Mizen Head

Mizen Head, in County Cork, is the most south-westerly point of Ireland, known for its dramatic scenery and bridge.

History of Mizen Head

The cliffs and rocks around Mizen Head are dangerous: in the 19th century, they had seen the deaths of many sailors, and the sinking of many ships – particularly problematic as the transatlantic shipping routes ran close by. In 1906, the Irish Lights Board sanctioned the opening of the Mizen Head Fog Signal Station in order to make the area safer by warning ships off the rocks. The station was automated in 1933, but three keepers remained living there on rotation until 1993.

In 1992, locals created the Mizen Head Tourism Co-operative Society in order lease the building and paths and to try and help keep employment in the area, and to drive tourism. The former signal station was transformed into an exhibition space examining the lives of the keepers, as well as detailing Mizen Head’s strategic importance in transatlantic shipping and communications. The 45m high bridge underwent major restoration work in 2005 in order to make it safe for pedestrians and visitors.

Mizen Head today

The cliffs and seascape around Mizen Head is truly spectacular: whether you visit in the summer with bright blue skies and a glittering ocean below, or on a moody, overcast autumn day, the dramatic cliffs and swelling oceans are worth taking in fully. Note that the bridge is closed during periods of high winds or particularly adverse weather, so don’t attempt to go at these times.

There’s a cafe and visitor centre on the mainland, which has exhibitions about wider local history and ecology, as well as the construction of the new Fastnet lighthouse. Allow half a day here for a decent bit of exploring and some clifftop walks.

Hours vary seasonally – the site is open daily from April – October, and some weekends outside of this. Check before making the journey down there.

Getting to Mizen Head

Mizen Head is a decent drive from the nearest decent-size towns – Bantry and Skibbereen. Located at the far end of the Mizen Peninsula, you’ll need to take the N71, before turning off onto the R591/2 (depending on which direction you’re coming from), following this to Goleen. From there, take Mizen Head Drive all the way to the very end of the peninsula. There’s ample parking. It’s nigh impossible to get here without your own transport unless you’re part of an organised tour group.

Barley Cove Beach, West Cork

Ireland’s long and winding coastline reveals many magnificent beaches and strands.

Some are stony, some are rocky and some offer golden sands and crashing waves. Barley Cove Beach on the Mizen Peninsula in County Cork is one of Ireland’s most amazing beaches, and truly one of the Emerald Isle’s hidden gems.

Barley Cove is one of Ireland’s most spectacular beaches and is found along the Wild Atlantic Way. One of my childhood stomping grounds, I spent many a summer’s day building sandcastles on this stunning strand.

The Castles

The castle consists of three towers, hence the title “Three Castle”, connected by a rampart wall of some 20 feet in height one of the highest medieval walls still intact in Ireland. These walls run from the edge of the cliff, connecting the three towers eastwards to the lake. They then continue as a fortifying barrier along part of the lake on the northwest edge, continuing at the eastern end of it down to the cliffs on the northern face of the peninsula. There are 40 acres behind the castle known as the “Island” which rise sharply creating an impregnable stronghold with a spectacular view of the surrounding land and sea from Mizen Head to the Beara peninsula and beyond. This provided an important tactical vantage point, from which all sea traffic could be observed and perhaps taxed, as well as ensuring maximum defense from all directions ideally positioned as a last bastion against the Normans and attack other chieftains in the area including the invading armies of Mountjoy, Boyle and Cromwell.

The easternmost tower by the lake was three stories high, comprised of a main arched entrance gateway and a spiral stairs. The middle tower was of similar height, also with a spiral stairway, still intact, and an interior archway at ground level. This led either to a separate room below or was the entrance to a souterain leading to the sea, utilizing the natural crevices in the rock. The largest tower the dungeon on the westernmost end of the ramparts is approximately 10 – 15 metres in height, of three stories and about 5 metres square inside. The ground floor has several loophole windows and depressions in the walls which were possibly used for storage spaces. It was covered by a wooden ceiling, supported by beams from which the interior stairwell commences. Above this second level are two arches which support the stone ceiling that is the floor of the uppermost inner chamber. There are four corbel stones above this that provide support for the roof which was possibly slightly gabled and constructed of wood. Around this were the uppermost ramparts for observation and defense, the highest point of the castle. Against the rear walls of the tower and ramparts were lean-to structures, evident by the regular indentations in the stonework.

