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A Road Trip Around The Beara Peninsula With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

A Road Trip Around The Beara Peninsula With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

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The Beara Peninsula is unspoiled scenery at its finest.

Home to the likes of Healy Pass, Glengarriff Woods and the very narrow Priest’s Leap, a trip to Beara really is hard to beat.

On a recent road trip, I explored a chunk of Beara via the comfort of the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid. 

Some quick need-to-knows about this Beara Peninsula road trip

Here’s a quick overview of this road trip to have a flick through before we get into the various places to visit (times are rough estimates).

1. Distance from the main cities in Ireland

I’m going to use the different cities listed below as our point ‘A’ and Glengarriff as our point ‘B’ to calculate the distances:

  • Cork City: 1 hr 22 min
  • Limerick City: 2 hr 31 min
  • Waterford City: 3 hr
  • Dublin City: 3 hr 59 min
  • Belfast City: 5 hr 29 min
  • Galway City: 3 hr 42 min
  • Kilkenny City: 3 hr 5 min
  • Derry City: 6 hr 42 min

2. We did the Ring of Beara route

You could easily spend a week on the Beara Peninsula, walking its many trails and visiting the many islands dotted off its coastline. On this occasion, as we only visited for a day, we set-off on the Ring of Beara route, which takes in some of the area’s main attractions.

3. A hybrid road trip

We were hitting the road in the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, which combines all electric driving with a petrol engine. There are a choice of driving modes, so you can decide whether to run on all electric power for up to 45-63km*, the petrol engine or a combination of both. You can seamlessly switch from petrol to electric at the touch of a button which was handy for this trip.

Places to visit around the Beara Peninsula


There’s endless places to visit around the Beara Peninsula. Below, you’ll find a handful of our favourite spots.

Just keep in mind that these aren’t in chronological order, so you can pop them in to your itinerary based on where you’re starting your trip from.

1. Priest’s Leap

Priest’s Leap

Priest’s Leap crosses from the village of Bonane in County Kerry to Coomhola Bridge in County Cork. 

It’s certainly not the main road between the two counties in this area, though it shaves off some kms compared to the larger Kenmare to Bantry road that lies to the west. 

Cutting through the surrounding mountains at 463 metres high, Priest’s Leap is the highest road in the province of Munster. The summit of the nearest mountain is 519 metres, so you’ll feel right among the clouds as the road climbs up.

This is an incredible route to walk or drive, but if you do the latter please keep in mind that this is a very narrow road with limited pull in areas. You should avoid it in poor weather!

Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid feature-focus: The FordPass app and connected modem will keep you connected. Your vehicle will communicate with the world around you, updating you with information about your car and keeping you moving in intelligent ways. With real time traffic updates, finding your nearest charging station, and vehicle health alerts you’ll always be kept up to date.

2. Glanmore Lake View Point

Glanmore Lake

If you visit the Healy Pass, you’ll find one of the best views in the land just over the brow of the hill, just past the little pull in area.

Listed as ‘Glanmore Lake View Point’ on Google Maps, the scenery that presents itself here is out of this world.

On the left of the road you’ll see a grassy hill – make your way up it and you’ll get to the viewpoint in the photo on the left above.

3. Glengarriff Woods

Glengarriff Woods

Glengarriff Nature Reserve is just 1km from Glengarriff village in County Cork on the Kenmare Road (the N71).

While there are several trails to tackle here, it’s the Waterfall Walk that we opted for on this occasion. To reach it, you need to leave the car park following the track to the north.

Once you reach the public road, you need to turn left and cross a stone bridge over the Canrooska River. From there, take the right path at the picnic table and follow the riverbank to the waterfall.

It’s especially impressive after rain when it’s flowing heavily. The trail is very easy going and it takes just 15 minutes from the car park.

Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid feature-focus: Best-in-class rear legroom and luggage space can be realised using sliding second row seats, able to easily move forward or rearward up to 150 mm.

4. Caha Pass

Caha Pass

You’ll find the Caha Pass along the N71 road, about a 10-minute drive from Glengarriff. 

The road has hills and mountains on one side and a big aul drop on the other. However, it’s the tunnels that you spin through that make this a memorable stretch of road. 

Turner’s Rock Tunnel is arguably the best known of them (not the one pictured above) – this is a narrow pass through the rock which immerses you in darkness for around 20 seconds.

You’ll come across the ones in the photos above not long after, where they act as arches that hang over the tarmac below.

5. Allihies


The colourful little village of Allihies is one of the more popular on the peninsula, mainly thanks to its brightly painted buildings.

However, this is far from a one-horse-town. As you approach the village from above, you’ll reach a little pull in area on the right.

From here, you’ll have a breath-taking view out over Allihies, the sea and the mountains beyond. When you make your way down into the town, head over to the beach.

There’s a little coffee truck next to it during the busier months of the year, so you can wrap your hands around a hot drink while you watch the waves crash against the golden sand.

6. Healy Pass

Healy Pass

The Healy Pass is located in the Caha mountain range. It straddles the Cork and Kerry border and although most of it lies in Cork, a section is in Kerry.

Now a popular tourist attraction that brings in drivers, walkers and cyclists every year, the original Healy Pass was called the Kerry Pass and was cut through during the famine years as a poor relief public works project. 

Famine roads are common in Ireland. They were part of Robert Peel’s Conservative Government’s initiatives to improve Ireland’s infrastructure, strengthen its economy and provide employment for those who had lost their income as a result of the failure of the potato crop in 1845.

After you’ve navigated its bends, you can pull in at the top, hop out of the car and take in all of its twists and turns from above.

Learn more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

Priest’s Leap

And that is a wrap on our mini-road-trip-guide to the Beara Peninsula. You can discover heaps more places to visit in Beara in our Ring of Beara guide.

Or, if you’d like to discover more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, visit

*Based on full charge of Kuga PHEV ST-Line. Estimated range using Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Figures shown are for comparability purposes and should only be compared with other vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements like temperature, driving behaviours, route profile, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age and condition. 63-km WLTP Overall Range reflects a combined driving cycle and 45-km WLTP Extra High range reflects motorway driving – both tests are conducted in controlled conditions with an ambient temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and no climate or electrical load.

*FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply.

*“EPA-estimated all-electric range is 0-XX miles. Based on full charge. Actual mileage will vary. Actual range varies with conditions such as external environment, vehicle use, vehicle maintenance, lithium-ion battery age and state of health.

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