Bantry’s Maritime Hotel
Bantry is an excellent base if you wish to see the glorious scenery of West Cork and the Maritime Hotel is an excellent place to stay in the town.
Like toes on a foot, but much more pleasant looking, the spectacular peninsulas spread out from Bantry. Nearest is the Sheep’s Head (a paradise for walkers), to the East is the Mizen Peninsula and the formidable views at Ireland’s south-west tip, and to the west, you have the magnificent Ring of Beara.
Right in the town itself, you may visit historic Bantry House and estate. And nearby you have Glengarriff with its forests and inlets and Garnish Island. And there is so much more within reach, Schull, Castletownsend and Baltimore, all by the sea, and to the west the incredible Healy Pass towards Kenmare. Indeed, the regular Bantry to Kenmare Road, via the Caha Pass and a few very short tunnels, is also very scenic.
I was in Bantry for a short visit last Friday and the first call was to the local Farmers Market, which takes place weekly in the marvellous and spacious Woilfe Tone Square, one of the best squares of any town in Ireland. Then I headed for Sheep’s Head and a very rewarding walk to the little lighthouse.
|Sheep's Head Penisula|
Manning’s Emporium at Ballylickey, on the Bantry to Glengariff road, is a regular call when I'm in the area. And I headed there later on for a “tweetup” with Karen Kenmare Foodie (@KarenCoakley) Siobhain of Sheep’s Head Producers (@SHProduceMarket) and Andrew of Manning’s (@emporiummanning). Had a lovely chat about all things food, even drink, and more besides.
Manning’s may be just a country store but it is stocked with classy produce, much of it local. Indeed, Val Manning was one of the first to support the local producers. Being a country store, you might not expect to find the highest standards here. You'd be wrong!
|Three Tweeps! Siobhain (left), Karen and me|
After the walk in the peninsula I was looking for something refreshing from their Sherry Bar and asked for a Fino. But Andrew came out (yes, we were sitting outside last Friday!) to say the Fino wasn't as cold as he'd like and suggested a Manzanilla instead. How about that for professionalism and knowing your stuff?
After a most satisfactory meal that evening in O'Connor's Seafood Restaurant (see link below) on the square, we strolled the few yards back to the Maritime on the quayside. The hotel is long rather than high. It has lifts but you’ll be walking a bit! Service is excellent here, very friendly at reception and in the breakfast room (where we enjoyed your standard self service hot breakfast, cold options were also available and indeed they also had a few hot specials).
|Specials at O'Connor's|
Service is excellent in the bar too, quite an impressive bar with a huge back-wall, divided into “cubby-holes” that hold a massive collection of spirits. The man serving in the bar was very helpful and we had an informative discussion about the merits of the new versus the old Smithwicks. Later, I noticed they sell Eight Degrees beers and Stonewell Cider.
Our well equipped room was fine and spacious. They are a family friendly hotel and have large suites available, leisure facilities (including a pool) and a spa. Check out the details that might suit you here . They have their own underground car park and that is a big help. Both the area and the hotel are highly recommended.
THE MARITIME HOTEL
Bantry, West Cork
Bantry, West Cork
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