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Sherkin Island or Inisherkin is one of the islands of Roaringwater Bay in County Cork, a short ferry ride from Baltimore in southwest Ireland. Its Irish name Inis Arcáin means "Island of the Piglet", which probably refers to sea-pigs meaning porpoises. The island is 5 km by 2.4 km, indented by two coves, and in 2016 had a population of 111.

Get in[edit]

The ferry sails from Baltimore hourly, daily year-round, taking 10 min to cross. The adult return fare is €12, child €4. No bikes or vehicles are carried.

The island pier is at 1 Harboursmouth. Private boats should moor at the little jetty 100 m north.

There is no direct ferry between Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island to the southwest: you'd have to backtrack via Baltimore. Ferries from Cunnamore via Heir Island to Baltimore sometimes call at Sherkin Island but didn't do so in 2020.

Get around[edit]

Map of Sherkin Island

A minibus meets the ferries and will take you anywhere for €2, but you only need it with luggage and small children. Otherwise walk everywhere.

See[edit]

  • The Abbey overlooking the ferry pier was a Franciscan Friary established in 1460. Being so remote, it was little affected by the Reformation, and friars remained on the island until 1766. The ruin is free to stroll around anytime.
  • Dun na Long is an ivy-clad scrap of a medieval fort, nowadays an outbuilding of Sherkin House Hotel.
  • 1 The Dock is an inlet at the north end of the lane from the ferry pier. Only small craft can get in here.
  • 2 The Lighthouse at Barrack Point is a stubby tower with a harbour light for boats approaching Baltimore. The inlet just west is called Horseshoe Harbour.
  • 3 Trá Bán is a sandy beach. The lane continues west to end at Trá Cru but this is a rocky inlet.
  • 4 Cow Strand then Silver Strand are reached along the lane branching north at the church, and continuing to North Shore.

Do[edit]

  • Take a stroll. It's not the place for rushing round ticking off "sights".
  • The island rowing regatta is in July, but it wasn't held in 2019 or 2020 and it's not known if it will return in 2021.

Buy[edit]

  • Sean the Shop is up the lane west past the Abbey. Hours vary but he's generally around. In summer there's a Sunday market here.

Eat and drink[edit]

  • 1 The Jolly Roger, +353 28 20662. Welcoming pub with good bar food.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Sherkin North Shore, +353 87 618 5368. Small basic B&B with communal areas so it feels more like a hostel. Six double rooms en suite plus 7-bunk dorm.
  • Cuinne House B&B near the Abbey didn't open in 2020.
  • Sherkin House Hotel (formerly Islander's Rest and Murphy's Pub) has closed and in Nov 2020 the property was for sale.
  • 3 or 4 cottages may be available for self-catering.
  • Wild camping is tolerated in the dunes at Silver Strand. But please don't leave trash or poop, or there might be a clamp-down next summer.

Connect[edit]

As of Nov 2020, the island has no mobile signal. Finish up any important calls before you sail from Baltimore.

Go next[edit]

Back to Baltimore it must be.


This city travel guide to Sherkin Island is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.