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I have to say that it came as something of a surprise to learn that Bere Island had won the Tidy Island Competition three years running.

If it had been a Most Inventive Place to Leave a Scrap Car Competition I could have believed it.

I hate to think what the runners up were like, or perhaps this was the only island to enter.

The best thing about the island are the views of the mainland, which are magnificent. The island itself, apart from the area around Lonehort Harbour, is unremarkable for the Beara (that is to say beautiful, rather than stunningly beautiful).

Just about enough to see and do to make a good day out; any longer than that, would be stretching it.

Location

Cork Map

The Gallan or Standing Stone is said to date from the Bronze Age, the time of the Tuatha de Danann, skilled metal workers and miners.

This one is believed to mark the exact centre of the island.

Lonehort Battery

Location

Cork Map

The old British fort dating from 1899 at the eastern end of Bere Island, the Lonehort Battery, boasts two six inch guns, an infantry trench, guard house, parade area, engine house and various underground structures.

It also boasts a very high chain link fence that surrounds the whole site, making it almost impossible to see anything much other than the impressive moat.

The moat is averages 4.5m (15ft) deep and is almost as wide, and was cut into the living rock using a combination of hammers and chisels and explosives.

Shame! It could make a really interesting visitor attraction.

Location

Cork Map

Once there were four Martello Towers on Bere Island. Now there are only two. This one is at Ardagh on the top of the third highest hill on the island The other one is at Cloughland (map).

It is open to the public and in a reasonable state of repair (although a little TLC would not go amiss).

The views from the top make the long climb from the road worth the effort.

Location

Cork Map

The Wedge Tomb is tucked behind a wall on a narrow lane, with nowhere to pull off the road.

Fortunately there was no traffic either so I was able to climb up on the wall and take a couple of shots.

The field gate was firmly tied up, and it was clear that visitors were not welcome.

Difficult to make any sense of the seemingly random pile of stones. The wedge grave at Killaugh is much better preserved.