Type of RouteArrowsDistance GradingEstimated TimeTotal Climb
Loop WalkPink12.5 kmEasyto Moderate3 hrs150 m

This walking trail crosses private land along the historical Butter Road for 3km, and then quiet country roads. From the mapboard, follow the pink arrows east towards Ballydehob. The route then turns south or right and follows very quiet roads back to Schull. Walk straight ahead at the first crossroads and straight past the old quays on the left (worth a stop here for a picnic). There are a few left and rights – follow the pink arrows along this route. Take care as the route exits back to the N592 and back onto the footpath to Schull. 

Walk Guide

Derreennatra Loop Walk route is marked with pink arrows, which you need to look out for. 

The walk starts at the Trailhead in Schull (1) from which you walk down the hill past the hotel, past the Garda station and finally alongside the strand (beach) until you reach a turn to the RIGHT (2) 

After leaving the main road, the road curves to the left, rising over a small hill and as it descends again you will see a stony track leading off to the left at a bend in the road. (3) 

Follow the track gently uphill and quite soon pass through a gateway into a small field. At the end of the field you will see a footbridge crossing the stream. Take care here as it can be slippery. The track now climbs steadily uphill for about 1km and when it levels out you might see an old tractor amongst the brambles. Soon after you see some farm buildings to your left (4) but you continue STRAIGHT ON and go through a farm gate ahead. 

Continue along the track and you come to a house on the left and a cross-roads (5) where a public road crosses your route. Continue STRAIGHT ON, descending gently. The track can be a bit muddy here depending on how much farm traffic has passed along recently, but it soon starts to rise again and you emerge at a bend in the public road (6)

Turn RIGHT here and follow the road south, steadily downhill until you reach a cross roads where a larger road crosses your path (7). You continue STRAIGHT ON, ascending for a few hundred metres until the road levels off amid houses and now you should have splendid views out to sea. The road descends gently for about one kilometre, ignoring side tracks until you finally see Derreennatra Pier (Quay) below you on the left. You come to a T-junction just before the Pier where you turn LEFT and cross a bridge between ornate pillars. (8) 

After admiring the view from the pier and perhaps taking a break on the bench by the stream, return to the road and bear LEFT up the hill (NOT back over the bridge). Climb steadily, past some interesting houses, and a keep straight on until you reach a cross roads (9) with an old creamery on your left. Look at the roof – see the ventilation louvers. 

Here you turn LEFT and as this is a bigger road you might be wise to walk on the right hand side, but change sides if you feel that traffic might not see you. After a long left hand curve you pass a farm yard on the right, where you might see horses and a derelict house on the left. At the cross roads amongst the houses (10) you turn LEFT. Climb the hill for five minutes, bearing RIGHT at both the junctions you will encounter then descend an increasingly steep hill to a T-junction (11) where you go LEFT. 

You are now back on the busy road you left earlier and you need to follow this downhill until you reach the small harbour where an old Mill houses a photographer’s studio which is well worth a visit. 

From the Mill continue round a few bends and you might now recognise the old Butter Road going off to your right (3). Keep going STRAIGHT ON and after 5 minutes you’ll see the beach ahead and the main road where you turn LEFT and follow the sidewalk back into Schull where you can find a good selection of refreshments in the many restaurants, café and pubs.