South West Cork has been described as 'the most magical place in Ireland'. It boasts a mix of mountains, moors, wild hills full of lakes, deep river valleys and dramatic cliffs that overlook the Atlantic. Not surprisingly, it is home to many world famous artists, writers and musicians who find the surroundings both peaceful and inspirational.
Actor Jeremy Irons and musician Christy Moore are just two of its many well known residents. Over a quarter of all the rare Irish plants can be found in West Cork. It is also an important place for migrating birds and whales. West Cork is very rich in folklore and history. The region has a very strong archaeological heritage. Early Christian sites and numerous ruined castles tell the region's fascinating history. The Great Famine of the 1850s has also left many reminders & visitors can learn more about Michael Collins & the Civil War years at his birthplace in West Cork.
On the rugged Mizen Peninsula is the picturesque town of Schull - the lively village in which Atlantic S.E.A.L. Is based. Mizen Head with the Mizen lighthouse, perched on the cliffs at the very tip of the 20 mile finger of land, is the most southerly point of the Irish mainland and is known as 'Ireland's Lands End'. From here, the first Transatlantic Signal was sent by Marconi. As you look out from Mizen Head -there is nothing but Atlantic between you and America!. The Mizen boasts the finest cliff scenery in West Cork with panoramic views over the famous Fastnet Lighthouse.
The People of Schull and Their Village
The Irish love to talk and the friendly people of Schull are no exception! There is a strong community life in Schull and visitors always receive a warm welcome. Our students get to know the real life of the village & lifestyles of the people by staying with local host families. All the hotels, hostels and guest houses are family run and very close to the village centre. Beautiful holiday cottages by the sea can also be rented. Here the living is easy. An ideal setting to relax, learn and practise your English. The only thing that moves fast in Schull is the progress students make- particularly in listening & speaking skills.
There are plenty of activities for the visitor. The lively Historical Society Group offers fun and informative walking trips. There are many empty country roads for safe cycling & planned walking routes. Local Golf courses cater for the beginner or more experienced golfer. There are tennis & squash, courts, a planetarium & a variety of art & craft shops. There is also Pony trekking, windsurfing, sailing, and surfing.
Enjoy the world famous Schull Harbour Regatta which started in 1884. Ferry boat trips to the beautiful Cape Clear or Sherkin Island leave Schull Pier daily.
There are year round cultural and musical festivals organised by the local community. In addition to the small cafes & restaurants there is, of course, a fine selection of pubs offering live music nightly. Each pub has its own character and fans of Traditional Irish, Jazz and Contemporary music will find their 'local' very quickly.