Allihies-How Coast and Copper Shaped the Land and the People

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Allihies is a picturesque coastal village nestled in the hills of the Beara peninsula. It’s colourful cottages and characters along with its glorious scenery draws people in like bees to nectar.

Costa del Cork-Suzanne Burns
Costa del Cork-Suzanne Burns

Our walk took us from the village along the coast to explore the wild ruggedness of its coastline. We walked towards the hills, past the old copper mines which were very important for the community. The mines are still very much intact and have even heavily influenced the local beach. The spoils from the mine used to run dow the hill to the sea and the crushed remnants now make up the sand on the beach.

The imposing Cornish mine above Allihies township- Suzanne Burns
The imposing Cornish mine above Allihies township- Suzanne Burns

Our walk was moderate and will took us approximately 3 hours at a leisurely pace. There is so much stunning scenery, particularly when you reach higher ground. The combination of stark stone, and wild Atlantic below is quite the sight.

Between land and ocean -Suzanne Burns
Between land and ocean -Suzanne Burns

The more of Beara you see, the more it imprints itself upon your consciousness. It’s dark and troubled history from the mining times and famine, where people lived sometimes up to 25 in a house. Today it serves as a success story and testament to the enduring people who live here. We at MOPTOG, cannot get enough.

What's your happy day? Ours is Sunday! Suzanne Burns
What’s your happy day? Ours is Sunday! Suzanne Burns

A is for Amazing Allihies, Ahakista and Annascaul.

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Allihies is a stunning coastal village which straddles the Cork-Kerry border. Its unique position nestled beneath imposing rock faces, looking out onto the wild Atlantic ocean. The village is dotted with cheery multicoloured houses and watering holes and eateries. Numerous coastal and hill walks can be found for the outdoor enthusiast.

It was an important mining source in the 18th and 19th century and remnants of its history can be seen in the hillsides above. According to the legend ‘The Children of Lir’, the children are buried in Allihies.

Ahakista is a wooded coastal village on the road to the Sheeps Head peninsula in West Cork. Besides its beauty it is also known for its famous summer resident, Graham Norton. Originally a sleepy fishing village, it has become more prominent as a tourist destination for its fabled walks and history.

One of the loveliest pubs in Ireland, The Tin Pub is located in Ahakista. It has welcomed musicians from all over the world. Its glorious gardens overlook Dunmanus Bay. With music, a pint in hand and breathtaking beauty, where else would you want to be?

Annascaul was home to one of Ireland’s greatest explorers. Tom Crean. His epic voyages of discovery to Antarctica with Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton have left an indelible mark on the psyche of many. Despite risking life and limb on numerous occasions, this brave but private and modest man, bought a wee pub in his home which he called The South Pole Inn.

The dramatic landscape which encompasses Annascaul includes brooding mountains, thunderous waterfalls and pounding coastline. The scenery, sensations and solitude is sure to set your heart beating anew!