Towns and Villages
Gougane Barra
The Beara-Breifne Way follows the fourteen-day march taken by Donal O’ Sullivan Beara and one thousand supporters in 1603. The Way, the longest in Ireland, runs almost the length of the country and takes the walker and cyclist to some of its most beautiful and least explored areas, along the coast of the Beara Peninsula, across six mountain ranges, along the banks of the River Shannon and through the lake regions of the Rosscommon and Leitrim. The landscape consists of an extraordinary variety of heritage sites – many of which bear witness to the march of four hundred years ago. The Beara- Breifne Way interlinks a series of local ways. The local way in Mhúscraí area of Co Cork is called Sli Gaeltacht Mhúscraí which is linked to Beara Way.
Click to download Click to download
Please click on the above to download

1.ó Chaolchoill go Beal Átha an Ghaorthaidh
Via Guagán Kealkill to Ballingeary via
Gougane Barra.

Gougane Barra

Walkers for Ballingeary and Gougane Barra should follow the same spur inland as those headed for Glengarriff. At the first junction Ballingeary-bound walkers take the right fork as will be indicated. The route travels on a mixture of boreens and off-road tracks so walkers should be vigilant for signage. This streach includes the steep but short climb over knockbreteen which rewards with panoramic views of cnoc baoi, Cork’s highest peak, and Bantry Bay to the west. The route uses quiet roads for 2km before walkers leave the road to climb between the Shehy peaks of conigar and foilastookeen from where there are spectacular views of Bantry Bay, the surrounding Shehy peaks and plains to the east. The decent to Gougane Barra is very steep and the walkers need to take care with there footing. This walk takes 4-5 hours. The track crosses a 540 metre high mountain pass. Care needs to be taken on foggy days and avoided in bad weather.

Ó Ghuagán go Béal átha an Ghaorthaid.
Gougane Barra to Ballingeary.

Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

After leaving Gougane Barra walkers cross the river lee close to the clapper stone bridge following a quite country lane for two kilometres with great views of Ballingeary valley. The decent into the village takes you past woodland and high farms until you walk the last mile into the village on a quite public road.

2.ó Bhéal átha an Ghaorthaidh go Baile Mhúirne.
Ballingeary to Ballyvourney.

Baile Mhúlrne

Walkers leave Béal átha an Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary) village opposite the GAA pitch. The route follows a combination of quite country roads and tracks, so walkers must pay attention to the sign post that lead the way. The route crosses the Bunsheelin river (Bún Shídh Lann) twice to take in a number of sites of particular significance to the O’Sullivan Beare story.
It then climbs gently out of the valley to follow the untarred ‘Rae’ road over the hill. The second half of the walk decends gently to Baile Mhúirne (Ballyvourney) along quiet back roads, passing through the famous religious complex and oak woods of saint Gobnait’s just outside the village. Walkers must allow between 3 and 4 hours to complete the route.

3.ó Bhaile Mhúirne go Sráid á Mhuilinn.
Ballyvourney to Milstreet.

Sráid an Mhuilinn

Walkers should allow 6 to 7 hours to complete this long section which involves a steep climb over the shoulder of Mullaghanish. There are no services between the two villages and some stretches of the route are quiet lonely. The route leaves Baile Mhúirne just off the N22. it follows a tarred road for a short distance before climbing through pasture and open moor land, then enters coniferous forestry. The route affords magnificent views of village, its oak woods, the derrynasaggart mountain range and a famed paps of dana. Crossing the road the rood the route enters a coilte forest and follows forestry tracks for several kilometres, crossing the county boundary into kerry and back to cork again! Tracks give way to open space, and the route winds its way below windmills overlooking the plains of north cork. Walkers decend on mountain track before moving off-road again to pass around Claragh mountain. The last kilometre of the route follows a public road, where caution should be exercised and ends in Millstreet.

Kealkil Ballingeary Millstreet south
Clixck to download Click to download
Please click on the above to download
The Ford of Bellaghan Drominagh Castle
Gougane Barra Sign post to Loch Fadda