Type of WalkArrowsDistanceGradingEstimated TimeTotal Climb
Linear WalkYellow14.2 km (one-way)Moderate4 hrs (one-way)200 m

This walk is through forest, fields, and quiet country roads with great views including Dunmanus and Roaring Water Bays. From the mapboard at Altar Church in Toormore, follow the yellow arrows for Schull and Goleen for 0.5km through the forest walk. Turn left for Goleen, walking along a quiet country road and farmland tracks to Dunmanus Road, before heading west past Dunkelly under Knockaphuca Hill before following quiet tracks and boreens to Goleen village.

NOTE – this walk includes a stretch of about 1km on the R591, which is a busy secondary route, and requires caution, particularly if dogs and/or children are part of the walking group. There is a second short stretch on the R591 near Goleen which is also worthy of caution. 

Walk Guide

The Toormore to Goleen Walk route is marked with amber arrows which you need to look out for. 

Starting at the trailhead map (1) follow the rough road up alongside the church. The road climbs a little, round some bends and very soon you see a small gate on the left leading to a path down and across the field. 

Now follow the path and proceed up the valley watching out for flowers and wildlife along the way. After about one kilometre you emerge through a farm gate onto the public road (2) where you need to turn LEFT. 

The road rises sharply but soon levels off and then descends steadily for about 500m to a cross roads (3) where you should turn RIGHT. The road is again rough and quite steep in places, passing a few houses but always keep going STRAIGHT ON until the road levels and descends to a small gate. 

A gravel and grass path alongside the drainage ditch eventually swings left and continues down the edge of the field alongside a stream until it reaches another small gate. Here you turn RIGHT along a wide stone track between fields until you see a small gate ahead of you exiting onto the road (4)

On the road turn LEFT and after a few metres you meet a main road where you turn RIGHT. You need to follow this main road for just over one kilometre taking extreme care to watch out for traffic. As the road veers to the right you’ll see a small stone built shed at a junction (5) on the LEFT and you need to take this turning. 

Follow this quiet road west now for over one kilometre, ignoring side roads left and right until you reach the harbour (6) at Dunmanus beside a stone cottage. Continue and after a short distance you will see Dunmanus Castle on your left in its fine position overlooking the sheltered harbour. 

Dunmanus Castle, Courtesy Roaringwater Journal
Dunmanus Bay, Courtesy Roaringwater Journal

About 500m further on the road meets the coastline and you have fine views over Dunmanus Bay. Follow the coast road now for about three kilometres, the road rising steadily all the way and you will see a small road going off to the right and almost immediately after a road (7) going back sharp LEFT. 

Follow this side road uphill for 500m and as it levels off you’ll see a recently refurbished building on a bend – this used to be the local store! The road now descends steadily with fine views of Knockaphuca on your left. Continue down the road for nearly one kilometre ignoring side roads until the road swings sharp right (8) opposite a large modern shed/workshop. Here you need to go STRAIGHT ON down a stony track which leads you through a (sometimes) muddy path to emerge on the main road. 

Continue alongside the main road for a short distance and you’ll see a side road opposite (9). Cross with care and walk down there for about 750m into Ballydevlin where you will find a cross roads (10) at which you bear RIGHT naturally. Fine views of the sea here. After about another kilometre you emerge onto the main road (11) again and turn LEFT, walking only about 200m downhill before turning LEFT again down a quiet side road with a few houses. 

After a short distance you drop downhill past Heron’s Cove restaurant and B&B, cross a stream and enter the village of Goleen (12)