The Beara - in the extreme south west of Ireland, is the longest of five fingers of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Caha mountains make up the spine and slope down to Bantry Bay on the south side and to Kenmare river and Kerry on the north side. Hungry Hill ( 680m /2245ft) is a fascinating mountain dotted with sheep grazing on it’s slopes. The coast is rocky but with easy access down to the sea shore where there are many coves and caves - a smugglers’ paradise in former times.

The climate is temperate all year round because of the influence of the Gulf Stream - therefore we have beautiful flora and fauna , ( fuchsia , hortensia, etc) all year - a semi tropical paradise. We’ve lived here most of our lives and so often, we are still enthralled by the effects of the ever changing light on the landscape. 

The region has many ancient sites of archaeological and historical interest - the Hag of Beara, stone circles, dolmens and ogham stones etc. Trips can be arranged with guide, Teddy to visit some of these sites which prove to be entertaining and enjoyable. All these sites can be seen on the various trails and very many are listed on the  maps of the region.   Bere Island  and Dursey Island are readily accessible by ferry and cable-car respectively.   

The people here in the Beara peninsula are friendly and helpful and offer a warm  welcome to tourists. So often our guests tell us after a walk or a trip, that they are spiritually touched by the people they meet and talk to and they truly enjoy the humour and stories.

This we feel adds a wonderfully real and natural dimension to a vacation in  Ireland. The natural beauty and friendly people attract citizens of many other countries to come and live here too, so the population, though small is quite diverse.

As children we grew up chatting with Galicians, Basques and Briton fishermen, on our way home from school. For decades we have been accostumed to visitors from afar and this influence is evident in the local people - always open and friendly with visitors. 

"where's my dinner?"

Castletownbere is the principal town in Beara and sits right beside the harbour. It has all the paraphenalia of an active fishing port and boats big and small come and go all the time. The fishing boats come in with many species of fish daily. Lobster, mussels, prawns, turbot, hake and monkfish are an example of the huge variety you can enjoy here.

Castletownbere has always been a welcome and safe haven for fishermen and sailors from all parts of the world. The film Ondine starring Colin Farrell was shot locally (in 2008) over a three month period and features many scenes of the harbour and nearby coves. This is Colin Farrell’s second film shot here in Beara and it has been both a pleasure and fun to have had his company here at Seapoint Lodge.

Castletownbere has all the services of a typical Irish small town, i.e. banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, internet cafes, restaurants and bars.

For some light reading on the Beara Peninsula refer to On the Edge Of Ireland a recent travel book by David Yeadon, gives a flavor of the people he met whilst he lived here researching  his book. An earlier book of his was  the best selling National Geographic Guide to the World’s Secret Places. Whilst in Beara he enjoyed his time at Seapoint Lodge, and writes of his enjoyment of the storytelling and camaraderie in the book. Also McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy, his fun account of his trips in Ireland and his enjoyable sojurn in Castletownbere.

Things to do here:

Apart from in our garden, there are so many wonderful places for just sitting and watching - the whales and dolphins enjoying themselves, the fish jumping and the gannets diving for their dinner, absolutely breathtaking and the sun sets are amazing here.

Stay out and see the night sky and the stars, our words cannot describe the feelings. 

Dzogchen Beara - a Rigpa retreat centre, situated nearby on a seaside cliff-top, welcomes people of all faiths and none to it’s varied programmes.

Anam Cara Retreat - A writer's and artist retreat at Eyeries.

Art Galleries
Just a 5 minute walk from Seapoint Lodge is Millcove Art Gallery set in beautiful gardens by the sea with welcoming hosts.
Sarah Walker Gallery on the waterfront quay in Castletownbere;
Catherine Hammond Gallery in Glengarriff and there are several galleries and artists’ studios in the villages around the peninsula.

No Guggenheim in Beara! There are however, very interesting museums set up by local communities displaying and interpreting various aspects of social life. Allihies Copper-Mine Museum tells the story of copper mining in Allihies.
Bere Island Heritage Centre - the maritime / military history of Bere Island and Bantry Bay. Wonderfully engrossing.

In June and July, in Bantry (just a short scenic drive away) you can enjoy the West Cork Literary Festival and West Cork Chamber Music Festival. (check their websites)

The climate in West Cork adds a special dimension to gardens - if you wish to visit some see the - West Cork Garden Trail for suggestions.

It’s a paradise for both long and short walks, all within easy access of Seapoint Lodge. The Beara Way and Sheep’s Head Way - both, way marked routes, offer many choices and Michael Fewer’s notes will keep you engrossed along the routes.

Walking in Ireland by Tom Lawton (a best selling author of walking guides) is a collection of 25 walking routes, 3 of which are in Beara (one to the summit of Hungry hill). This is an excellent walker’s resource with computer generated route diagrams and relief profiles for each walk. These guide books and accompanying maps, along with personal notes of our walking experiences are available to our guests.

This is a fun and interesting way to get around here - and if necessary we can arrange at the bike hire shop nearby.

Boat trips
We can arrange with Kevin the boatman at Ellen’s Rock, near Glengarriff (20 minutes by car) to take you for a short ride amongst the seal colony so you get up close and talk to them. If you wish, he can take you to Garinish Island with it’s Italian gardens.

Fishing trips in the harbour and beyond are possible with suitably equipped boats as is rod fishing in both sea and lakes. 

In August we have a festival regatta where everybody who cares to, can join in the fun, rowing, water polo, swimming etc. 

Sailing, powerboating and kayaking - for both the learnerand experienced -there’s an excellent centre nearby at Adrigole Harbour.

Many of the local pubs offer evening sessions of live music both traditional and contemporary, and a chance for tourists to enjoy meeting with local people. The local restaurants throughout the peninsula offer a wonderful variety of fresh fish and of course delicious local lamb.

Welcome to paradise - Internet access available

Wilkommen - Bienvenue - Bienvenido - Benvenuto - Welkom

© Seapoint Bed & Breakfast 2010