The Surrounding Neighbourhood:

Baltimore is a hidden treasure of West Cork and is one of the most picturesque and historic villages in Ireland. A little off the main tourist trail, Baltimore has retained a small fising village atmosphere and is an ideal base from which to discover what West Cork has to offer. While activities are endless in Baltimore village, it would be a pity not to take advantage of exploring the surrounding islands and captivating west cork towns and countryside.

  • Sherkin Island, Cape Clear Island & Heir Island
  • Across the natural tranquil harbour are the Carbery's Hundred Isles, which include the enchanting islands of Cape Clear Island, Sherkin Island and Heir Island. Baltimore pier is the main ferry port of all neighbouring isles, all of which are very popular day-trip and picnic destinations.

  • Skibereen
  • Skibbereen, a little further afield, a vibrant Market town, is as renowned for its welcoming natives as for the surrounding beauty. The village boasts interesting shops, bookshops, art galleries, a Famine Museum, a Heritage Centre and a large, a fantastic Super Valu, a lively Farmer's Market on Saturdays and many award-winning restaurants and pubs. Within 1km of Skibereen is Lissard, 40 acres of woodlands, wildflower meadows and lakes. Every June, during The West Cork Garden Trail various owners open up private gardens to the public. Skibbereen also boasts an 18-hole golf course which is both forgiving, yet challenging (within 2km of Skibbereen, on the road to Baltimore).

  • Lough Hyne
  • Only 4kms outside Skibereen, the beautiful Lough Hyne is a must see destination. This enchanting lough is Europe's largest sea-water lake and boasts an amazing array of unusual marine life. Despite numerous studies, scientists have still to unearth the mystery surrounding the fact that the lough is always some 3 degrees Celsius warmer than the sea and contains marine life usually only found in the Mediterranean. One can also visit the Lough Hyne Interpretative Centre at Skibbereen Heritage Centre which shows an audio visual in English, Irish, French or German, explaining the unique nature of this, Ireland's First Marine Nature Reserve. This Lough is a popular swimming and kayaking place for locals and visitors alike.

  • Bantry
  • Bantry is another market town which boasts a fine raised plaza in its main square overlooking Bantry Bay. This traditional town has a variety of small shops and businesses, restaurants and bars to suit all appetites and ages. Open to visitors is the majestic Bantry House which overlooks the harbour with its beautiful gardens reaching down towards the shore where one can enjoy the spectacular views of the Caha Mountains across the bay. The Westlodge Hotel provides an excellent leisure centre facilities on the outskirts Bantry. As one of the larger towns in West Cork with a population of about 4000 residents, it has an exciting atmosphere all year round. Bantry is also hosts the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in June, the Masters of Tradition festival, the West Cork Literary festival in July, the Bay Run Half Marathon, and the Bantry BBQ festival. Before you head back to Baltimore or on route to a local beach why not visit the world famous Mannings Food Emporium which stocks local and international goods, organic and artisan produce and has an impressive selection to suit every appetite!

  • Crookhaven
  • Crookhaven, nestled on the water's edge, a quiet oasis in the winter months, transforms into a bustling hub of activity in the summer months as a popular sailing and yachting destination. There, we would recommend trying a West Cork speciality: an open fresh crab or fresh salmon sandwhich served on Ireland's world famous traditional soda bread –truly delicious!

  • Barleycove Beach
  • A stone's throw from Crookhaven lies the world renowned Barley Cove beach, a magnet for families and in particular for surfers and windsurfers all year round. A favourite of the enthusiastic Barleycove surfers is to head to O' Sullivan's of Crookhaven for a warm toastie (an Irish tradition: a toasted closed sandwich of all or a combination of onion, cheese, ham and tomato) and a pint of Murphy's to warm the bones after braving the cold of the mighty Atlantic ocean. This is an ideal day trip from Baltimore.

  • Ballydehob
  • Ballydehob is a charming village filled with natural beauty and local treasures and interesting pubs and cafes. Enjoy a walk over the 12 Arch Bridge from which you have a wonderful view over the estuary and its unique flora and fauna. Ballydehob is home to several famous artists, writers, sculptors and craft workers, as well as being a popular destination for holiday-makers. The village also hosts four annual festivals, each of which attracts local visitors and international tourists alike. Ballydehob Traditional Music Weekend is the annual traditional music, song, and dance festival and usually takes place in April. The Ballydehob Jazz Festival is a growing annual event that attracts artists and jazz fans from around the world, and usually takes place in on the May bank holiday weekend (the first weekend in May).

  • Schull
  • A little further West sits the beautiful and bustling village of Schull. Schull boasts a safe and welcoming harbour with many off-shore islands. The outer Atlantic Ocean swells makes an excellent day trip for water sport enthusiasts -water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. There is also tennis, pony trekking, a planetarium, a creperie, artisan food shops including a french chocolatier and a weekly County Market.

  • Goleen
  • The village of Goleen is attractively located towards the south-western end of the Mizen Peninsula. It is a tranquil and beautiful haven of hills, cliffs, beaches and wild flowers. Goleen is worth a visit as it the whole family can enjoy the lively pubs, restaurants and beautiful bays and beaches.