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Dunworly Bay

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Overview





Dunworly Bay is located on the southwest coast of Ireland about twenty miles southwest of Cork Harbour and in the eastern part of Clonakilty Bay. It is situated close west of Seven Heads, the large peninsula that divides Clonakilty and Courtmacsherry Bays. It offers a convenient anchorage in a secluded location.

Dunworly Bay is located on the southwest coast of Ireland about twenty miles southwest of Cork Harbour and in the eastern part of Clonakilty Bay. It is situated close west of Seven Heads, the large peninsula that divides Clonakilty and Courtmacsherry Bays. It offers a convenient anchorage in a secluded location.

The bay provides a tolerable anchorage providing protection from easterly and northerly winds but is entirely open to Atlantic swell. Attentive navigation is required to access the bay as it has two unmarked but easily avoided rocks in the middle of the bay.
Please note

Although Dunworly looks very protected it is subject to groundswell from the prevailing sector making it only viable in settled conditions.




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Keyfacts for Dunworly Bay
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
4 metres (13.12 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
May 11th 2021

Summary

A tolerable location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 35.023' N, 008° 45.729' W

This is in the anchoring position at the head of Dunworly Bay.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunworly Bay initial fix. will set up a final approach:
51° 34.013' N, 008° 46.173' W
This is southeast of Cod Rock, with 6.9 metres of cover, and southeast of Bird Island, itself close south of Dunworley Head. A course of 30° T for three quarters of a mile leads into the head of the bay from here.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location.

  • Identify Cow Rock and then pass midway between it and the eastern shore

  • Keep clear of the area north of Cow Rock as Horse Rock sits 250metres northward of it, about midway between it and the shore


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Dunworly Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Seven Heads Bay - 1.4 miles E
  2. Broadstrand Bay - 2 miles NE
  3. Blindstrand Bay - 2.1 miles ENE
  4. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 2.1 miles WNW
  5. Courtmacsherry - 2.3 miles NNE
  6. Coolmain Bay - 3 miles NE
  7. Dunnycove Bay - 3.1 miles WSW
  8. Dirk Bay - 4.4 miles WSW
  9. Holeopen Bay West - 5 miles ENE
  10. Holeopen Bay East - 5.4 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Seven Heads Bay - 1.4 miles E
  2. Broadstrand Bay - 2 miles NE
  3. Blindstrand Bay - 2.1 miles ENE
  4. Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 2.1 miles WNW
  5. Courtmacsherry - 2.3 miles NNE
  6. Coolmain Bay - 3 miles NE
  7. Dunnycove Bay - 3.1 miles WSW
  8. Dirk Bay - 4.4 miles WSW
  9. Holeopen Bay West - 5 miles ENE
  10. Holeopen Bay East - 5.4 miles ENE
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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Dunworley Bay as seen over Lehenagh Point
Image: Henry O'LearyExternal link


Dunworley Bay, a small southwest opening bight set into the eastern part of Clonakilty Bay, 3½ miles east of Clonakilty and 2 miles west by northwest of Seven Heads. Entered between Lehenagh Point and Dunworley Head it is about ½ a mile in extent and encumbered with two large rocks.

The bay offers an exposed fair-weather anchorage at its head in settled north round to easterly conditions.


How to get in?
Dunworley Head, about 2 miles distant as seen when passing Seven Heads
Image: Burke Corbett


Convergance Point Use southwestern Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for coastal planning. The bay can be positively identified by Seven Heads of which it lies 1¾ miles west-northwest. Seven Heads is a bold bluff headland with an old telegraph tower standing at an elevation of 40 metres close north of Leganagh Point.


Dunworley Bay as seen from the southwest
Image: Burke Corbett


It is the eastern extremity of the Clonakilty Bay, a large bay that lies between it and Galley Head a distance of about 10 miles westward. With the exception of ½ a mile of sandy beach, which marks the entrance to Clonakilty Harbour, the shores are generally high, rocky and fringed with outlying rocks and foul ground. However, all of Clonakilty Bay’s dangers are close to the shore.