The construction technique used for three castle head was of dry stone masonry no cement or lime were utilized, but rather a mixture of the local “blue till”, a residue of the indigenous schist-slate rock found here. The geology of this area being metamorphic provided stones that were relatively flat and regular. They were not cut, but employed as they were, and quarried from open pits here on the land.

Many legends abound concerning the “Three Castles”, not only because of its haunting atmosphere and the desolate stillness of the lake, but as well due to its violent history. The last family to have allegedly resided there were the O‘Donohue’s, all of whom apparently died tragically in suicide or murder. A drop of blood supposedly drops daily in the tower by the lake because of this. ome claim that there also exists an enchanted white “Lady of the Lake”. If one sees her then one will die imminently, according to the stories. Others maintain that gold lies hidden in the lake, the bottom of which has never been found, with buried treasures below the castles that if discovered bring only misfortune.

The History of Iconic Diamond Head

About 300,000 years ago, molten lava flowed into the cool waters of the Pacific, creating a violent steam explosion. Cinder, ash and chunks of limestone reef flew into the air, then settled and hardened into a tuff cone that measures 760 feet at its highest point and has a 350-acre crater within it.

Legend Has It…

Diamond Head from the air. Photo: member Janet Y.

Legend says this volcanic cone was one of the places where Pele, the volcano goddess, and her younger sister, Hiiaka, lived as they searched the Hawaiian archipelago for a permanent home. It is said Hiiaka dubbed it Lae-ahi, thinking its forehead resembled the lae (brow) of the ahi (tuna). The spelling was later changed to Leahi.

Scholars of Hawaiian history and culture note another translation of Leahi could be lei (wreath) and ahi (fire), referring to the fires Hawaiians lit along the crater’s rim to guide canoes. A heiau (temple) dedicated to Laamaomao, god of the wind, was built there to deter trades that could extinguish those navigational fires.

How Diamond Head Got Its Name

Sunrise from Diamond Head. Photo: member Cliff C.

Western explorers and traders hiking Leahi’s slopes in the late 1700s mistakenly thought calcite crystals sparkling in the rocks were diamonds. Thus came about the common name for what is now Oahu’s most famous landmark: Diamond Head.

Diamond Head’s Military History

Staircase at Diamond Head Monument. Photo: member Angela Y.

In 1904, the federal government bought Diamond Head for military use. Fort Ruger, Oahu’s easternmost defense for sea- and ground-based attacks, was established there in 1906, and in the ensuing years bunkers, pillboxes, batteries, anti-aircraft gun positions, searchlight stations and a fire control station were installed in and around the crater. None of the artillery was fired during a war, however, and all guns were removed between 1940 and 1950.

State Monument and National Landmark

View from the top of Diamond Head. Photo: member Jacky C.

Diamond Head was designated a State Monument in 1962 and a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Built in 1908 as part of the Army’s coastal defense system, an 8/10-mile trail climbs 560 feet from the crater’s floor to its summit. Hiking the trail is a popular activity because of the reward at the top: a magnificent view of the ocean and coast stretching from Koko Head in the east to Waianae in the west. Nominal entrance fees are charged to visitors.

Exploring Three Castle Head and Dunlough Castle on the Mizen Peninsula

If you’re exploring the Mizen Peninsula in West Cork be sure to add Three Castle Head to your itinerary. It was definitely a highlight of my recent trip around West Cork and is probably one of the best hidden gems to be found along the Wild Atlantic Way. You really don’t want to miss this unique spot on your travels.

