The Walks

    This route heads north – around quiet country roads in a loop returning down to the village and through the Village Park to the Castle gate, returning to the village either along the main road or via the Village Park

    Starting at the Village Park walk west through the village, turn left at the church & follow the blue arrows along quiet country roads, past rolling hills and lovely views of Coolmain Bay, returning to the village to the Castle gate via the woodland trail back to the Village Park..

    Starting at the Village Park walk west through the village turning left at the church & follow the Yellow arrows along lovely quiet country roads, past the Trinity Well and beautiful Rathclarin Church, this route has stunning views over the estuary, returning to the village to the Castle gate via the woodland trail back to the Amenity Park..

  • THE KILN WALK- GREEN -14.5 km
    Starting at the amenity park walk west through the village turning left at St. Patrick’s church, follow the Green arrows west towards Timoleague, past the ruins of Cloundereen Church After 6 km head south to Courtmacsherry Bay – the return to Kilbrittain along quiet roads with spectacular views over the bays and strands.

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    • 1.The Village Park:
      Kilbrittain Parish is situated midway between Kinsale & Clonakilty in a scenic part of West Cork has many sandy beaches and castles to offer the visitor, a mecca for walkers, cyclists, water sport enthusiasts, bird watchers, fishermen and horse riders.

    • 2. Fin Whale:
       On 15 Jan 2009 an 18 metre fin whale stranded and subsequently died on Burren Beach. The people of Kilbrittain organised to save its skeleton which is now displayed in the village. The whale was featured in a Channel 4 documentary "Inside Nature's Giants" which showed autopsies of large mammals. It is still viewable on the Channel 4 website or on YouTube.

    • 3. Playground:
      There is also a lovely picnic area and a great children’s playground with separate areas for Under 6, 6-14 and adult exercise equipment.

    • 4. Clashavanna View:
      Overlooking the ruins of Clashavanna Church (original site of Kilbrittain Village), Kilbrittain Castle and The Blanket Wood.

    • 5. Kilbrittain Castle:
      is the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland. The Castle is said to date from 1035 built by Brodchon , grandson of Brian Boru .It was known to have been in the hands of the Norman family of de Courcey. Kilbrittain Castle was the principal seat of MacCarthy Reagh family, – Riabhach (dark- skinned). Following the battle of Kinsale it came into the ownership of The Hollow Blade Steel Company and subsequently by the Stawell family who extensively restored and enlarged it. It was then purchased and restored by inventor Russell Winn in 1969. He invented a remote control robot vehicle for bomb disposal. It is now in private ownership (Cahill-O’Brien Family).  The Book of Lismore: was compiled in the 15th Century to commemorate the marriage of the Gaelic lord Finghin Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach, of Kilbrittain Castle, to Caitilín, daughter of the seventh earl of Desmond

    • 6. Waterfall/Woodland Walk:
      The Starting Point is at the Village Park (1) where you descend to the river. Here you cross the footbridge and enjoy the wooded riverbank until the walk final draws you upwards over the ridge and back to the village via the Community Centre Field.

    • 7. The Dower House:
      The Dower House was built in 1683 as a defence/lookout tower as well as the tax collection point for visitors to the Castle.

    • 8. Dorothy Stopford Price:
      Dorothy Stopford-Price [8-9-1890 – 30-1-1954] was an irish physician who contributed to the elimination of childhood tuberculosis in Ireland by introducing the BCG vaccine. After she qualified as a doctor Dorothy’s first job was as a dispensary doctor in Kilbrittain, where she also engaged in the Irish War of Independence, tending to injured members of the IRA.

    • 9. St Patricks Parish Church:
      Kilbrittain Parish Church was built in 1790 by Fr. Patrick Geran OSF (1760 - 1814). It was extended sometime in the 1840’s. The Church was dedicated to St. Patrick on the 10th of June 1892.

    • 10. The Republican Plot in the Church grounds.

    • 11. Old Creamery:
      Opened in 1940. Milk intake ceased in the 1970’s.

    • 12. The Look Out:
      There is a panoramic view of Courtmacsherry Bay from Timoleague to the Old Head of Kinsale. In the distance to the West you can see the windwills in Drinagh. To the north the hills around Bandon town.

    • 13. Garranefeen View:
      Stunning views of the Causeway, Estuary and the Old Head of Kinsale.

    • 14. Sli Na Slainte
      stands for 'path to health'. Developed by the Irish Heart Foundation. The walk begins at Deasy's [Bateman’s] Bridge, which is a beautifully built 2 arched, protected stone bridge. At the bridge you will see a mapboard which illustrates the route.

    • 15. Trinity Well:
      Tobar na Trionoide – Rosary is recited at Trinity Well on Trinity Sunday. It is the only known Holy Well in the parish.

