Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Fantastic hike out to Dunlough Castle, and two good deeds for the day...

We had been in the very touristy visitors center at Mizen Head on Friday and decided that we didn't want to spend the €7.50 each for the tourist experience out across the bridge. We knew there had to be a nice coastal walk in the area that didn't cost, and yet was a similar experience. And we were right!

Just as we were leaving the parking lot, we met a guy riding a bicycle and asked if we was from the area. Sure enough, he lived just 20 kms or so away. We told him what we were looking for, and he was quick to come up with "Oh, you have to go out to Dunlough Castle!"

It turns out that it's not easy to get to, especially for a motorhome. But we have legs, and it's only 5 kms (3 miles) or so one way. So we left Max parked up by the graveyard, and took off on foot at about 10:30am.

It turns out that Max would have been fine. But then we would have had to pay for parking, so we're quite happy we went on foot.

Nice walk, and no traffic at all.

Parking is €3 per person, not per car.

Rocky coastline.

This winch would have been used to haul a boat up from below.

Beautiful scenery, even on a cloudy day!

The forecast did call for showers, but not starting until 2:00pm. We had umbrellas with us just in case, but despite the dark looking clouds it never did rain until much later in the day.

Dunlough Castle is located on private land. It was off limits for many years, but now visitors are "tolerated". There are no signs advertising the place, which is why there was hardly anybody there, even on a Sunday. Although by the time we were leaving the parking lot was quite a lot busier. 

We definitely got there at the right time to have the place pretty much to ourselves.

From the parking lot, it's about a forty minute walk if you take the scenic route along the coast.

Just us and the sheep.

Looking back where we came from.

There are a couple of short but steep sections to climb.

Then you come over a hill and get your first view of the castle...

There are three towers and a wall remaining.

Records indicate that the castle was originally built in 1207, however many historians believe the present structure matches building techniques used in the 1400's. Either way, it's old!

And it's such a scenic location!

There's a 400' drop over this edge.

Dunlough Castle.

They say that the lake is man made, and there is a visible very old dam structure at the far end, however rumor is that there is treasure laying hidden in the lake, the bottom of which has never been found and that if discovered will only bring misfortune.

Also, the last occupiers of the castle, the O'Donohue family, all died by suicide or murder in the 1600's, and the castle is haunted.

Ruth, going in to do some exploring.

She's hesitating!

We did end up going in. Not much to see really, although the architecture is amazing...

All of the stonework is done dry, without cement or lime.

The sun came out for a few seconds just enough to brighten up this photo!

Good thing Ireland doesn't get much in the way of earthquakes.
It wouldn't take much to bring the whole thing down.

The wildflowers along the lakeshore are really pretty.

Looking back at the castle.

There is another 40 acres to explore on this side of the castle!

There is another small lake higher up.

Me, and the scenery!

We could have easily spent the rest of the day up there exploring. But we were still aware of them calling for rain starting at about 2:00pm.

We met a woman and her daughter who were visiting from England and spoke to them for ten minutes or so. After we said goodbye, and we were heading back down to the castle, I found a pair of sunglasses beside the trail. They were prescription, and didn't look like they had been lying there for very long. We figured they must belong to that woman since there hadn't been many people out yet.

So I pretty much jogged all the way back to the top where I found that they had already continued down the opposite side. Sure enough, the woman was missing her sunglasses. She was pretty thankful! 

Good deed number one done.

We couldn't get enough of this view!

More pretty wildflowers.

Made it back to Max at just after 2:00pm, and it never did rain on us. We had done 14 kms (8.7 miles) so it was a good walk. And as I said, we could easily have spent more time there.

Later on in the afternoon, I noticed an odd sound outside the motorhome. I looked out to see a big cow munching on grass right beside us! Not only that, but five or six of her friends were out there too!

A farmer with a tractor and some equipment had been by earlier and sprayed the fields with manure or something. We had noticed that he had left a gate open, but we didn't think anything of it. After all, he's the farmer! But we're sure these cows were supposed to be on the other side of that wide open gate. They could easily make their way down to the road and get hit by a car. 

Ruth suggested we go out and try to herd them back to the other side of the gate. I laughed at the idea, but if nothing else it ought to be comical. I grabbed the phone if a photo opportunity arose. But once we got out there, we actually did manage to run them all back to the other side and get the gate closed, and during the commotion I forgot to get any photos!

Good deed number two accomplished.

Joined by one other van overnight. Perfectly quiet.

This morning, we are up and on the road early again, heading to the town of Bantry. 


And in Canada...


  1. What a beautiful spot! Good for you doing those good deeds. We always try to do things like that when we can. Karma can be a very good thing!

    1. It was a fantastic spot, we really loved this hike and the area where the castle ruins are, definitely our favourite hike in Ireland so far and I am sure we have more hikes like this as we travel up the coast.

      It always makes us feel good inside when we are able to help others out, or go that extra mile for someone. Karma does seem to go around! :-)


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