A new WEST CORK venue for Transition Year events such as the Gaisce Adventure Journey and St. Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk retreats.
Transition Year Ideas
In 2014 we opened the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc and Walking Centre here in Drimoleague, West Cork. Our facility was part funded by West Cork Development Partnership (LEADER funds) and is built to the highest standards. We have a main function room and lounge area which can accommodate up to thirty students for a meal or a gathering. There are two fully equipped kitchens, as well as outdoor cooking facilities. There is a table tennis/pool room and a laundry/drying room facility.
Sleeping accommodation is in seven camping pods pictured below. These provide combined sleeping space for up to 20 students. Two other fully equipped pods are available for the use of teachers/staff members accompanying the group.
Our site is integrated with our small environmentally friendly farm and is a reinstatement of the old farmyard of our grandparents. Calves and lambs and ducks form the backdrop for the campsite experience. The food we serve is primarily produced on this farm and the two other farms run by our extended family, one of which is the award winning Glenilen Farm within a mile of here. MEAL WITHIN A MILE: Participants in the Gaisce award can avail of the unique experience of cooking a meal with ingredients all produced within a mile of our centre. Elizabeth can offer assistance and recipes to cook the food in an authentic farmhouse manner. The result is quite special!
We also are ideally situated in the heart of the walking trails of West Cork. The Drimoleague Heritage Walkways have nine miles of walks to choose from. The Sheep’s Head Way runs westward from here for a distance of thirty miles to the Sheep’s Head lighthouse.
By far the most popular and challenging walk is the St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way which traditionally begins here at the Top of the Rock and follows a 35 km route, largely over private lands to St Finbarr’s hermitage at Gougane Barra. Since 2008 we have been facilitating groups who undertake this two-day walk. There are four river valleys and three mountain systems to be crossed to get to Gougane Barra. The.route which won the National Heritage Week’s “best organised community event” in 2011 is particularly beautiful, yet challenging in places. We can recommend one or two local qualified guides who could lead the Gaisce Adventure Journey to Gougane Barra if required.
THE COST of facilities for the Gaisce Adventure Journey is negotiable depending on numbers and input required. A guide rice would be €50-€60 per student. Please contact us via the contact details below.
Over the past few years we have led half – day retreats for early school-leavers in the YMCA Step programme. These consisted of a guided walk along the first 4 miles of the St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way here in Drimoleague and Castledonovan, with a Christian orientated focus on the “journey of life”. With refreshments at the start of the walk and lunch at its end, the cost is approximately €16 each, depending on numbers involved. (Drimoleague is just over one hour from Cork).
Contact us for more details.