Sunday 22 October 2017

WAY TO GO

Christopher Somerville

MAP: OS of Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery Sheet 83; downloadable map/ instructions online at discoverireland.ie/walking. GPS: Satmap.com.

TRAVEL: N70 to Cahersiveen; 4km towards Waterville, R565 to Portmagee; minor road to Keel.

From Keel, follow road marked 'Baile an Sceilg'; first right past Skelligs Chocolate Factory ('Trailhead'); park by Liberator monument.

WALK DIRECTIONS: Follow purple arrows (PA) along road for 2km to its end.

Cross stile and on across hillside, then left beside fence up spine of Bolus Head to signal tower at summit (PAs).

Left along fence, over ladder stile; on to cross next ladder stile.

Bear left along green road, then ahead (PA) steeply down beside a fence to a gate and road; continue ahead back to monument.

LENGTH: 8.5km/5½ miles -- allow 2½-3½ hours.

GRADE: Moderate/steep.

CONDITIONS: Soft hillside paths; boots/walking trainers advised. One short, steep upwards section.

Please do not cross fence at summit of Bolus Head -- the larger ruin is private property.

DON'T MISS: Sensational views of the Skelligs; gannets diving into St Finan's Bay for fish; view from summit -- from Beara peninsula to Inishvickillaun.

REFRESHMENTS: Skelligs Chocolate Café. Tel: 066 947 9119; skelligschocolate.com. Open Monday to Friday, 11am-16.45pm; weekends noon-16.45pm.

PICNIC SPOT: Up by the 'barracks' on Bolus Head.

STAY: Currane Lodge, Tarmons, Waterville, Co Kerry (066 947 4073; curranelodge.ie) -- Ann McCarthy's immaculate lake-view guesthouse. €60-€70 double B&B.

DINNER: Smugglers Inn, Cliff Road, Waterville (066 947 4330; thesmugglersinn.ie) -- superb seafood bisque and local fish straight out of the sea.

INFORMATION: Waterville TIC. Tel: 066 947 4646; ringofkerrytourism.com.

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