A Cork Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point
The driving route along the coastline at Toe Head Bay (Ceann Tuaithe) in County Cork rewards the driver with wonderful panoramic views of the ocean and the rocky cliffs of this scenic area.
Of the many prescribed walks in the area the 3.8km Toe Head Loop walk, starting from Toe Head Beach, is a great walk for good weather. Many parts of the path go dangerously close to the cliff edge so use common sense and walk back into the field. The cliffs may be undercut by sea erosion and are liable to collapse. Your view will be every bit as good if you stay a sensible distance from the edge. Not advised for children.
Toe Head Signal Tower, one of a series of 81 Napoleonic signal towers along these coasts, is situated on an elavated site on the headland. The towers were all built around 1804 and 1805. The occupants of these towers watched out for invaders and sent a signal, by means of flags and balls on mast, to the next tower in the series and so the message would relay to the government in Dublin.
This area was the inspiration for many paintings by William Crozier (1930 – 2011), an artist born in Scotland but who adopted Irish citizenship and lived not too far away in Kilcoe. He created some of the many iconic works of the Irish landscape and was an elected member of Aosdána as well as honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.
What is it about West Cork that attracts artists and creatives? The light perhaps, clear but always shifting and changing. The artists’ challenge is to capture the fleeting moment in an everchanging landscape.
WOLF’S CASTLE, TOE HEAD c1998 WILLIAM CROZIER
The next stop on the route is Lough Hyne about 30 minutes (14 kilometres) further on.