Despite its proximity to Mizen Head, one of the most popular tourist attractions in this part of Ireland, not a lot of visitors seem to make it to Three Castle Head. I met only a handful of others during my time there. Of course that’s part of what makes this place so special, so I guess that’s a good thing! It also helps that Three Castle Head, which includes the ruins of Dunlough Castle, is only accessible by foot. So you don’t get bus loads of tourists turning up for a quick photo opportunity either.

On a dull and rather miserable day it was still like something from a fairy tale. The photos don’t do it justice either. Three Castle Head really is a place that needs to be seen to be believed!

Dunlough Castle

It may be called Three Castle Head but there is just the one castle. The name “Three Castle” refers to the three towers or keeps that make up Dunlough Castle. Connecting the towers is a curtain wall, stretching more than 100 feet from the cliffs to the shores of the lake. The wall and towers are mainly in ruins now but remain very impressive all the same.

Dunlough is said to be one of the oldest Norman castles in southern ireland. The ruins which remain there now date from around the 15th century, though the first fortification on this site dated back as far as 1207. The deterioration of the castle can also be partly attributed to its dry stone construction.

The Three Castle Head Trail

The route to Dunlough Castle is straightforward enough and there is some signage pointing you in the right direction as well. Heading towards the farmhouse at the start of the walk, you’ll see a trail across the field about half way. This takes you to a gate and once you’re through that just keep heading uphill and you can’t really go wrong. I know, I hate when people say that as I usually still get lost. I’m sure you’ll be grand though! The views to the Atlantic and the coastline from this part of the trail are pretty stunning too. However, they’re nothing like what’s to come.

It should be noted that this is private land and also a working sheep farm. So dogs are not allowed on the trail, even with a lease. There is a donation box near start of the trail so bring some coins. The donation of €3 per person is requested to help keep the parking and walk open to the public. It feels more than fair for the opportunity to access such a special place and €1 of each donation goes to charity too.

How long does it take to reach Dunlough Castle?

From the car parking area to the first breathtaking glimpse of Dunlough castle took me about 25 minutes so it’s a pretty short hike. It’s easy going all the way with just a very short bit of a climb uphill towards the end. At the top of the hill those first views of the lake and castle are ones that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry. I sat there for a few minutes taking it all in before continuing on to the castle, just a few minutes walk away.

In the end I spent about an hour exploring but could easily have spent the day here! I left because the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain started to bucket down. In fairness, it wasn’t a bad thing as I had a four hour journey to get back home and really should have been on the road earlier. I’d definitely love to return to Three Castle Head with a picnic and a spend the day reading, eating and exploring some more!

Obviously any exploring of the ruins is at your own risk but I realised you could climb up to the top of the middle tower because I saw two other people peeking out at the top as I approached. Of course I had to check it out too then. I had to remove my backpack to be able to get up the narrow staircase and it was a little nerve-racking at the top so I didn’t spend too long up there!

The Legends of Three Castle Head

There are some pretty dark tales associated with Dunlough and Three Castle Head. It is said that the O’Donuhue’s, who where the last family to live there, all died by suicide or murder. Now as a result a drop of blood falls from one of the towers every day. Others claim that a mysterious White Lady haunts the lake anyone who sees her will die soon after. So if you’re very superstitious, you might want to think twice before you pay a visit here!

What to bring

During the summer if it’s dry, runners should be good enough to do the walk. However I visited after rain and there were some very boggy areas. The worst areas fortunately had stepping stones in place but nonetheless I managed to get pretty wet feet along the way. Kind of annoying as my hiking boots were in the back of the car! Still, totally worth it to visit this amazing location though!

Bring some water and snacks as there is nothing in the vicinity. The owners used to have a cafe open during the summer months but it seems that it is closed now. Instead they are focusing on hosting private functions and weddings. What a place to get married right! If you’re considering it, get in touch. I will definitely offer you a good rate as I would LOVE to photograph a wedding here.

Accommodation at Three Castle Head

You don’t have to be getting married to stay and enjoy this incredible place though. If you fancy more time at Three Castle Head, there are a few accommodation options rented out by the land owners. Choose from the cosy cottage, the tack room or the loft and enjoy a truly unique holiday experience.

