This run is on an island, yet is incredibly easy to get to. Once you get the ferry in Castletownbere, you land on Bere Island and a bus shepherds you to the run start, a few miles to the east of the island. There is also a second ferry that lands closer to the run start. Castletownbere is serviced by a Bus Eireann route, and there is plenty of free parking in around the streets of the town. The run start is located near the GAA pitch on the island, and parkrunnners are allowed to use the showers and toilets in the club house.
The run route consists of one big loop on a paved surface. The route is on a public road, so watch out for cars, but there is very little traffic. There is a fair bit of climbing on the route, and given its location so close to the Atlantic there can be a bracing wind, so perhaps not a place for a PB. Turns are well marked with arrows painted on the road. There is no doubting the outstanding beauty of the run, nestled in Bantry Bay with the mountains of the Beara and Sheep’s Head peninsulas on either side. No manicured lawns or shrubbery here, but a more natural beauty.
Parkrunnners all enjoy coffee in a cafe located close to the run start, before hopping on the bus for the ferry back to the mainland. The coffee and home baked goods are tasty.
Location is the most special thing about this parkrun. As far as I know it is the only island parkrun in the country. Despite the commitment required to get there, participation is huge, with a great bunch of volunteers. The sense of community is also great here, with almost everybody going for a post run coffee.