141 2503 or see https://www.facebook.com/TheJollyRogerPub/
8. Take a walk on Sherkin Island
There are three marked walks on Sherkin Island which are easy to follow and family friendly. Two are 5k long and one is 3k long. All, including the Horseshoe Loop, are well signposted.
Visit Sherkin Island
Start planning your visit to Sherkin Island, which is just a short ferry ride from Baltimore, West Cork.
How to get to Sherkin
Ferries sail daily from Baltimore to Sherkin Island, year-round. Sailings take 10 minutes.
Plan your visit
For more information on visiting Sherkin Island – with links to accommodation and things to do, visit the Sherkin Island website.
SHERKIN ISLAND FAQs
Is Sherkin Island open to visitors?
Yes! Sherkin is open to visitors year round. Just take the short 10-minute ferry ride to the island from the charming village of Baltimore, West Cork. A car park is available close to the ferry departure point in Baltimore – please note that this can be busy in summertime, so allow time to park safely before your ferry departure time.
Do people live on Sherkin Island?
According to Census 2016, the island has a year-round population of 110.
Can you swim on Sherkin Island?
Sherkin has four beautiful beaches. The Abbey Pier and Horseshoe Harbour are both popular swimming spots, as is Silver Strand.
Is there transport on Sherkin?
A minibus meets each ferry, and you can use it to reach your accommodation or other spots on the island. To contact the minibus company, call +353 (0)86 043 1956.
Are there places to stay on Sherkin Island?
For up to date information on places to stay and places to eat on Sherkin, check out the island’s website.
Can I bring a car to Sherkin?
Most visitors travel to Sherkin Ireland as foot passengers, but you can arrange to transport your car, caravan, or camper van out to the island too. To arrange this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353 (0)87 911 7377.