The seven wonders of beautiful West Cork

At the point where the southern coast of Ireland turns west, lies a rugged sea-shaped landscape of uplands, peninsulas, and inlets, a place where eons of geography and generations of history combine to craft a unique identity for people and place.

Traveling within and around West Cork is as much about a journey of the mind as it is about movement. Over the years I have come to recognize the familiar shapes and solid features of the landscape, however, this delightful sameness is always tinged with something new as the palette of texture and shade change constantly with the wind and the sea. And so, I present West Cork as a place of wonders. There are many possibilities for the top seven but the ones I include here are my personal selection.

Read more

Mizen Head

Let’s start at Ireland’s most south-westerly point, Mizen Head. You get there by traveling out the road from Ballydehob through Schull on the Kilmore Peninsula (notice how all the towns in West Cork have lovely names). The headland is approached via a winding road that rises spectacularly over the sprawling beach at Barleycove. It’s a bit of a push on a bicycle but it can be done. Most people prefer to drive slowly, very slowly so as not to be distracted by the sheer drop into the sea.

Begin the journey through West Cork at Barleycove

The visitors center at Mizen Head makes good use of the old signal station and lighthouse to provide an interesting and breathtakingly beautiful insight on maritime life. Some of the buildings are located on a great rock island accessed by a magnificent footbridge that gets my award for brave engineering. On the span of this bridge, you get an up-close sense of the turmoil created when Atlantic waves bash against the coastal cliffs. The ominous signs indicating that the attraction may have to close in bad weather give you some sense of the wild openness of this location. This is where wind and waves and weather can become wild and dangerous and should never be taken for granted.

On a clear day, Fastnet Rock with its distinctive Lighthouse can be seen eight miles out to sea. The rock was referred to as Ireland’s teardrop as it was the very last piece of land visible for those heading out to cross the Atlantic by ship. In former times, you can imagine the migrant’s lonely feeling as the tiny rock recedes while they head west for a new life, possibly never to return.

Take the shore road back through Ballydehob and around the aptly named Roaringwater Bay to the town of Skibbereen. This town has always ‘punched above its weight’. Given its size and hinterland, Skibbereen could be any other maritime market town. However, it makes my top list of wonders for three reasons. The first for its association with the legendary 18th-century newspaper known as The Skibbereen Eagle which famously declared it was “keeping an eye on Russia”. Established in 1857 to cater for local sophisticated and aristocratic readers, its owner and editor one Frederick Potter had a high perspective on world affairs. Long before the United Nations and syndicated news, the Skibbereen Eagle was watching over the globe from the vantage point of West Cork.

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Second, the remarkable achievements of the local rowing club and the O’Donovan brothers, Paul and Gary, who won silver medals at the Olympic games in 2016. The wide and languid river Ilen connects the town with the sea and provides a world-class production line of rowing excellence.

And my third reason, Skibbereen is the theme and title of the saddest song I’ve ever heard. It’s a lovely lament from the famine times as it tells the story of a son asking his father why he left Ireland:

Oh father dear, I oft-times hear you speak of Erin’s isle

Her lofty hills, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild

They say she is a lovely land wherein a saint might dwell

So why did you abandon her, the reason to me tell.

Well, the father agrees it was a great place but then proceeds to list the hardships that drove him to abandon the land and make a new life abroad.

Till a blight came o’er the praties my sheep, my cattle died

My rent and taxes went unpaid, I could not them redeem

And that’s the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.

In the sing-songs of my youth everyone joins in for the last few words of each verse.


Off now out the coast to the south to visit the harbor at Baltimore and the islands of Cape Clear and Sherkin Island. Baltimore always seems to be busy as it serves as a launching point for sailing boats, island ferries and fishing vessels of all size and shape. It’s a short trip by ferry to Sherkin Island where you can wander along the grassy paths and enjoy a cup of tea or a beer in the pubs.

