The Bantry Area
Bantry is an excellent base for touring the mountains, lakes, forests, archaeological sites and villages of West Cork which is an ideal, uncrowded holiday region. You can also reach Kenmare and the Lakes of Killarney on an easy day trip. The climate is moderate, with summer temperatures mainly in the 70’s. There are many fine restaurants in the area. On Fridays an outdoor market features a range of gourmet delights. Outdoor adventurers can find walking and hiking challenges on the Sheepshead Walk just outside your door or across the bay on the Beare Peninsula. Bantry’s own 18-hole waterfront golf course is open to the public.
Location & Directions: Bantry is 60 miles from Cork, 125 miles from Shannon, 170 miles from Rosslare, 220 miles from Dublin and a million miles away from anyone’s troubles.
Driving times: Cork Airport 1 hour 20 minutes; Shannon Airport 3½ hours
Dublin to Cork Train: 3 hours
To reach Bantry by road, follow the main roads shown on maps obtainable from any car rental agent or any bookstore or newsstand. Adventurous drivers seeking the most scenic approach from Shannon will follow the back road that traverses the Kimenagh Pass and goes through the Irish speaking village of Kealkil. If you wish to take this route leave the main road at Mallow, heading to Killarney but take a left about 15 miles down the road towards Millstreet.
Driving straight down to Cork and then west to Bantry is easiest.
The key to finding "Tig Charlie" itself is to reach the West Lodge Hotel which is on the edge of Bantry on the main Bantry-Cork road. If you have approached Bantry from Ballylickey (the east), get to the West Lodge by driving through town, past the pier, boat anchorages and up the hill beyond the graveyard to the hotel which will be on your left. Coming from Cork on the main road you will see the hotel on your right just before you reach Bantry. It is well marked.
There are two roads opposite the West Lodge Hotel; the Rooska Road is the wider of the two and is marked with tourist signs for the Sheep's Head Peninsula and Bantry Bay Mussels; the Beach Road is very narrow with a sign for Dromcloc B&B – take the Rooska Road. Our gate is exactly 2 miles down the road on the right – a white cement wall with a black top and black iron gate. There is a black milk can at the wall. Proceed down the drive about 50 yards to a point where it divides. Keep left, then immediately turn right into Tig Charlie’s open gateway. The key will be in the door.
Should you take the smaller road – Beach, you will still be okay. The Beach Road will come to an end – keep right and the gate is almost immediately on your right.