Barleycove Beach (Barlycove)

Barleycove Beach - County Cork
© Martin Southwood and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Barleycove is a stunning, sandy beach in a sheltered bay between Mizen Head and Lyroe peninsulas close to the Southwesterly tip of Ireland. The pristine sand is cleaned regularly and the beach has been awarded coveted Blue Flag status. When the sun shines this can be one of the loveliest beaches you’ve ever visited.  Whatever the weather it is a great place to come to shake off the cobwebs.  The beach is large enough for good walks and has lovely views over the dramatic Cork coastline.

Barleycove beach is backed by extensive sandy dunes which were formed by a tidal wave which swept through the Atlantic after the Lisbon earthquake in 1755.  The dunes provide a habitat to a variety of animal life and have resulted in the beach being designated an EU Special Area of Conservation.

This beach is an ideal destination for a family day out. Barleycove is approached via a boardwalk which turns into a moving bridge as the path crosses over a river estuary. Signs warn of dangerous currents and rip tides.

This rural beach can be quite difficult to find, and this, combined with the fact that there is plenty of space means that it seldom gets too busy.  A single seasonal hotel sits immediately adjacent to the beach and offers fine views across the bay.

Also known as:


Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs required to be on a leash and dog fouling removed.

County Cork dog friendly beaches »


  • Swimming/bathing


  • Town centre nearby

Nearest town


OS grid ref.


Parking available


Blue Flag Award

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