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Photography / Places in Ireland / West Cork

Galley Head peninsula and lighthouse

This summer is much better than last summer. There’s more hope in the air. Pubs are open for outdoor service. Many people are fully vaccinated, including me, since Monday! And there will likely be solutions for fully vaccinated people later this summer. For now, things are quite uncertain because of the Delta variant, many people haven’t received their second vaccine shots yet, and case numbers are increasing in the UK, so we need to wait and see how the situation develops here.

But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the summer. This week has offered some fantastic weather, and we’ve spent most evenings in the garden. Other than that, also this summer is a summer of road trips in West Cork or possibly to Kerry. And with all the beautiful places to see around here, I have nothing to complain about.

Last Saturday after doing some shopping in town, before going home we decided to take a small detour to see Galley Head. It’s been a while since we were there, I think the last time was in January 2020 when some Italian friends were visiting and we took them for a West Cork tour.

Galley head
My better half posing at Galley Head, January 2020

Galley Head Lighthouse

Galley Head is located between Clonakilty and Rosscarbery, and it has a famous lighthouse, surrounded by what used to be a castle. After many attempts to build it, the lighthouse was ready in 1875, with the light in place in 1878. The lighthouse then was run with gas, but improvement work has been done over the years and modernised lights were installed in 1990 with emergency lights in 1991. When the lighthouse keeper no longer needed to live at the station, the lightkeeper’s houses were taken over by the Irish Landmark Trust and restored using traditional methods and materials. These cottages are now available as holiday accommodation. Quite cool, right?

The cottage area is private and you can only enter if you rent one of the houses. This means that unless you rent a cottage, you can only see the lighthouse from afar. But the surrounding area is available to the public, and it is a fantastic area to go for walks along the cliffs. We haven’t strayed very far from the lighthouse yet, but hopefully, we will in the future.

The first image here is an old one, from August 2017, but it’s my favourite!

Galley head

When we visited this time, it was a nice overcast day with a good temperature and almost no wind – that must be very rare out on a place like this! It was lovely and gave a sense of calm.

Galley head
Galley head
Galley head
Galley head
The field to the left is used to grow barley for the whiskey made at Clonakilty distillery
Galley head
Galley head

Read more details here about Galley Head Lighthouse.

Galley Head peninsula

Galley Head peninsula offers a very pleasant drive, in my opinion, to get the best out of it you need to take the full route, going from Clonakilty town centre towards Ardfield, then towards Galley Head, and then you’ll follow the road to pass Castlefreke and Owenahincha to get back onto N71 (the main road from Cork towards Clonakilty and Skibbereen and it ends in Killarney in county Kerry). You’ll pass some very nice beaches along the way, Red strand where there is a fairly new, well-renowned, fish restaurant, Long strand, and Owenahincha beach.

Long strand
Long strand, picture taken 2017

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short introduction to the Galley Head peninsula. The next time we go there, I hope to have some more photos to share, and maybe then I’ll also have some from the cliff walk.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and be well!

This post will be linked with Natalie’s weekend coffee share, where you can meet some other lovely people and their blogs.

17 Comments

  • Natalie
    3rd July 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Beautiful scenery and photos, Susanne. I see that you changed the theme of your blog, nicely done! Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Reply
    • Susanne
      3rd July 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Natalie! It’s the same theme actually, but I’ve changed the fonts, and since I last joined the coffee share I might have changed the start page? Thanks for coming over!

      Reply
  • Dinah Federer
    3rd July 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! I’ve always wanted to see Ireland! But I’m told it might be challenging with my physical limitations….can’t do stairs anymore. Beautiful old architecture usually has tons of stairs I’ll enjoy it through your blog now. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Susanne
      4th July 2021 at 9:15 am

      Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, but there is so much more you can do and see here without using stairs! You can’t visit some fancy castles but there’s so much more to do in Ireland. And castles are most beautiful from the outside anyway!

      Reply
  • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
    3rd July 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Oh, the photos look stunning! It makes me want to visit {even though it looks cold!} Thank you for taking us there with you!

