The views are stunning. The pitches on the sprawling well-run site are fabulous, running right down to the shoreline; staggered on four different levels with the terraced lay-out giving everyone from those in tents to luxurious motor-homes, a room with a view of the often breath-taking scenery and skyline.
If there is a better located campsite than Eagle Point in West Cork, I want to hear about it.
Location, location, location, Eagle Point has it all as the pitch perfect place for a getaway situated snugly in the shoulder of Bantry Bay and the next parish is Boston.
Eagle Point first came to my attention from the stunning cover photo on the 2017 edition of the Camping Ireland Guide. I wasn’t disappointed.
The views are stunning. The pitches on the sprawling well-run site are fabulous, running right down to the shoreline; staggered on four different levels with the terraced lay-out giving everyone from those in tents to luxurious motorhomes, a room with a view of the often breath-taking scenery and skyline.
Based just off the N71 in Ballylickey between Bantry and Glengariff, Eagle Point is a place you can easily opt to stay put or base yourself for a drive, hike or cycle to the abundant attractions within easy distance along the Beara, Sheep’s Head and Mizen Peninsulas. Other options include Schull, Baltimore, Union Hall, Castletownbere, Gougane Barra, Dursey Island and an ideal stop-off on the return leg is Inchydoney Beach, which is less than an hour away and heavenly on a summer’s day. We also picked up some great tips from friendly fellow campers for some other great spots to explore in the West Cork region.
Eagle Point has a safe and sheltered coastline with lots of inlets and little coves dotted with pebbled beaches, ideal for children to play, paddle and rock pooling. The site is a launching pad ready-made for water sports including boating, windsurfing, sailing, fishing and swimming and every second vehicle seems to have a kayak of some sort strapped to the roof. Eagle Point is just the perfect place to paddle your own canoe..
With just this in mind we splashed out on a kayak last Christmas. After lots of research and some good professional advice we opted for a kayak suitable for family use – no white water rapids required thank you – and we took the plunge with a Bic Tobago sit-on-top kayak.
Something suitable for beginners like ourselves, for all the family and with safety and stability foremost in our minds this turned out to be a great purchase. We got a good deal at Outdoor Sports, Mullingar and it cost €750 including the oars. It is ideal for kids and nervous-in-the-water sorts like myself and has already afforded countless hours of fun. It sits well on top of the campervan and goes as handy on the car.
En route to Eagle Point we found Bantry a campervan friendly spot with plenty of parking. Do look out for the restricted areas in the main square for the regular and busy Friday morning market. The market is right up there, with dozens of stalls flogging a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of items but most importantly some great local bread, fish and veg from artisan growers; the sourdough breads, baguette and almond croissants from the West Cork Baking Emporium; the fish from O’ Driscoll’s whose boat runs out of Schull and along with helpful service we got three lovely pieces of cod for €13, all bought while you can get your hair braided to the strains of some early morning busking.
Wolfe Tone Square was buzzing last Friday morning, with musicians totting violin and cello cases tip toeing through the crowds on their way to local churches, halls and venues a tell-tale sign that we had also hit on the weekend of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. The whole area boasts a plethora of events and festivals from May to September from the Sheep’s Head Yarn Festival to the Chief O’ Neill Traditional Music Festival and the West Cork Literary Festival which is running right now from July 13-20.
(It is worth mentioning here that right at the entrance to the campsite is Cronin’s Centra store which is a real needle to an anchor shop stocking everything you might need).
Eagle Point is exceptionally well managed and operated to a particularly high standard. I really like the way the pitches are allocated in zones for those with young children or teenagers and for those who prefer a quieter corner without kids running around. That said the actual playground area is quite harmless – a swing and a sandbox.
While you never fully appreciated a strictly run site until you have been to a badly operated one, Eagle Point may be a little rule-ridden for some – absolutely no dogs allowed (people with pets have been turned away); no cycling bikes by children (although I have not seen this rigorously enforced) and most bizarrely the adult common/TV room was locked on the dot of 9pm last weekend just as the Croatian V Russian World Cup clash went to extra time and penalties, leaving it too late to leg it down to the Ouvane Falls Inn, where I had comfortably enjoyed the Belgium-Brazil match the evening before and this is a spot that a lot of the campers seem to also choose for their evening meal.
Eagle Point cost €35 per night for a campervan with two adults and one child, inclusive of 6V electrical hook up (EHU) and there is no charge for the showers in the well maintained and spotless services blocks. There is a 5c meter charge for hot water in the wash-up area. The campsite also operates a commendable and exceptionally high standard of refuse disposal and recycling.
*Main cover photo courtesy of Eagle Point Facebook page.
John Whelan is a vastly experienced midlands based journalist and editor who has contributed extensively to the country's leading national and regional titles, as well as broadcast outlets. He runs the media services company, Communicate Ireland www.communicateireland.ie.
John is a keen camping and campervan enthusiast with an interest in music, culture, heritage and outdoor pursuits. He has written for the Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and the Woman's Way on these topics.
He is also an author, and his latest book, The Last Beekeeper, reflects his love of nature, the landscape and our shared responsibility to protect the environment. The Last Beekeeper is available to preview and purchase at www.thelastbeekeeper.ie.
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