Walk Distance: 1.3km
Walk Duration: 1 hour (at toddler pace & with long picnic / photo stops). Could be walked in half the time easily!
Ordnance Survey: Ireland OS Discover 70
Suitable for: little legs (but watch them near cliff edges); babies in carriers, anyone able to climb. n.b. the Coumeenole Headland Walk has one high wall stile (see below)
Walk Features: Fantastic views of the Dingle coast, cliffs and of the Blasket Islands, grassy walking, beautiful Coumeenole beach next to the start, cliff-top walking.
The Coumeenole Headland Walk is one of those gorgeous Kerry walks that gives you breathtaking views for very little effort! The views from here to the Blasket Islands are superb and looking back onto the wild Dingle peninsula behind you from the highest point is equally beautiful. It’s a great short stop off on the Slea Head Drive round the Dingle peninsula.
The Coumeenole Headland Walk is not hard for young children but parts of it are very close to cliff edges so do take care. The other obstacle is a high stone wall stile that requires a bit of a clamber to get over. We managed this fine with a baby in a carrier, Roo and Granny but we did notice a few people were turning around when they got to it.
The walk starts from the parking area above Coumeenole Beach car park. Head slightly down the hill on the road and the path clearly leads off towards Coomeenole Headland up to the right on a grassy track.
Follow the trail as you walk uphill with some great views of Coumeenole Beach and the sheer cliff face below. Soon you come to a wall with rough stile stepping stones built into it. It’s a bit of a scramble to get over here but at least is much easier climbing down the other side than getting up over it!
From here, follow the left hand trail and walk along the cliff tops. The path is clearly trodden. As you reach the headland the views open out toward the Blasket Islands, which feel just a stone’s throw away. The left hand trail leads down to a dead-end ledge from which you can view the islands and churning sea below but if you have young kids I’d stick to the upper trail here from which the views are pretty much as good.
Continue on the upper trail until you reach the top of the slope. Just in the lee of the hill here is a great spot for a scenic picnic! Turn right and straight up the hill to the shelter above. From here the walk continues towards the standing stone that perches in solitary drama against the backdrop of Dingle’s hills and coastline behind.
Follow the path to the right as it heads back down over the grassland and back to the stile, from where you can return to the car park the same way as you set out. Coumeenole Beach is a lovely place to finish your walk though perhaps for paddling only – the currents are strong here.
Map of Route:
The Coumeenole Headland Walk begins from the car park just above Coumeenole Beach. This is found just off the R559 on the Slea Head Drive, right at the end of the peninsula. See the map below for exact location of Coumeenole.
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