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It is easy to rush through daily life without stopping to take notice. Paying attention to the present moment – to our own thoughts, feelings and to the world around you can improve your wellbeing. For now, Take Notice of the wonderful locality of Beara.

The Beara Peninsula stretches into the Atlantic from Glengarriff to Castletownbere and Dursey Island. Beara is an integral part of the Wild Atlantic Way encompassing picturesque villages and towns and breathtaking scenery of the mountains and sea. Beara is a holiday destination but as residents, we should appreciate the awe of what’s all around us on this spectacular peninsula.

The beautiful village of Allihies is set surrounded by mountains overlooking Ballydonegan beach and towards the distant Skelligs. Barness Gap is panoramic and truly unforgettable as you descend towards the quaint, unspoilt, traditional Village with its brightly-painted houses. Wrap yourself in culture at the Copper Mine Museum in Allihies which illustrates how Allihies was the largest copper producing area in Europe. Enjoy an unforgettable (for one reason or another) by taking Ireland’s only Cable Car across to Dursey Island. With no shops, pubs or restaurants Dursey is famous for being a birdwatchers’ paradise. On route to Dursey, you will pass Garnish on your right and on your left Crow Head.

Ardgroom boasts a brightly painted village and some interesting sea caves and takes advantage of being on the Ring of Beara walking and cycling routes. In Canfie, to the east of the village, is a historic stone circle dating from about 1000BC. Glenbeg Lake, less than 2km from the village, is a fjord-like lake formed by glacier movement during the last Ice Age. Walking enthusiasts really enjoy the challenging Glenbeg Horseshoe walk but for the gentle walkers, there is the Pulleen loop. Take notice of the magnificent scenic drives, shore and sea angling.

Adrigole is steeped in history and culture with historical and archaeological sites (wedge tomb that dates from 2500BC, standing stones, a stone circle and fulachta fiadh cooking places). Enjoy the Sugarloaf Mountain to the east and Hungry Hill to the west or let Mare’s Tail waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland which flows down the face of Hungry Hill, inspire the senses. From Adrigole, the Healy Pass winds northwards across the Caha Mountains providing spectacular panoramic views of the northern and southern shores of the Beara Peninsula. The rugged coastline around Adrigole includes sandy inlets suitable for bathing, fishing and water sports. Lookout for marine animals, specifically Seals when looking out over Adrigole Harbour.

Bere Island retains that distinctive, easy charm of a rural community far distant from city life. Immerse yourself in culture at the Heritage Centre which contains an exhibition of the island’s history and culture with numerous remains of the tow intact six-inch guns. Bere Island inspires the exploration of the Bronze Age showcasing a wedge tomb, standing stone, a Viking naust (boat house) and two Martello towers. Take notice of the Whales, sharks and dolphins which can all be sighted around the island, and bird watchers and plant lovers will delight at the many species to be found on land and at the water’s edge. While taking notice of the beauty, history and culture of the area, you can also (or instead) e active and take part in activities on the Island include swimming, sea angling, water sports, sea safari and a weekly parkrun.

Castletownbere Town sits between the Caha and Slieve Miskish mountains overlooking the spectacular Berehaven Harbour, second only to Sydney as the safest natural harbour in the world. How exciting that Castletownbere is Ireland’s premier whitefish port and the local eateries cater for the seafood enthusiast. Take Notice of the eclectic mix of artists, writers, artisan food producers and craft workers showcased all over town with many other to be featured at the regular country market. Historcally Dunboy Castle, 3km west of the town, traces back to the forces of Elizabeth I in 1602 and well worth a visit. Further west is the Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Centre where visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Bantry Bay in a truly idyllic setting.

Enjoy the warmth of the welcome and the climate in Glengarriff. Glengarrif boasts four attractions that make it ‘Ireland’s Garden Haven’. Garnish Island in Glengarriff harbour, now over 100 years in existence, has collections of rare plants from the world. The Bamboo Park has a unique collection of Bamboos and plams, and Glengarriff Nature Reserve is a conserved ancient oak forest. The Ewe Experience has a wide range of interesting and quirky sculptures in a natural setting. Glengarriff is a paradise for walkers with easy strolls in the Blue Pool Amenity Area and the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve and longer hikes on the hills and mountains.

Eyeries encourages you to take notice of the ever-changing views across Coulagh Bay and the candy floss sunsets reflected on Mishkish and Maulin mountains. Be active and take an invigorating walk to Kilcatherine point, visit the mythical Hag of Beara or spy the tallest known Ogham stone, standing at 5.3m high, near Ballycrovane Harbour. Enjoy shore walks to the old Coast Guard Station or hill walks around the picturesque village of Eyeries, a Tidy Towns award winner with multi-coloured houses.

These are only a sample of the wonderous things you can ‘Take Notice’ in Beara. What are you going to Take Notice of? What are you going to do to look after your wellbeing?

 

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The Wellbeing Network, West Cork
Contact:
Ita Murphy t: 087 7453933  e: ita.murphy@nln.ie
Kevin O'Shanahan t: 086 7872481  e: kevin.oshanahan@hse.ie