Location and Directions
Cape Clear is a small island in the extreme south west of Ireland and is only accessbile by passenger ferry. It is very straightforward to get to the only major mistake you can make - and it has been done - is to get on the wrong ferry!
Cape Clear can be reached by taking a ferry from the villages of Baltimore or Schull in West Cork. Sailing time is about one hour for both services. Timetables can be found on the links below:
-Baltimore to Cape Clear Ferry
-Schull to Cape Clear Ferry
From Cork, take the N71 towards Bandon and Skibbereen. Keep on this road until you reach Skibbereen and from here follow the signs for Baltimore (R595). In Baltimore village, you can park right beside the pier from which the ferry to Cape Clear departs, but it is not unusual for the car park to be full so allow some extra time to find alternative parking. The typical driving time from Cork to Baltimore is about 90 minutes to two hours.
If you are not in any hurry, it is well worth stopping off to check the wetlands in Clonakilty and Rosscarbery, which both hold good numbers of gulls and waders. Both sites also have good track records for rarities, for example Black-winged Stilt, Long-billed Dowitcher and Lesser Yellowlegs.
From Cork City, the only option is to take Bus Eireann service 237 (Timetable) to Skibbereen and change there for a service to Baltimore. The latter bus service connects with most sailings to Cape Clear. The 237 also serves Schull, but only one or two services do so every day. Keep in mind that there are no services between Skibbereen and Baltimore on Sundays and Bank Holidays and it is necessary to arrange for a taxi or lift to Skibbereen or Baltimore.
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