Glandore Harbour: Potential for Shangri la
Glandore (Irish: Cuan
D'Ór, meaning harbour of gold) is the name of both a bay and a village
in County Cork. The charming harbour at Glandore has everything going for
it. A residential and sailing centre in picturesque Glandore village, a tiny
village at Leap, the fishing port at Union Hall, and a grand expanse of
anchorage in between, protected from the Atlantic swell by small islands at its
mouth. But take care, as the approach to the harbour is not well marked and there
have been multiple serious accidents both on approach and inside the harbour,
including the sinkings of the FV Tit Bonhomme in 2012 and the FV Christ Maria
Glandore Bay is approximately three miles long north to south
with the village of Leap at the north end, the village of
Glandore on the east side, Union Hall (Irish: Bréantrá) on the west side and two small islands,
named Adam and Eve, at the mouth of the harbour at the south end.
The sailing directions into the harbour are "to avoid
Adam and hug Eve". Rocks in the middle of the bay called The Perches have
a flashing green mark at the western extremity. The Danger Rock further up the bay
has a flashing northern mark. The harbour itself is located midway in Glandore Bay
which is the area between The Galley Head and Toe Head. There is no channel
marked through Glandore Habour, although there is a channel marked on the
charts leading into Union Hall and the fishing docks.
There are visitor moorings located
just off the shore below Glandore village. The anchorage offers good holding
but take care to choose your spot carefully to avoid any potential entanglement
with the fishing fleet. There is an ancient protected cove at the base of
Glandore village which provides excellent dinghy access to the village via
floating pontoons. It can be very busy on days when regattas or youth events
Access to Union Hall was also via pontoons secured on the
opposite side of the harbour which were exposed to swell and not in the best of
repair when we were there.
Glandore was one of the earlier settlements in the area. Drombeg,
one of the most visited megalithic sites in Ireland, is just 2.4 km
(~1 mi) east of Glandore. Also known as The Druid's Altar, Drombeg
is a recumbent stone circle. It is open to the public free of charge.
The stone circle once comprised seventeen stones but only 13
survive. The most westerly stone is a long recumbent one and has two
egg-shaped indentations. It is flanked by a pair of high portal stones.
The stones in the circle slope upwards to the recumbent stone, the midpoint of
which was set in line with the sunset when viewed in a conspicuous notch in the
distant hills at winter solstice.
The ruins of two round stone-walled prehistoric huts and
a cooking place (fulacht fiadh) are just west of the monument. The
smaller hut had a cooking oven on its east side. A path leads from the huts to
the fulacht fiadh, which features a well beside a hearth and trough in which
water was boiled by adding hot stones. The fulacht fiadh is thought to have
been in use until the 5th century AD.
In 1215, the Normans built two castles here. A
fair was held at Trá an Aonaigh (Tralong Beach) in the 18th century.
The present pier and wall were built in the first half of the 19th century. The
Church of Ireland, which is being restored, is located at the entrance
of The Rectory overlooking the harbour at the Leap end of the village. The
Rectory along with Bearna Donn and Stone Wall were built in the 19th Century by
the Allen Family. The first regatta was held in 1830, and the Glandore Harbour Yacht
Club is a major feature of the area today. The Glandore Classic Regatta has
been held every other year since 1992.
Things to do
Glandore Harbour Yacht Club's official headquarters is next
to the Glandore Inn. The Irish Coast Guard has a unit at the "Rocket
House" at the western end of the village.
The village is charming and has several pubs with
traditional music, a wonderful antique book shop, a gallery and several
restaurants. It is a very popular holiday destination among Irish in
Sailing is the main attraction,
although rowing, diving, and swimming are also popular. The annual regatta
takes place the third weekend in August. Every 2 years (on odd years) the
Glandore Classic Boat Regatta is held during the second week of July. The
closing parade of sail and fireworks display have become a sailing tradition.
Union Hall is worth a visit as there is a wonderful fish
store, a supermarket, and several pubs and restaurants. The walk around the
perimeter of the harbour is quite pleasant, although more charm can be found in
Glandore. CH Marine, an excellent marine chandlery is located a few miles away