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Glengarriff (Irish: Gleann Garbh, meaning "Rough glen") is a village of approximately 800 people on the N71 national secondary road in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. Known internationally as a tourism venue, it boasts many natural attractions. It sits at the northern head of Glengarriff Bay, a smaller enclave of Bantry Bay.
Located 20 km (~12 miles) west of Bantry, and 30 km (~18 miles) east of Castletownbere, it is a popular stop along the routes around the area. In recent years, its importance as a waypoint along the Castletownbere to Cork fish-delivery route has declined as local infrastructure improves and vehicular traffic can now navigate its once-quaint thoroughfare at significant speed.
Primarily, the economy revolves around a combination of tourism, farming and local services.
Glengarriff is a small seaside village positioned on Ring of Beara surrounded by high rugged mountains pocked with old bogs being farmed for peat. Notable among local attractions are the Italian Gardens on Garnish Island (Ilnacullin), which may be visited by boat trip. Offering a broad view of the surrounding area, the round Martello tower on the island was built to guard against a threatened Napoleonic invasion that never materialized.
In the nearby Glengarriff Forest is the glen that gave Glengarriff its name, (loosely translated as: rough glen) containing some of the oldest and most extensive oak and birch groves left in Ireland. A short but steep trail leads up to Lady Bantry's Lookout, offering a stunning vista of Glengarriff and the west Cork area. Also of interest are the Bamboo Park behind Toad Hall, the local amenity area featuring a new child's playground and Blue Pool lagoon, nearby Barley Lake and the historic Eccles Hotel. Walking trails in the area are extensive, kayaking on the bay is regularly scheduled, and live music is frequently available in the evenings at local pubs, particularly during the tourist season. Glengarriff also offers shops, art galleries, pubs, restaurants & other services.
Glengarriff harbour is a very safe and sheltered anchorage and has visitors moorings for visiting yachts.
Glengarriff Golf Club is a nine-hole course on the east side of the village. It is associated with Maureen O'Hara, the famous film actress, who has a residence close by. The Glengarriff Nature Reserve offers many miles of well-marked walking trails to explore the oak forests, streams and mountains of the Glen.
Glengarriff GAA Club was founded in 1981 after breaking away from neighbouring Adrigole GFC. It fields Gaelic football teams from Junior ‘A’ level to Under 6s. Teams compete in leagues and championships run by the Beara GAA division.
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