The following 5 walks include a green or ‘off road’ element which means you will be walking across farmland. Please remember to shut all gates, keep dogs on leads, don’t litter and no fires. They are graded from 1, which is easy, up to 5 which is cross country up a mountain.
Foreshore Walk – 1 mileA council maintained footpath joins the tennis courts at the east end of the village to the ruined church and graveyard at the west end. You go via the Pier, the new Sailing Centre and several little sheltered rocky coves. The last one is the ‘Dogs Hole’ a favourite swimming spot in summer. There are a couple of stiles to cross at the western end of the path. Return to the village along the Colla Road or continue to Walk 3.
Colla Ring – 4 milesStarting at the ruined church and graveyard on the Colla Road, continue south for 1.5 miles until you come to a fingerpost directing you to ‘Toad Hall Kennels’. This is the start of the short route and follows the old road to Schull, now a track, which winds steeply uphill through a farmyard. The track improves towards the end, which is marked with a gate. Turn right (rejoining the long route) and continue downhill to Schull. Alternatively for the long route, continue on the main Colla Road past Colla Pier and the old Colla House Hotel. Bear right and continue onto the T-junction. Turn right and follow the road over the hill, bearing left and then turning right to rejoin the Colla Road at the old ruined church. Turn left for Schull village or turn right and rejoin Walk 1.
Derryconnell – Letter – Barnacleeve Gap – 9 milesStarting at the East End Carpark, head east along the main Schull to Ballydehob road for 2.3 miles. Turn left at the sign for Derryconnell House. 350 yards down the road there is a gate and a track on the left just before the first house. Follow the track bearing right around the old farmhouse and keep right through the gate onto the tarred road. Turn left and take the next right (just after cream coloured cottage) onto the green road, which winds its way uphill to the east of Barnacleeve Gap with stunning views. The track eventually emerges onto the main Letter road through a gate and a farmyard. Turn left here and continue to the T-junction. Turn left again and follow the road to the top of the gap, which is the highest point of the walk. Continue downhill to the Y-junction. The right fork brings you back to Schull while the left fork takes you past the old workhouse and back down to the Schull to Ballydehob road.
Old Ballydehob Road – Dereenatra – 6.5 milesThe first 2 miles is a green road. Start at the east end of the village and take the right turn at Cadogan’s Strand towards the old golf club. About half a mile along the road turn left up the track – just before the old mill house. Behind the house you will see the old track ahead of you. This is the start of the old Schull to Ballydehob road, unused for many years now and remaining today as a footpath, muddy and overgrown, but quiet and beautiful. You will have to climb over and under a couple of gates, use stepping stones over a stream and practically crawl through a tunnel of fuchsia near the end. BUT it’s worth it! Cross one tarmac road and find the track again for a short way. When you come to the second tarmac road turn right (south) towards Dereenatra – a lovely swimming spot.