West Cork

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Map of West Cork

West Cork (Irish: Iarthar Chorcaí) is a region in County Cork, Ireland. Traditionally a tourist destination, the area is known for its rugged peninsulas (such as the remote Beara Peninsula, Sheep's Head and Mizen Head peninsulas), beaches such as Inchydoney, Owenahincha and Barleycove, and towns and villages such as Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Rosscarbery.

The area of West Cork is not strictly defined, but at its broadest definition it includes all parts of County Cork south and west of the River Lee with the exception of Cork city and suburbs. Road signs may be found around Cork city and elsewhere directing traffic for "The West", or "West Cork". The town of Bandon is described as the "Gateway to West Cork". However, both Carrigaline and Macroom are also seen as gateways to the region.

Transport[edit]

Baltimore Harbour

The area was linked in the early 19th century by the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway, which began in Cork City, travelled across the county, with branches to Clonakilty (junction at Gaggin) and Skibbereen (junction at Drimoleague), before terminating at Bantry. The narrow gauge Schull and Skibbereen Railway closed in 1947. Today, the main infrastructural backbone is provided by the N71 and R586 routes.

Other towns in West Cork include Bantry, Dunmanway, Skibbereen, Ballydehob, Castletownbere, Schull, Rosscarbery and Macroom (perhaps the most northern area described as West Cork).

Dioceses[edit]

A large part of the area is contained within both the Catholic and Church of Ireland Dioceses of Ross. These Dioceses no longer exist separately but are part of the larger Dioceses Cork and Ross (and Cloyne in the case of Church of Ireland).

Coordinates: 51°41′18″N 9°08′36″W / 51.6884°N 9.1434°W / 51.6884; -9.1434