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Guide to Glengarriff, Co. Cork

About Glengarriff

Glengarriff is a small village located in West Cork in the south-west of Ireland.  The Irish name for Glengarriff is 'Gleann Garbh' meaning rugged glen.  It is situated in a beautiful part of the country with fantastic scenery and includes magnificent views of the mountains and valleys from many viewpoints leading in to the village of Glengarriff.  It is a brilliant base to explore the Ring of Kerry and Ring of Beara.

Things to do in Glengarriff

Garnish Island

Garnish Island is located about a mile from Glengarriff in Bantry Bay.  It is also known as Ilnacullin and is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff.  It is a must!  You need to get a boat or small ferry to the island and there are boats available when the island is open from the 1st of March until the 31st of October.  On your way out to the island, you will be at peace with the gorgeous views from the boat of the sea with its rocks and many other sealife such as seals.  The seals lay on the rocks subathing on a fine Summer's day!  The island is now owned by Duchas, a heritage service.  The island is full of sub-tropical flora.  The island is close to the Gulf Stream so Glengarriff itself has a warm climate.  There is also a tower there and is said to have been the first of its kind to be built in Ireland.  There is a path way around the island which was made between 1910 and 1913 by Harold Pets, so you can easily walk around the island to view the many different trees, shrubs and flowers.

There are special rates for families and young children.  Please note that the ferry charge does not include the entry charge to the island.

Glengarriff Forest

There is a beautiful forest just about a mile from Glengarriff village in the direction of Kenmare where you can go for a walk.  The forest is full of trees, shrubs and rhododendrons which flower in June.  There are little streams and rivers running through the forest.  There are also picnic tables where you can eat your lunch.  It is signposted 'Glengarriff Forest'.

Bamboo Park

Bamboo Park is located also not too far from the village.  It is again in the direction of Kenmare and is located on the left-hand side of the road where there is a huge japanese style-gate.  There are 30 different types of bamboo surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees.  When you walk through the park, you will see 13 stone pillars.  It is not yet known why they are there or what significance they had.  It is open all year round from 9am until 7pm.  There are also special rates for families and groups (minimum 12 pax).  Children are free.

Glengarriff Golf Club

The golf course consists of 9 holes and is maintained to a very high standard.  It is overlooking Garnish Island and Bantry Bay and is surrounded on 3 sides by one of the few remaining ancient Oak forests of Ireland.  The Clubhouse telephone number is +353 27 63150.

Things to do near Glengarriff

Dursey Island

Dursey Island is located about an hour's drive from Glengarriff and is well worth a day trip - especially for you bird lovers.  There are only about 12 winter time residents on the island.  There are no pubs, restaurants or shops.  There is also no accommodation available unless you would like to camp!  To get to the island, you need to take a cable car and this is an experience in itself!  The island itself has beautiful scenery of the West Cork coastline and has magnificant walks around the island.  There are not a lot of trees because parts of the island are not exposed to the sea and salt water.  There are fields there divided by stone walls which were built many years ago.  There is also a graveyard and a tower which was built for defence against the French.


There are many walks to do near Glengarriff.  The two main walks are the Sheep's Head Walk and the Beara Walk.  The Sheep's Head walk is about 55 miles long and starts at Bantry and goes through Kilcrohane, Ahakista and Durrus.  The Beara Walk is about the same in distance starting at Glengarriff and finishing in Kenmare.

Bantry House

Bantry House is located in Bantry which is only a 15 minute drive from Glengarriff.  It has gorgeous views of Bantry Bay from the house and has beautiful gardens on the grounds of the house.  It is family-run and you are very welcome to view the bedrooms and other rooms of the house, even though the family live there!  There is a tearoom there also if you would like a cup of tea after the tour.

Towns and villages to visit

Here are a few examples of towns and villages that you should visit:

Pubs and Restaurants in Glengarriff

There are many pubs and restaurants in the village of Glengarriff:

  • Blueloo Bar
  • Eccles Hotel
  • The Park Bistro in the Glengarriff Park Hotel
  • Jims Coffee Shop
  • McCarthys Bar
  • Caseys Bar and Restaurant