The Gorse Walk is a 12.4 km walk, and the longest way marked route in the area. The walk starts and finishes in the village of Coppeen. The route comprises entirely of way marked roadways, mostly quiet country routes, apart from two points where a main road (R585) has to be crossed (care should be taken at these points). The walk rises a distance of 150 meters at points on the route, and then descends back into the village, where parking and other amenities are available.
The entire route is marked by signage posts; this route in particular being the Gorse route and is marked by yellow arrows.
OS Map 86
Coppeen Village W 31 7 60 4
This walk offers a variety of landscape features, combining farmland and domesticated land with natural bog lands, hedgerows, forests and streams. There are numerous viewing points also marked on the map, which take in panoramic views in all directions, including all the views listed for the other walks. These points take in views of: Corran Hill, Carrigfadda, Nowen Hill, Shehy, Carrantuohill, Mangerton, Cnoc Mhadra, The Paps, Mullaghanish, Clearagh, Cork City and many others.
On leaving the village, be VERY careful crossing the main road. Then proceed along the Enniskeane road, where the road passes right through the middle of a ringfort just before the school. Take the next right if you´d like to visit the wonderful Cahirvagliair Ringfort. Otherwise, turn left just beyond the school, where the road ascends steeply for ½ Km. Notice Coppeen House on your right. Wonderful viewing point on top of hill. Then proceed downhill before reaching a long relatively straight stretch of road. Just past a bungalow on your left, pause at a field gate on your right & enjoy an extraordinary view. Notice Kinneigh Round Tower in the valley below. It will seem like all South West Cork is at your feet!
When you tear yourself away, walk east to a crossroad where you turn left. Walk on for approx 100 mtrs to yet another amazing viewing point (red gate on your right) Kerry´s Carrantouhill & the Knockmealdowns plus a wonderful panorama in between are visible on a fine day. Proceed downhill to the Bantry Line. Take great care when crossing here. 100 meters further on is a bridge, & just at the far side on the right stood a creamery in days gone by. At the next junction keep left, & notice a ringfort in the field on your right. (If you take a right at this junction & walk for 400 mtrs you will come to Gurranareigh Famine Monument – well worth the trek) Then it´s an uphill walk for ¼ Klm. You may see another ringfort in the valley to your right. The river Bride flows along this valley. Keep right at “Croisantailúir” then walk downhill & along to next junction, keep going straight. You may notice a ringfort in the field on your left overlooking the area. A pleasant little bridge over the river Bride leads you from Munigave to Renacahera & a steep hill, not very long though, thankfully! A good view from this point, & as you walk further north along, the views are very impressive. Then you reach Barna, now here´s a view! You´ll have to spend some time here to savor the panorama. Then 100 mtrs further on take a sharp left & walk a relatively level route for approx 1 ½ klm keeping an eye on the wonderful views, particularly on your right hand side. You will come to a forestry plantation on your right & a short distance further on, in the field on your left you can see a wonderful Boulder Burial with cupmarks on its surface. Approx 300 mtrs further on, just past a cottage on your left is a forestry plantation roadway (with barrier) This leads to “Labbaowen” a wedge tomb. At present it´s difficult to find this, but CAHCS is making efforts to have this rectified. Walk straight through the next four crossroads, & it´s mostly downhill to Coppeen village from there.
This route takes you past sites of historcal interest, including boulder burials, ringforts, wedge tombs, standing stones, fullacht fia sites and many old buildings, including ´Coppeen House´ (now in disrepair) where Hungerford the local landlord resided. The walk also passes close to a monument which marks the location of a village totally wiped out during the famine. Towards the end of the walk, as you reach the main Coppeen to Enniskeane road (just south of the Primary School) watch for a fingerpost sign for Cahirvagliair Ringfort – just 300 mtrs. away, well worth a visit.