    Reply
    • Susanne
      4th July 2021 at 9:13 am

      It wasn’t cold at all – although I know that for Australian people, everything over here probably is cold – it was a lovely mild day! The only exception is, of course, the picture that is from January.

      Reply
  • Antoinette Truglio Martin
    4th July 2021 at 11:23 am

    Beautiful place. Thanks for the virtual tour.

    Reply
  • Maria
    4th July 2021 at 1:11 pm

    The whole peninsula looks gorgeous! you must of redesigned your blog since my last visit? It looks great!
    As you know Sweden never er had any lockdowns, but the restrictions were plenty, and they are cautiously easing up a little. I’ve only had my first vaccin shot, the second is still a few weeks away. People under 30 haven’t got any vaccin yet, it’s going to take some time before everyone is fully vaccinated here. Thank you for taking us on this beautiful virtual tour 🙂

    Reply
    • Susanne
      4th July 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Yes, I can’t remember when you last were here, did I even use WordPress then? I’ve had this theme for two months or so, and I’m really happy with it! I’m glad to hear you’ve had at least one vaccine shot. I heard just recently that they would start vaccinating younger people in the south of Sweden, not sure if that was only Skåne?
      Thanks for coming over and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  • Joanne
    5th July 2021 at 10:09 am

    What beautiful photos!

    Reply
  • Kadie
    6th July 2021 at 12:54 am

    I love your first photo! I love them all but your hubby looks so happy in that one, what a great catch with the camera! These photos remind me so much of the scenery here, which is a lot like Ireland really. Minus the castles. We have lighthouses galore dating to mostly the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and some structures (a house, some forts) dating back to the early 1700’s but nothing from the early French settlers in the early 1600’s.
    Ireland is still at the very top of my list for places I want to go soon – well as soon as I can a) afford to and b) it’s safe too. Some of it has to do with family history in Ireland and England that I want to know more about and some of it just because it looks so so beautiful and reminds me of home. I am intrigued by the ruins, the castles, the old buildings or even just old walls from old buildings in newer houses that I have heard of (I love watching history shows and archaeology shows). I find it so fascinating so I love posts like this when bloggers showcase local history. It’s great! I need to get back to doing this some myself. Maybe use one of the million domain names I own to put up a blog on Atlantic Canada.

    Reply
    • Susanne
      6th July 2021 at 9:03 am

      That would be lovely to see a blog about Atlantic Canada! My knowledge about Canada is a blur about metres of snow, wilderness, horrible mining disasters, Cape Breton music and Irish emigration.
      I also really like that first image. I have a couple of similar photos of him at other places. In another post, I’ll try to write about another favourite place, Sheep’s Head peninsula.

      Reply
  • ~B
    6th July 2021 at 8:22 am

    Great photography thank you for taking us along the ride..
    The Galley Head pose from the first picture is it as scary as it looks just a trick of the photography and one isn’t likely to go crashing down to the rocks below ?
    ~B

    Reply
    • Susanne
      6th July 2021 at 8:59 am

      As with any cliff you need to be careful but this one isn’t particularly high. I would worry a lot more about taking a picture like this at Dun Aengus (at the island Inis Mór, one of the Aran islands)!

      Reply
  • Leslie Susan Clingan
    9th July 2021 at 1:05 am

    I am so grateful for Natalie’s coffee chat and that through it you found my blog and stopped by to introduce yourself. What a lovely corner of the world you have created here. Your photography is gorgeous. Of course, living in Ireland I imagine you have lots of photo ops!! So much green.

    My ancestors are Irish and Scottish and English. Love the quaint sounding names of the villages and communities…they dance over the tongue…Clonakilty and Skibbereen and Killarney. Thank you for sharing the beauty you call home.

    Reply
    • Susanne
      9th July 2021 at 8:15 am

      Hi Leslie! Thanks for coming over, and thanks for your kind comments about my photography! I totally agree that this country is very photogenic. And I love many of the town names too!

      Reply

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