Accommodation prices in the local area are relatively modest (€500 per month average) in comparison with Dublin (€1,700 per month average for a small apartment or 1-2 bed house) and Cork City (€1,000 per month average for a small apartment or 1-2 bed house). A full list of available houses to let can be viewed here or alternatively there are lots of flats and apartments to let at good prices!
Skibbereen is renowned for its high education standards. The three secondary schools in the area recently amalgamated to form one large secondary school Skibbereen Community School. The €6-million building is a mixed school that can cater to 900 students with its state of the art facilities. There are three primary schools in Skibbereen including St. Patrick's Boys' School and St. Joseph's School for girls. There is also a Gaelscoil (mixed; Irish speaking school). In addition, Cork is home to two third level institutes University College Cork (named University of the Year on 5 occasions) and Cork Institute of Technology (winner of Institute of the Year on multiple occasions).
If you haven't been to West Cork before, it is pretty spectacular. Skibbereen is just over a 50 minute drive direct to Cork Airport. The further you get from Cork City the more scenic it gets as you enter the beautiful West Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way runs around Skibbereen and the rugged West Cork coastline. There is plenty to see in West Cork, with lakes, forests, mountains and the stunning West Cork islands to explore. Get out there and experience it for yourself!
Skibbereen has a lot to offer from accountants to solicitors and craftsmen alike. You are never far away from a top quality service in Skibbereen. For example, AIB Skibbereen offer startup loans of up to €100,000 to new and small businesses that have been open for 3 years. Skibbereen is local at its heart and is a place where the people are always happy to help out in any way they can.
Skibbereen and surrounding West Cork are wonderful areas to raise your children. There is an exceptionally low crime rate and a great community spirit and ethos in the locality.
West Cork has many tourist attractions like historic walks, museums, castles and much more. 24 festivals run almost consecutively throughout the year. For example, the Taste of West Cork food festival attracts thousands of visitors a year and involves food stalls, live music and family activities. Over the summer, the nearby fishing village of Baltimore is a hive of activity with the Fiddle Fair, Wooden Boat Festival, and the Pirate Festival.
Skibbereen and the wider West Cork area is a hotbed for culture and the arts. Artists from all over the world have been making West Cork their home since the 1960's. The €3.5m Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre in the middle of Skibbereen hosts art exhibitions and various classes and workshops for people of all ages. This along with the traditions of drama, literature and music combine to make Skibbereen and West Cork a rich source of culture and entertainment.
Skibbereen is home to its now world-famous Rowing club, and there is plenty of sports clubs including Soccer, G.A.A, Rugby, Basketball and Badminton clubs (to name a few), for adults and children alike. The coastal location allows for no end of water pursuits. West Cork has a big sailing scene and who could resist going fishing in the bountiful waters? Go kayaking in the Lough Hyne rapids, climb Mount Gabriel or the cliffs around Baltimore and Mizen Head, or stroll around the beautiful Liss Ard gardens. For something less adventurous you can relax in one of Skibbereen's many pubs or cafés. West Cork has a vibrant music scene, and local, national and international acts showcase their talents in West Cork's numerous old-school venues.
West Cork truly has one of the best high-quality food scenes in the world. Skibbereen is home to many world-class artisan chefs, cooking delicious meals with locally sourced produce. Whether it's fresh fish in Baltimore or a sweet cake from Field's Bakery, there is something to suit all tastes. Visit Skibbereen Farmers Market on Saturdays to buy reasonably priced ingredients directly from the producers.
Skibbereen is entrenched in history and the town's past is of great pride to locals. Start at the Heritage Center in Skibbereen and explore West Cork through the lens of time. The Eldon Hotel on Bridge Street is where Michael Collins ate his last breakfast, and the famine graveyard down the road is a testament to the resillience of the Skibbereen people. Learn about the Battle of Bantry Bay in 1689 or the pirate sacking of Baltimore in 1631. The towns in West Cork are no different to anywhere else in the world in that they are modernising, but history is part of the landscape here, and the past exists alongside the present in West Cork.
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