    • 16. Donny Byrne’s Grave:
      Donny Byrne born on 20-11-1889 in New York. He was interested in Irish history and Irish nationalism and was fluent in Irish. In the 1920’s the Byrne Family bought Coolmain Castle. Byrne lived there until a tragic car accident cut short his life on 18th June 1928. He is buried in Rathclaren Graveyard. The inscription on his headstone reads:

      Tá mé mo codlath is na duisigh mé
      I am in my sleeping and don't waken me

    • 17. Rathclaren Church:
      The parish of Rathclaren has existed from at least 1291, the present church is either the third or fourth to have existed within that parish. The present Rathclaren church which stands in the townland of Farrannagark was built by the Church of Ireland. The previous church on this site which would have originally been Catholic fell into disrepair after the 1641 rebellion. The bells were put in place in memory of the Sealy brothers of Burren.

    • 18. Lisheenaleen View:
      Overlooking Lisheenaleen [Flaxfort] Strand, while in the distance there is Burren Hill, Courtmacsherry Village and the Point of the Wood in Courtmacsherry.

    • 19. Sand Dunes at Harbour View, Kilbrittain:
      The site, which is largely estuarine in nature, consists of the drowned valley of the Argideen River which is now filled with sediments, resulting in extensive mudflats and areas of saltmarsh. The site is of ornithological importance for the many waders and wildfowl that feed on the mud and sandflats. Kilbrittain Creek is now designated as a SAC for Birds and Dune system habitat. It holds internationally important wintering numbers of Black-tailed Godwits.  It also has nationally important numbers of Cormorant, Teal, Redshank, Great Northern Diver, Shelduck, Wigeon, Red Breasted Merganser, Lapwing, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Greenshank. Black-headed and Common Gulls also occur in significant numbers.

    • 20.  Cloundereen Church:
      Local lore has it that the church in Cloonderreen was established by the Knights Templars in 1296. Although it may well have been an order church maybe linked with the Franciscans who founded Timoleague Abbey. The friars were dispersed when the Abbey was suppressed, in 1542, and moved to Clogagh and possibly even this far east. There was a graveyard around the church. This is marked in the 1842 Ordinance Survey map but there is no sign of it on the ground.

    • 21. Con Murphy Monument:
      Con Murphy was shot dead during the War of Independence on 11th May 1921 age 25.

    • 22. Ballycatten View:
      View of the Argideen River Basin rich rolling pastures lands to the North and West. The Argideen River is famous for it’s salmon fishing. Donal Cam OSullivan, chieftan of is clan in Beara, West Cork [1561-1610] passed by this river and through the townlands of Ballycatten and Cloundereen, along this very road on his way to support the Irish at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601.

    • 23. Kiln View:
      Views of the Argideen Estuary birds feeding on mudflats at low tide particularly during the winter. Lime kilns were once the commonest type of industrial archaeological sites in the landscape. Most of the lime kilns around the country have been destroyed and only rare examples survive. Unfortunately the kiln in Maryborough no longer exists except in the name of the hill it once stood on.

    • 24. Cloon Calla:
      Beautiful views of Burren Pier, with Courtmacsherry Village and the ruins of Abbeymahon Monastry across the Bay.

    • 25. Ardacrow View:
      An expansive view of fertile farmland rolling all the way to the Wild Atlantic Way coastline and beyond.

    • 26. The Causeway:
      The Bridge over the Estuary.

    • 27. Kilbrittain Garda Station

    • 28. Coolmain Castle:
      There is said to be a tunnel connecting Kilbrittain Castle to Coolmain Castle. The tunnel is no longer viable. Coolmain Castle is the European Base of Roy Disney (Walt Disney's Grand Nephew)

    Things to do: 

    • West Cork Equine Centre: 0872717008
      West Cork Equine Centre is a family-run equestrian facility Open all-year round. The equestrian center caters for all equestrian disciplines.
    • West Cork Secret: 0238849606 /0878331206
       The West Cork Secret is a magical hideaway, loved by all who discover it. It couples the serenity of beautifully landscaped gardens with the shrieks of excitement from the obstacle course.
    • McCarthy’s Maze Trail: 0238849842/ 0877965321
      McCarthy's Maze Trail encompasses orienteering hunts in two mazes; a small maze and a large maze, both designed within a 5-acre field of corn maize up to 8ft tall

    Places to stay: 
    • Bridgeview Farmhouse, 0238849723
    • Harbour Crest B&B, 0234889676
    • Kilcatten Lodge 0238846370
    • Seafield B&B, 0238849818
    • The Glen Country House, 0238849862
    • The Dower House 0876491322

    Home to let:
    • Atlantic View 0868315511

    Places to eat and/or drink:
    • Celina’s Cafe, 0238849646
    • Hickeys Foodstore 0238849558
    • Kilbrittain Inn, 0238849937
    • The Amber Bar 0238849639
    • The Pink Elephant, 0238849608

    Taxi and Bus Services:
    • Cormac O' Connor Coach Tours / Bus Hire 023 8849896 - 0876167835
    • O' Connor Coaches - Sean 087 2540518
    • Kilbrittain Hackney Services 023 8846446 0873187398

    • Coolmain Curios, 0238849910

    Many thanks for Photos to Neil Hegarty Paddy Shields, Annette Hickey