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Whiddy Island, Cork, Republic of Ireland
The wildlife haven of Whiddy Island lies in beautiful Bantry Bay, just a short ferry crossing from Bantry Town making it a perfect spot for day trip.
Only a short ferry ride from Bantry Town, in West Cork, lies Whiddy Island. This Island is a haven for wildlife and a great place to spend a day wandering.
The island's climate, like other parts of South West Cork, is influenced by the Gulf Stream creating a unique ecology and wealth of wildlife.
Beautiful red and purple fuchsia is abundant on the island throughout the summer and autumn and the common Butterwort is also found here, one of the few ‘insect eating’ plants found in Ireland. Due to its mild winter temperatures, it has a local reputation for producing the region's earliest potato crop.
There is one pub on the island, The Bank House, which opens regularly, fresh food and live music from local musicians are also available during the summer months.
Historically, the island shared the strategic significance of Bantry Bay's deep water anchorage. It possesses a fortified battery built by the British authorities in Napoleonic times, following the arrival of the French Armada in 1796. The island was briefly used as a United States air base during World War I and now has a large oil terminal.
It's easy to spend a quiet afternoon rambling Whiddy's fields or birdwatching at the island's two lakes.