Cape Clear Island is further out so you will need to check the weather if you wish to cross. People here know the sea and they respect it. I once headed out on the ferry in a strong south-westerly and although I was always safe in their hands, the size of the swell and the waves would not be for the faint-hearted.


Leaving Baltimore head south along the coast roads towards Castletownsend. This is a wonderful journey by bicycle. There is no continuous coast road so you need to keep cutting inland to avoid the many estuaries. Whatever you do, do not miss Lough Hyne. This is Ireland’s only marine lake and it is also a nature reserve with beautiful walks and views. It is completely cut off from the sea, save for a narrow outlet at the top. This means that the lake is saltwater rather than fresh and of course thereby it has its own unique ecosystem and habitat.

Let me tell you about Castletownsend, this is a gem of a town located round the coast where it is more southerly facing. My wife once declared that she knew why it was called Castletownsend – because ‘there is a castle at the end of the town’. And yes! there is, and a fine one at that! But the name comes from the Townsend family who still live there and are associated with the castle. I have to say, a pint of Guinness and seafood chowder in Mary Ann’s bar and restaurant in Castletownsend makes my list of the wonders of West Cork.

Union Hall and Glandore

Further along the coast road to the towns of Union Hall and Glandore. These make the list of wonders as a pair. They face each other across a great estuary that culminates inland at the town of Leap (pronounced ‘lep’ by the locals).

Glandore, looking out toward Union Hall.

On the one side, you have Union Hall, a busy fishing port with a working harbor providing a vital economic activity to the area. Across the bay, accessed by means of the quirky Poulgorm Bridge, you have the grandeur of Glandore with its lavish houses and holiday homes.

On a fine day, the views are beautiful and you can sit and relax and take your time sipping coffee and contemplating the wonders of West Cork.

So there’s my list of seven wonders: Mizen Head, Skibbereen, Baltimore and the islands, Lough Hyne, Castletownsend, Union Hall, and Glandore. All within a short drive, all with character and imagination shaped by the sea, all in West Cork.

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Last name: Mizen

Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English medieval surname. It is locational and derives not from sailing but from the parish of Misson, near Bawtry, in the county of Nottinghamshire. The placename is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as "Misne", and as "Misene" in the 1228 Episcopal Registers. The derivation is from the Old Germanic word "musin", denoting a marshy place, and akin to the Olde English pre 7th Century word "mos", meaning a swamp. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. --> In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Misson, Mizen, Mizon, Musson and Mizzen. Recordings of the surname from early surviving English church registers include: the marriage of Edward Mizen and Isabella Morrison on December 12th 1768, at St. Nicholas', Liverpool, Lancashire and the christening of Sarah Mizzen at St. Peter's church, Nottingham, on November 24th 1786. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Musson. This was dated 1272, in the "Book of Fees" for the county of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry 111 of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Mizen Head Footbridge (2010) Cork

The Mizen Head Footbridge is a reinforced concrete through-arch structure which provides access to a lighthouse at the tip of Mizen Head in the south west of County Cork. The current bridge was constructed during 2009 and 2010 to replace an older bridge which had existed for almost a century.​

The Commissioners of Irish Lights held a design competition in the early 1900s for a crossing to the lighthouse on the island of Cloghán. The winning design by a Mr. Ridley from London was for a reinforced concrete structure comprising a pedestrian deck suspended between a pair of parabolic rib arches anchored 45m (147 ft) above the gorge. The bridge span was 52m (170 ft) and the arches flared from a width of 3.7m (12 ft) at either side to 1.6m (5.25 ft) at the central section where the ribs intersected the deck.​

The bridge was built by Alfred Thorne & Sons of London and was completed in 1909 at a cost of £1,272.​

© By fubsan [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite its exposed location and harsh environment the bridge survived in good condition due to regular maintenance and repainting. However, inspections in the early 2000s indicated defects that necessitated refurbishment or replacement of the bridge.​

