Bere Island lies at the entrance to Bantry Bay, creating a deep water harbour to Castletownbere “ the largest white fish port in Ireland”. The island is 11 kilometres , east to west long and 5 kilometres north south wide in size, with a population of just over 200. The British had a particular interest in the island in bygone years with remnants visible throughout with military fortification’s still to being seen. You can take the ferry from Castletownbere Pier at the slipway across to Bere Island and the ferry crossing only takes around fifteen minutes. From the ferry landing the first leg of the walk to Ardnakinna point lighthouse on road and track mostly small bit of open marked ground.
The next leg 1.8 kilometres from the lighthouse to the Signal tower is a uphill on open ground with way markers and stones with yellow marking ,At the signal tower a spot height of 210 meters above sea level it commands impressive views. Also is place to have a snack or lunch for those on a easy walks. The signal tower built 1805 was hit by lightning in 1959 , collapsed in 1964 . A short leg downhill for 400 metres meet a track “here the easy walker can follow the track downhill and return to the ferry . The route covered here is 7.2 Kilometre s”
The moderate and challenging walkers cross the track onto open marked ground for 400 metres come to a main track going right here .
1.5 kilometres on this track brings you to Coomastooka spot height 248 metre, there is a Marion Cross erected 1950 today its a land mark with a light on it at night. Here the moderate walker follow the track downhill to the Standing stone where you come onto the main road on the island , going right here for 600 metres is a Martello tower returning back to the standing stone continuing on the main road to the ferr . The route covered here 13.2 Km.
For the challenging walker from Coomastooka going south onto the Doonbeg loop an extra 6 Kilometre with a stop off at the Promontory Fort ending at the Standing Stone on the Island’s main road returning to the ferry . The route covered here 18 Kilometres. On returning to the ferry an interesting place to visit on your way is the Bere Island Heritage & information centre, once the old school on the Island.
Note, this is not detailed note only a broad outlay of the route, maps and detailed notes are supplied by West Cork Walk’s.