An Clochán- Caisleán Ghriaire/ Cloghane-Castlegregory
Time: 7-9 hours
Route: When you leave Cloghane Village, go over the small bridge and follow the quiet scenic and winding country road for 3.5km. This road features impressive views of glacial valleys and then emerges on the sea Front of Fermoyle Beach. This coastal route links up the two villages of Cloghane and Castlegregory using the 11km sandy beach from Fermoyle to Stradbally.
Your first point of interest when arriving at Fermoyle beach Car park is ‘Fermoyle House’, which is located high in the trees overlooking the beach. This is one of the properties built by the Hickson Brothers, landlords in the area at the time.
When you first enter the strand, turn right and continue walking an easterly route. About 250m from the end of the beach follow the waymarkers through a gap in the dunes. When you eventually reach the road, turn left for Fahamore. Follow the track which will take you to the edge of a low cliff where once again you will turn right. Make your way along the field edges and down onto the beach again for another 1km.
The trail offers views of the Seven Hogs Islands when the trail curves around Scraggane Bay. At Kilcummin, where a little stream flows onto the Beach you will find remnants of the ship ‘Port Yarrock’ from Glasgow which sank in Brandon Bay during a storm in 1894. A memorial can be viewed in ‘Stradbally’ by the graveyard. The walk leaves the beach at Stradbally, and takes a quite country road. Along this route you can see the beautiful ivy clad remains at Stradbally medieval church. In the corner of the graveyard a headstone marks where the captain and the first mate from ‘The Port Yarrock’ are buried.
When leaving the church site, cross the humpback bridge and continue on along the tarred road towards the village of Castlegregory. If you wish to go to Stradbally, turn right after the humpback bridge. The tarred road merges into the main road after a mile and a half. On the right is the remains of another medieval church ‘The Church of Killiney’. Here you will find a memorial stone to the victims of the Port Yarrock. The trail then takes you back to the final stretch of tarmac road into Castlegregory. Here boasts a splendid variety of accommodation, restaurants and pubs.
Natural History: Regardless of the season there are numerous birds to be seen along the coast. During the summer the beach is perfect for surfers, swimmers and divers.
For more detailed information and guides to other walks that include this route pick up the ‘Cloghane and Brandon Walking Guide’ from ‘Halla le Chéile’ or ‘Siopa an Phobaill’