The chosen option was to replace the bridge with an almost identical replica and the contract to build it was awarded to Irishenco. The new bridge was designed as a two-pinned arch constructed in reinforced concrete using stainless steel reinforcement and it differs from the original only in the width of the deck which is 70cm (2.3 ft) wider.​

The difference in width allowed the construction of the rib arches outside the existing bridge using the old ribs as supporting falsework. As the new bridge progressed the older one was demolished. Construction work took place between October 2009 and December 2010 with the official opening taking place on 17th March 2011.​

Mizen Head

Wednesday,I went to Mizen Head, on the next peninsula South West from us, with a small group from the Rehabcare Centre in Bantry. The others would travel in the bus from Skibbereen, I was collected in the centre’s car which can take one set of wheels. I was the only one coming from North of the Mizen peninsula, with all the others coming from the Skibbereen area.
I was looking forward to perhaps spot a Chough, <Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax> the only Corvid beside the Raven, I have yet to encounter. At home I am bombarded each day with Jackdaws, Rooks, and sometimes Hooded Crows. Other birds seen at this beautiful spot are Gannets, and Kittiwakes.
The Sun was out and the little shower we met was kind enough to splatter the windscreen while we were driving from Schull to Mizen, leaving us high and dry for the rest of the day.
We stopped off in Schull first, meeting with the others, a little village, steeped in history and tourists. From there on we went further west to the end of the peninsula and the Land’s End of Ireland. A Jackdaw followed the car for a long time, between Schull and Goleen, the village between Schull and Mizen flying alongside my window.
Along the little path over the steep rocky cliffs, I noticed the usual clumps of Thrift and Heather which were growing behind the high fencing, stopping anyone from climbing up or down and I had to elevate my wheels regularly to get any decent shots over the fencing of these and of the waves below us.
Even so, my biggest surprise was found on ground level where for a moment I thought we were met with something from another planet! A single stalk rose up from the ground, about 20-25cm tall, looking very fleshy, and on top was a large flower bud, starting to open up. The hood of the flower-bud had started to open up, revealing four flower ‘leaves’ which held together a mixture of what looked like to be tiny white flowers.
At the bottom there appeared another one of these buds
The most striking was that out of the bud at the top, two tiny plants seem to be growing out of its host.

I had hoped to see a Chough, the only Crow I have not seen. A Rock Pipit was foraging in the leafy growth at the side of the path, and was not too shy among the many people walking past it on the path, and I assume it was familiar with its surroundings.
No Choughs, or any other rarer birds, only a handful of Herring Gulls, performing their avian acrobatics.
In the Shop I got myself a few small books on Ireland’s Birds/Wild Flowers and Animals, with lovely illustrations. Also I got a DVD on Ireland Seabird and Marine Life, presented by Vinny Hyland and Pat Kavenagh.
Unfortunately, a scratch at the underside means it won’t play € 20 down the drain.
It says that it has been shown on BBC, which I might have seen, or perhaps not? I think I will contact the visitor centre about it.

My Jackdaws did not seem to notice my departure, though they will atack the food as soon as I'm gone from the window:Schull Harbour: The Mizen Head Signal Station:Choppy Waves even on a calm day: Wild Angelica Bud: Top of bud, New bud at stalk and the whole stalk:a large clump of Thrift: English Stonecrop Rock Pipit: The Herring Gulls were too fast for a good shot,

1 comment:

Hey Yoke - you've finally joined the blogging community - well done.

A great set of pictures and some good text.

Sorry - don't know what your mystery bud is but hope you find out and let us know.

Thank you for visiting Wildlife on Wheels Feel free to leave your comments it is very much appreciated.

Rhingia campestris

Welcome to my 2 blogs, Wildlife on Wheels and Birding on Wheels.

With these twin blogs I hope to show that nature is all around us, even along the road,in our garden, or on a balcony.

I will try and use Wildlife on Wheels for Wild Flowers, Invertebrates and other creatures in the garden and elsewhere. In Birding on Wheels I concentrate more on the Birds in my garden.
For any queries, you can leave a comment or send an email to birdingonwheelsATgmail.