Dunworley Bay is a horseshoe-shaped bight set into the northwest corner of Clonakilty Bay, close west of Seven Heads and around Dunworley Head. It is encumbered with two rocks that need careful attention, the inner Horse Rock, that fouls the west part of the bay, and Cow Rock that is located in the centre of the bay’s entrance ½ a mile north-by-northwest of Dunworly Head.


Cow Rock showing its head
Image: Burke Corbett


Cow Rock dries 2.6 metres and is usually visible or awash. Horse Rock, however, situated 250 metres north of the Cow Rock and about midway between it and the north shore, dries to 0.4 metres and may not be seen. The approach therefore should be made between Cow Rock and Dunworly Head which requires careful eyeball navigation. However, once Cow Rock has been identified a central path between it and the eastern shore is easily made.

Dunworley Bay opening up from the east when approached around Bird Island
Image: Burke Corbett


Vessel following the Seven Heads shoreline in and around Dunworly Bay should be careful to avoid a rock that lies close south of Bird Island. Bird Island is situated on the foul ground extending 350 metres from Dunworly Head and a dangerous outlier lies close south of the rock island. Part of the head of this rock shows, but a covered portion extends south beyond it. Standing 300 metres off Seven Heads and Bird Island clears all dangers.


Passing Bird Island with its outlier clear in silhouette
Image: Burke Corbett


Initial fix location From the initial fix pass in on a course 30°T and to the west of Bird Island and Dunworly Head. The ruins of Dunworly Castle will be seen standing 300 metres north of Dunworly Point and Dunworly Bay will open to the north.


Passing in midway between Dunworly Head and Cow Rock
(Lehenagh Point in thebackdrop)

Image: Burke Corbett


Alternatively, keeping 150 metres off Dunworly Head when entering the bay clears all dangers. Once within the entrance steer up to the head of the bay at the north end of the bight.


Yacht approaching Dunworly Bay
Image: Mark Murray via CC BY-SA 2.0


Haven location Anchor in the north end of the bay in 3 to 4 metres. The bottom is flat and gradually rising to the shore. The last white building on the skyline, or at a lower level the small brown building that will be seen in a gully, provide good indicators for where you can expect the bay's deeper water to run out.

Small brown building is a good mark for where the bay begins to shoal
Image: Burke Corbett


After this, the depths gradually descend into the drying inlet that extends off the north end of the bay. Good sand holding will be found here, albeit about 800 metres out and with a long dinghy trek into land on the beach.


Why visit here?
Dunworly Bay, often spelt Dunworley, takes its name from the ancient Irish name dúna úrluing, which was first recorded in 1260. The name means dúna 'fort', and úrluing 'its open space', and so 'the open space of the fort'. This refers to Dunworley Castle which overlooks the bay and the preceding structures that existed there from the stone age.


The Seven Heads collection of headlands
Image: Darren J Spoonley Photography External link


Visitors who come ashore here will find a spectacular sandy beach on which to land and enjoy. Those interested in long, beautiful walks along headlands, exploring ring forts and watchtowers along a rocky coastline will find they have landed in the right place. Sitting adjacent to the rugged and enchanting stretch of the Atlantic coast there is plenty to enjoy here. Some small bungalows dot the shores here but they do little to detract from the Seven Heads feeling of restful repose, solitude and timelessness.


Dunworley Castle
Image: Garry Dickinson via CC BY-SA 2.0


Chief amongst the sites of interest is the ruin of Dunworley Castle. It was an O'Cowig castle, built on the site of an earlier fort. Later it was appropriated by the Barry Roe clan. The actual castle with its bawn has disappeared and all that remains is a guard tower with traces of a 4-metre long section of the curtain wall that closed off the neck of the promontory. The scant remains are limited and of little interest but what is remarkable is the situation of the fort on the narrow promontory that connects it to the mainland.


Dunworley Castle astride its arrow neck of rock
Image: Google


The piece of land connecting the peninsula to the mainland is only 8 or 9 meters wide and the tower house perfectly cuts off the narrow neck to the Dunworly Point promontory, locally known Illaunbeg, 'small island'. The rectangular tower of some 4 by 5 meters and 1 storey high would have easily defended the peninsula particularly so when it would have originally had walls on either side. The castle is freely accessible today.

