The mighty Brow Head is hands-down the ‘wildest’ place I’ve ever been.
Although the area shot to fame when a scene from Star Wars was filmed here a few years back, this place is virtually empty each time I come up for a ramble.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and safety to the Star Wars link and much more.
Some quick need-to-knows about visiting Brow Head in Cork
A visit to this place is arguably one of the best things to do in West Cork. The fact that you’re likely to have the whole place to yourself is the icing on the cake (more on this in a moment).
Although a visit to Brow Head in Cork is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable (especially the one on parking!).
You’ll find Brow Head a stone’s throw from the little village of Crookhaven, at the most southerly point of our little island (yep, many people think the most southerly point is nearby Mizen Head).
If you don’t fancy walking up the hill in the video above, you can drive up it (see safety notice below). You’ll find very limited parking here (enough for 2 – 3 cars max). If you fancy a ramble, park at Galley Cove Beach (just to the left before you reach the hill).
So, a couple of safety/warnings. The first is for those of you driving up the hill – it’s incredibly narrow, so if you meet another car on your way up/down, you may need to reverse the whole way back. If you walk up to the points mentioned below, be careful and don’t get close to the cliff edge!
Things to see and do at Brow Head in West Cork
If you fancy having a nosey around at Brow Head, you’re in for a treat – there’s plenty to see and do here, once you know what to look for.
Below, you’ll find everything from views and ruins to the signal town, more views and some handy info.
1. The buzz of going up and down the hill
I get that I probably sound like I’m 10, but there’s a great buzz when you make your way up and down the hill at Brow Head.
On the way up, you’re not really looking at the views – you’re just staring ahead, praying that a car doesn’t come over the brow of the hill, forcing you to reverse the whole way back.
On the way back down Brow Head, you’ve an absolutely magnificent view that opens up in-front of you. This is all the more impressive on a stormy day (see above).
2. The views
When you reach the top and get parked (if you’re walking, just continue past the parking spots), you’ll reach the gate above (it’ll be on your right).
The views from here alone are out-of-this-world. On the 3 occasions that I’ve visited here in the past, I’ve had the place all to myself.
3. The signal station
You’ll find a singal tower that dates back to 1804 at Brow Head. It was one of many towers built by in Ireland at the time (during British Rule) as a way of spotting an incoming French invasion.
4. The Miner’s Houses
As was the case with a number of parts of Cork (e.g. Allihies), Brow Head was used for copper mining in the 19th century.
The remains of the mines and some of the buildings that the workers lived in can still be seen to this day. I can’t find a picture of these buildings, so I’ve popped in another of the view from the hill!
The Brow Head Star Wars Episode VIII connection
The Brow Head Star Wars connect all came about when filming at the location kicked off here in 2016.
The lads at Lucas Film were so impressed they took out a newspaper ad thanking the people of West Cork for their hospitality!
Places to visit near Brow Head in Cork
One of the beauties of this place is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Brow Head (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Barleycove Beach (10-minute drive)
You’ll find one of the finest beaches in Cork a short 10-minute spin from Brow Head. Barleycove Beach was formed when a tsunami hit Lisbon many years ago. If you fancy a bite to eat, nip into the Barleycove Beach Hotel (one of the best hotels in West Cork!).
2. Mizen Head (15-minute drive)
3. Nearby islands and towns
You’ve some of the more popular towns in Cork a short spin from Brow Head. Places like Crookhaven (15-minute drive), Schull (28-minute drive), Skibbereen (50-minute drive) and Baltimore (1 hour drive) are a short spin away. As are the likes of Cape Clear Island and Sherkin Island.
FAQs about visiting Brow Head
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from the Brow Head Star Wars link to what to see nearby.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Brow Head worth visiting?
I’d honestly say that Brow Head is one of my favourite places to visit in Ireland; the scenery is wild and unspoiled, it’s off-the-beaten-path, so there’s never crowds, and the views are just out of this world.
What is there to see at Brow Head?
Views aside, there the signal tower, the old miner’s houses and everything from Fastnet Rock to Barleycove visible in the distance.
What is there to do nearby?
Nearby, you’ve everything from Mizen Head and Barleycove Beach to towns like Crookhave, Schull, Skibbereen and much, much more.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.