Mizen Head Signal Station

Mizen Bridge is a world renowned whale, dolphin and seal watching location.

Ireland's most Southwesterly point is a dramatic location on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Mizen Visitor Centre with historial and geological dispays, gift shop and cafe.

Take the dramatic Bridge walkway across the thundering Atlantic below.

If your enquiry is of a general nature, the team here at Heritage Island will respond to you directly. If it is more appropriate for the attraction(s) to respond to you directly, we will request them to do so.

The Visitor Centre, with café and gift shop, features displays on the Fastnet Lighthouse, the Geology of Mizen and a Navigational Simulator showing Mizen Head from the sea.

Then the outdoor experience starts! Take the path to the Signal Station down the 99 Steps to the Bridge. Head out to the former Keeper&rsquos Quarters with its interpretive displays. Along the way there are several paths up to wonderful views along the coast - right up to the Sheep's Head and the Beara Peninsulas!

Mizen is also a world renowned whale and dolphin watching location, where visitors can often see seals under the bridge.

  • Ireland&rsquos most south-westerly point, along the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Enjoy walks over the Arched bridge, and fenced cliff walks with sea views
  • See the Keepers&rsquo Quarters, exhibition and memorabilia like maps, photos, videos
  • Learn about safety at sea and try the navigational simulator
  • Find out about shipwrecks, geology, flowers, birds and tides
  • Audio visual presentation through English
  • Fantastic views along Ireland&rsquos rugged coastline
  • The chance to see whales, dolphins, seals and other marine wildlife

Visitor Information

Open Year Round

*Open from July 14th. Opening hours 10am-6pm July and August.

(Opening hours are wind and weather permitting)

Feb 17 - Feb 21
Daily 11:00 - 16:00

March 17 - May 31
Daily 10.30 - 17:00

June 1 - June 30
Daily 10.00 - 18:00

July 1 - Aug 31
Daily 10.00 - 19:00

September 1 - October 31
Daily 10.30 - 17:00

November - February
Saturday & Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Contact Details

Mizen Head Signal Station,
Goleen, Co. Cork

Closed: December 24 to 26

Last admission: 20 minutes before closing

Approx. visit duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Adult: &euro7.50
Senior (aged 65+): &euro6.00
Student (with valid ID): &euro6.00
Child (under 15): &euro4.50
Child (under 5): Free
Family (2 adults & 4 children): &euro25.00

Other Useful Information

Free leaflets available in English.

Café serving home-made light lunches, snacks, tea and coffee.

Gift shop selling maritime souvenirs, toys, books and cards.

Car parking and coach parking on-site.

The Signal Station itself is mainly accessible but please note some paths are very steep and there are steps up to one platform and one building has some steps leading up to it and not accessible.

Group rates available (10% discount - minimum numbers required). Pre-booking required.

Space for small meetings and courses

Mizen Head is a spectacular location and while they do not have dedicated space for conferences, meetings they can provide space within the visitor centre for meetings, gatherings, and courses, They have a café on-site that can provide any catering needed. This option is available from September to May.

They run Mizen Courses, usually connected with the Mizen peninsula or subjects dealt within the Centre. However, they are happy to accommodate, manage and cater for any courses that might be required by a third party. This facility is available from September to May.

For more information, email [email protected] or phone +353 (0) 28 35000/35115

Map Location

From Bantry:
Travel through Durrus taking the left fork towards Goleen. Continue to the end of the road and turn right at the T junction. Go through Goleen and continue until you see the sign for Mizen Head Drive.

From Skibbereen:
Follow the signs for N71 until you reach Ballydehob. Go straight on and follow the signs for Mizen Head Drive. Follow the route R592 through Schull, through Goleen and continue until you see the sign for Mizen Head Drive.

Mizen Head Signal Station Nearby Attractions

Have an Enquiry?

If you are interested in visiting this attraction, seeking more information or have a group enquiry, please contact us here.

Watch the video: الخمينى. فى ميزان التاريخ (January 2022).