It provides a wonderful introduction to Dunworly’s rugged coastline of rocky bights with sand lined coves accompanied by the simple pleasure of standing on the cliff tops and looking out over the Atlantic. Ashore the ruggedness quickly gives way to West Cork’s rolling farmlands. The paintbox patchwork of green and yellow fields marked out by old stone walls are themselves lined with a profusion of wild summer flowers.


Dunworly Head as seen from the head of the bay
Image: Burke Corbett


From a boating point of view, Dunworly Bay is another anchoring opportunity on this beautiful and unspoilt section of the West Cork coastline. Close to the Seven Heads, it is an easy location for passage makers to drop into when in need of easterly protection. Akin to all the outer bays no village borders its shoreline, but just being a mile to the northwest of the head and with good holding it is a useful drop-in location. Vessels making passage along this part of the coast will find it an ideal spot for a lunch stop in settled or in northerly and easterly conditions.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities available at this location.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occured to a vessel anchored at Dunworly Bay.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.







Aerial views of Dunworly Bay


About Dunworly Bay

Dunworly Bay, often spelt Dunworley, takes its name from the ancient Irish name dúna úrluing, which was first recorded in 1260. The name means dúna 'fort', and úrluing 'its open space', and so 'the open space of the fort'. This refers to Dunworley Castle which overlooks the bay and the preceding structures that existed there from the stone age.


The Seven Heads collection of headlands
Image: Darren J Spoonley Photography External link


Visitors who come ashore here will find a spectacular sandy beach on which to land and enjoy. Those interested in long, beautiful walks along headlands, exploring ring forts and watchtowers along a rocky coastline will find they have landed in the right place. Sitting adjacent to the rugged and enchanting stretch of the Atlantic coast there is plenty to enjoy here. Some small bungalows dot the shores here but they do little to detract from the Seven Heads feeling of restful repose, solitude and timelessness.


Dunworley Castle
Image: Garry Dickinson via CC BY-SA 2.0


Chief amongst the sites of interest is the ruin of Dunworley Castle. It was an O'Cowig castle, built on the site of an earlier fort. Later it was appropriated by the Barry Roe clan. The actual castle with its bawn has disappeared and all that remains is a guard tower with traces of a 4-metre long section of the curtain wall that closed off the neck of the promontory. The scant remains are limited and of little interest but what is remarkable is the situation of the fort on the narrow promontory that connects it to the mainland.


Dunworley Castle astride its arrow neck of rock
Image: Google


The piece of land connecting the peninsula to the mainland is only 8 or 9 meters wide and the tower house perfectly cuts off the narrow neck to the Dunworly Point promontory, locally known Illaunbeg, 'small island'. The rectangular tower of some 4 by 5 meters and 1 storey high would have easily defended the peninsula particularly so when it would have originally had walls on either side. The castle is freely accessible today.

It provides a wonderful introduction to Dunworly’s rugged coastline of rocky bights with sand lined coves accompanied by the simple pleasure of standing on the cliff tops and looking out over the Atlantic. Ashore the ruggedness quickly gives way to West Cork’s rolling farmlands. The paintbox patchwork of green and yellow fields marked out by old stone walls are themselves lined with a profusion of wild summer flowers.


Dunworly Head as seen from the head of the bay
Image: Burke Corbett


From a boating point of view, Dunworly Bay is another anchoring opportunity on this beautiful and unspoilt section of the West Cork coastline. Close to the Seven Heads, it is an easy location for passage makers to drop into when in need of easterly protection. Akin to all the outer bays no village borders its shoreline, but just being a mile to the northwest of the head and with good holding it is a useful drop-in location. Vessels making passage along this part of the coast will find it an ideal spot for a lunch stop in settled or in northerly and easterly conditions.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) - 2.1 miles WNW
Dunnycove Bay - 3.1 miles WSW
Dirk Bay - 4.4 miles WSW
Rosscarbery Inlet - 5.8 miles W
Mill Cove - 6.6 miles W
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Seven Heads Bay - 1.4 miles E
Blindstrand Bay - 2.1 miles ENE
Broadstrand Bay - 2 miles NE
Courtmacsherry - 2.3 miles NNE
Coolmain Bay - 3 miles NE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Dunworly Bay.
































Aerial views of Dunworly Bay



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