Best bird watching trails in County Cork, Ireland

178 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in County Cork with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in County Cork, Ireland
Top trails (26)
#1 - Sheep's Head Trail Main Loop
Bantry, County Cork, Ireland
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(6)
Length: 57.1 mi • Est. Multi-day
Follow the Sheep's Head Way yellow walking man markers. Start/Finish : Bantry West Trailhead Estimated Time : 5 to 6 Days Minimum Gear : Walking boots, rain gear, fluid and a mobile phone. The Sheep’s Head Way is a long distance walking route over 250km encompassing the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and the general Bantry area. It also connects to Whiddy Island by ferry and to Drimoleague at the east, Mealagh, Kealkill and Carriganass linking up with the Beara Breifne Way en route to Gougane Barra. The Main Sheep’s Head Way is 93 Km approximately, starting in Bantry, taking in the Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay sides of the Peninsula and out to the Sheep’s Head Lighthouse, before returning back to Bantry. The walker can experience spectacular views from various ridges, shoreline, cliff tops and lakes, this includes also numerous monastic, archaeological and historical sites.  Within this there are ten Failte Ireland Loop walks with trail heads at Carriganas, Mealagh, Drimoleague, Bantry, Durrus, Ahakista, Kilcrohane, Dun Oir, The Goat’s Path, The Black Gate and Tooreen. These are colour coded and afford the self guided walker to a wide variety of walking experiences from one to seven hours duration.  This is predominantly a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and NHA National Heritage Area and was awarded the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) for the development of sustainable Tourism. Note : Be aware of weather conditions. Be aware of any livestock on the land, especially any Bulls. Please do not exit marked trails only on marked routes.  No dogs are allowed on The Sheep’s Head Way.   Emergency: Phone 999 or 112 and state whether you need Ambulance, Gardaí (police), Fire Brigade or Mountain Rescue. To identify your location please quote the number of the nearest way marker pole or your GPS/grid co-ordinates.  Show more
#2 - The Giant's Grave Loop
Curraghbinny Woods
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(30)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 43 m
This is a fairly easy circular walk with fantastic views. It is suitable for all ages and takes visitors by the Giant's Grave site.Show more
#3 - Doneraile Wildlife Park Perimeter Loop
Doneraile Wildlife Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(23)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 38 m
#4 - Cladagh Glen Loop
Coomlogane, County Cork, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(14)
Length: 7.0 mi • Est. 3 h 59 m
#5 - The Sheep's Head Way: Glanlough Loop
Durrus, County Cork, Ireland
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(6)
Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 4 h 58 m
GLANLOUGH LOOP – PURPLE ARROWS Start/Finish : The Ahakista Trailhead at Arundels by the pier car park Minimum Gear : Walking boots, rain gear, fluid and a mobile phone. From the car park at Ahakista take a right onto the public road and continue on until you arrive at a tee junction (Ahakista Bridge). Take a right here and then the first left as per the finger post sign for Glanlough. At the next finger post sign keep right for Glanlough and the Mass Path. Follow the purple arrows along the road for awhile until you go off road and over a style. At The Mass Path Junction sign/way marker no. 151, take the S.H.W. East Glanlough/Bantry option and continue along the ridge. At way marker no. 111 you will begin to descend in a north easterly direction until you will reach way marker no. 91 at the road. Keep right and continue along the road, at way marker no. 90 keep left and at way marker no. 89 turn right, continue on up the road following the purple arrows passing the car park at Glanlough. At the finger post sign for “Durrus” turn left and stay along the road until you reach way marker no. 512. At this point you turn right off road and onto a track and continue along in a south westerly direction. At way marker no. 498 you will veer right and continue on until you join the road again at way marker no. 490. Follow the purple arrows again along the road and at way marker no. 487 turn right up another road. Continue along the road and at way marker no. 483 turn left off road in a westerly direction. When you reach way marker no. 462 turn left onto the road which leads you back to the tee junction, take a right here and this will lead you back to Ahakista bridge, and at the bridge take a left for the car park at Arundels by the pier. Note : Be aware of weather conditions and cut away peat bogs along the loop walk. Be aware of any livestock on the land, especially any Bulls. Please do not exit marked trails only on marked routes. No dogs are allowed on The Sheep’s Head Way. Emergency: Phone 999 or 112 and state whether you need Ambulance, Gardaí (police), Fire Brigade or Mountain Rescue.  To identify your location please quote the number of the nearest way marker pole or your GPS/grid co-ordinates.  Show more
