Mizen Head is a wild and beautiful peninsula, projecting southwestwards around the substantial mass of copper-rich Mount Gabriel. The whole of its empty northern coast presents sheer cliffs and stupendous views. The south coast is more populous, sheltering safe harbours, the large village and resort of Schull and the remote, sandy beaches of Barley Cove, while the only tourist attraction of any note is the signal station at the very tip, the Mizen Head Visitor Centre.
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The peninsula’s main settlement, SCHULL, is a congenial harbour town that’s not only popular with yachties but also has an artistic bent, with crafts shops, galleries and a weekly food and crafts market (every Sun morning from Easter to Christmas; wwww.schullmarket.com). It shelters in the lee of 407-metre Mount Gabriel, to the north, topped by an aircraft-tracking station and blessed with fine views. The walk up there (about 8km there and back) is detailed in a very useful, annual booklet, Schull Visitor’s Guide, that’s available around the town; since the mountain was actively mined for centuries, take care on the way that you avoid uncovered mine shafts.