20 Jun Bantry Bay, County Cork
Bantry Bay encompasses the resorts of Bantry and Glengarriff. It is also a springboard for trips to Mizen Head and the Beara Peninsula.
Bantry nestles beneath the hills which run down to the bay. Just offshore you can see Whiddy Island, the original home of the White family, who moved to Bantry House in the early 18th century. Further along is Bere Island, a British base until World War II which still boasts Martello towers on its southern side.
Glengarriff at the head of the bay, exudes an air of Victorian gentility with its neatly painted shopfronts and craft shops. On the coast is the Eccles Hotel, a haunt of Queen Victoria and where George Bernard Shaw supposedly wrote Saint Joan.
The wooded hinterland to the north of Glengarriff is set in a bowl of the Caha Mountains. There are some pleasant walks leading to waterfalls.
Bantry Bay is a hidden gem that is worth a visit on your tours of Ireland.