The past, present and future fuse in perfect unison in Bantry town which nestles at the head of beautiful ancient Bantry Bay.  With a history stretching back to Neolithic times when humans left their first imprints here in places like Killnaruane just off the old Rope Walk through to the tumultuous times of the French Armada and Theobald Wolfe Tone now commemorated in permanent form on Wolfe Tone Square, through the frenetic commercial mackerel and pilchard fisheries of the 19th and early 20th centuries to the busy modern cosmopolitan town with its fusion of modern and traditional streetscapes, Bantry town offers delights for all the senses. 

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The impressive Water Wheel at the town’s library on Bridge St. harks back to the industry and endeavour of earlier generations.  Friday markets on the square offer sounds, sights and smells which are exotic and hypnotic and these blend with the clamour of everyday life which the welcomed visitor can experience as they stroll through the winding streets of this pretty coastal town which is the gateway to the Beara Peninsula.

Night time during summer months ushers the sounds of traditional, classical and contemporary music to the streets and hostelries, and to the grounds of beautiful Bantry House which commands a wonderful view over the colourful vista of the inner bay.  Truly, the summer months are mouth-watering in the breadth and scope of activities and events on offer.

Rainbows jostle for position in the ever-changing skyline particularly in Spring and Autumn when soft rain drops on the green pastures which collide with the foreshore as it blends with tidal waters lapping and slapping onto ancient ground which harbours tales and fables of bye-gone days.  Colour is everywhere and is almost overwhelming in its intensity. Bantry is a haven for writers, musicians, visual artists and sculptors, and this artistic melting pot lends itself to satisfying the needs of the visitor staying for a day, a week or longer. 

With a warm welcome from locals and blow-ins alike who have created a great sense of community and belonging, you won’t be disappointed with your visit.

Read on for a full menu of what Bantry has to offer for all kinds of visitors – walkers/cyclists and water sports’ folk, amateur archaeologists, social historians, literary types, music connoisseurs or gastronomic aficionados.

Bantry is very much alive – come, see for yourself and Céad Míle Fáilte ar gach duine.

Eileen O Shea, Chairman, Bantry Development & Tourism Association

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