There are always plenty of things to do when staying at a Cape Clear Holiday Home.
Fun for all the family, from swimming to traditional music, its all available during the holiday season (lets be honest, you have to be tough to swim in the sea when its not summer) 🙂 .
There is no way to tell you about everything, heres a taster of what is available.
Museum and Heritage Centre
Despite its size, Cape Clear is a very active little island, and has its own Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre includes a museum, exhibition area and archive.
The Museum and Heritage Centre is open daily, June to September and thereafter by arrangement locally with the Visitor Information Bureau, Library and island Co-op Office.
Island Tours by minibus and boat hire trip can also be arranged.
Lankford Cape Clear Island Museum Archive
An archive of Cape Clear Island related materials is available from September 2016, and will be surely fascinating.
For more information click here
Irish Language Courses on Cape Clear
Youth Courses (upto 18 years)
Coláiste Phobal Chléire runs several summer courses to teach Irish to younger students. This is very beneficial to their understanding of the language, and increases their ability to tackle state examinations. By promoting a positive approach to the language and having fun filled lessons, the courses greatly promote the learning process.
Different courses focus on different age groups, so if interested make sure you book in plenty of time, and pick the course that s suitable for you (or your kids). Broadly speaking the age group is between 12 and 18.
There is even a Leaving Cert preparation course for those interested.
For full details, check out this link: http://www.colaistephobalchleire.ie/Menu2
Adult Courses (over 18 years)
Ionad Foghlama Chléire provides language courses throughout the year for adult interested in the culture and language or Ireland and can be a mix of lecture and practical usage (learning through activities).
For full details, check out this link: http://www.gaelsaoire.ie/default.aspx?treeid=256
Bird Watching & Wildlife Appreciation
The Cape Clear Bird Observatory is Irelands only manned station as it copes with Cape Clear Islands famous bird population. A combination of weather and geography has created a ‘hot spot’ of a huge variety of birds. Many of the birds spotted on Cape Clear are rare to this part of the world. A list of all of the varieties of birds spotted on the Island can be found here. If you are lucky enough to be on the Island when a rare bird is seen, prepare for the invasion of the ‘twitchers’ who will come from all parts to see the sight.
If you are interested in Bird Watching, there is no better location than Cape Clear, and the locals and the Observatory staff are all willing to assist in any way they can.
There are usually several Festivals held throughout the year on the Island.
Some of the ones to look out for are:
Story Telling Workshop
This is held annually usually across the October weekend, This small but very popular event has attracted some of the finest storyteller names over the years. It is partially funded by the Government as acknowledgement of the cultural impact of such a course. It entails roughly 15 hours of ‘classes’ which are both informative and enjoyable to all.
For more details, or check out prior years, please visit here.
Story Telling Festival
This is held annually for the first week in September and is incredibly popular. A combination of workshops and performances, most of the activities are in English and some in Irish. There are often storytellers from all around the world, from Cork to the USA!.
Early booking and accommodation sorting is recommended as this is sure to be a sell-out.
Check out the Festival website here.
Cape Clear Walking Talking Festival
The Cape Clear Walking Talking Festival weekend is made up of a series of guided walks focusing on the history, folklore, bird watching and ecology of the Island. The walks are led by local experts and there is plenty of interaction and participation of the groups encouraged. Other events, such as a dinner, are arranged also for people to attend.
To check out the details, please checkout the website.
When: Year Round (weather permitting)
Where: Baltimore and Cape Clear (Pre-arranged)
The great thing about Cape Clear is that you cannot but help to be close to the sea and the lakes. But, believe it or not, there are no fish in any of the freshwater lakes !!!
However, you are more than made up at the availability of sea fishing opportunities to be had. You can fish off shore, or on a boat. Fishing trips can be organised to go fishing out to sea also, where the big ‘uns are. Its fishermans paradise, enough said. There are many boat owners who will, by prior arrangement, take groups out to sea for fishing trips.
Whale Watching Tours
When: Spring to Autumn (weather permitting)
Where: Baltimore (scheduled) and Cape Clear (Private Hire)
Tours are available both from Cape Clear and Baltimore.
Check out Nic Slocum’s Whale Watching Trips Here. Other trips may be available locally (i.e. from the Island etc).
Historical Buildings & Sites
Cape Clear is a remote Island and has been largely unspoiled by some of the developments that happened under the Celtic Tiger. With a standing population of around 150 the society is rural and ‘development’ is kept to a minimum. As a result there are some fascinating places to visit on the Island that may otherwise have been destroyed over the years.
Cape Clear has its own passage grave, and although access is somewhat restricted it is always something special to say you’ve seen one of these, they are after all some of the oldest buildings in the world. This particular one is dated at about 5,000 years old.
The Marriage Stones
Most likely part of a stone circle, these stones are dated to about 2,000 years old. They are fascinating to view and are well worth the trek.
They can be part of a
The O’Driscoll Castle Ruins (16th century) and the Church Ruins (12th century) are both worth take a ramble to, as they give an idea of the past of the island.