#6 - Cape Clear Red Loop
Cape Clear, County Cork, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(7)
Length: 3.8 mi • Est. 2 h 6 m
This walk is on the road towards the old lighthouse and then around rough terrain towards the cliffs on the east of the island. You will then take the road back past the church and down to the harbour.Show more
#7 - Rathclaren Loop
Kilbrittain, County Cork, Ireland
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(4)
Length: 6.1 mi • Est. 2 h 27 m
The Rathclaren Loop (yellow markers) is a looped walking route around Kilbritain, Co Cork. It's an all-road route that does not require any special clothing or shoes, but a water bottle is recommended. Only slight inclines so this is classified as an easy route. Plenty of free parking is available at the Colite Forest entrance locally known as 'The Waterfalls' For more information or more routes in the area visit http://kilbrittaintrails.ie/Show more
#8 - Mealagh Woods Loop
Drimoleague, County Cork, Ireland
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(6)
Length: 2.0 mi • Est. 55 m
Mealagh Woods is great for walking and normally takes 1 hour or less. This woodland walk is part of the Mealagh section which connects the Sheeps Head Way to the Beara Way. The route takes you through deciduous woodlands and along the bank of the Mealagh River, taking in an ancient wedge tomb. A new loop route is now open with bridges crossing the river at two points to make a pleasant 3km loop walk. Well behaved dogs are welcome, but please keep them on a lead near the river so as not to disturb otters. If they soil the path, please kick their droppings to one side. There are three start points with car parking. On the south side, the entrance is shown near the road at Barnagowlanes, you can drive down the track to a car park at the bottom . There is also a car park on the Coomleagh side at the western entrance into the woods, and a small pull in at the eastern entrance. There is a second small loops within the walk which brings you by the Barnagowlanes Wedge Tomb. This route is slightly boggy, is worth the extra few yards in dry conditions.Show more
#9 - Fiddane Wood Loop
Mayfield, County Cork, Ireland
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 13.9 mi • Est. 7 h 20 m
Starting north of Monee crossroads, proceed up the grass track at the forest barrier where the Duhallow way-marker indicates a turn into the woods. The track gradually rises upward, passing under the power lines overhead. Ignore the path to the right under the power lines and continue as the way-marker indicates, straight ahead, until you come to a T junction. Looking left, there is a grass mound, with a large, green farm building behind it. Follow the way-marker left until you come to the next marker, which is opposite a metal farm-gate. Leave the way-marked route at this point, and turn right. After walking approximately one tenth of a mile, ignore the grass track to the right and continue on along the forest path with green fields in the distance. Roughly another tenth of a mile on, the track swings round to the left. Don't follow the natural bend of the track, instead taking the other track straight ahead, keeping the same green fields in sight in front of you. This track will eventually swing around to the left and, at the next T junction, turn left. Within a tenth of a mile, you will come to another T junction and, here, you will take the right turn. This track finally emerges out of the woods at a forest barrier across the road from a farm house. Look left here and you will see a gate and stile, with a way-marker pointing across the stile. Follow these way-markers to return to your car.Show more
#10 - Dursey Island Circular
Kilnamanagh, County Cork, Ireland
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(7)
Length: 8.3 mi • Est. 4 h 38 m
Access to the island is by cable car. Check the website for timings.Show more
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