One of Ireland’s best-hidden gems is open to the public from 10am until 5pm.
Gleninchaquin Park is tucked into a long and narrow valley that’s on the North West side of the Beara Peninsula and on the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s one of those spots that if you don’t know where to go, you may accidentally bypass it and miss out an a wonderful experience.
Unless you want to spend at least 7km walking into the valley from the main road, it’s definitely advisable to drive in to the entrance point. Thankfully, the road is surprisingly well kept with very few potholes, though at times it can be a bit unsettling how close to the water it is (As you drive through you’re right on the cusp of a lake!)
Gleninchaquin is family-owned and run, and as you arrive you’re usually greeted by the park’s owner who takes your entrance fee (see below). There’s currently no wi-fi nor mobile service in the area but we see it as a complete break away from the Cloud!
- Adults: €6
- Senior Citizens / Students: €5
- Family (2 adults & 2 children): €15
- Groups of 10+: €5 per person
In the background to the entrance, a magnificent 140-metre waterfall plummets down the mountain which grows even stronger after a rainfall. Gleninchaquin itself was actually formed by glaciation approximately 70,000 years ago.
When we arrived for our day out, we pulled on our waterproofs and hiking boots and set off through the rolling green fields. It was lambing season in Gleninchaquin and it was hard not to get completely distracted by the newly born lambs relaxing in the grass. Be prepared though for Irish weather, it’s tempermental at best!
With six different walks to suit all different grades of walkers, it’s a place that can cater to both adults and children alike, as well as groups or just picnic-goers.
We arrived late to the park so we managed to do only some of “Over the Waterfall” signature walk. We took detours along the Heritage Trail but even that small glimpse was beautiful. Even on a rainy, hailstoney and overcast day, we were still able to have a great hike and enjoy the views.
For the amount of time you could spend in the park and the actual scenery that you’re able to bask in – the price is exceptional. It’s a real treat.