Visited on the 20th January 2012
I've been meaning to visit this site for ages now and eventually got around to it last week.
From Skibbereen direction turn off left in Connanagh by the Beehive, go up the hill and take the first right.Keep going, ignore the left fork, go past the right hand turn and eventually you pass a farm entrance on your left, then there is a gate into a field, a big long field. This will be the field that you want. Really, you should go and ask the farmer , who lives up the next left by the bungalow. There are parking spaces along this road, before you reach the gate,
The day that I went, there was no answer at the farm, so I just went for it. Through the gate, up the long field and through the gate at the top.
Just as I reached the top of the hill, the circle came into view..... and so did the three BIG horses that are in the field. I'm not so keen on horses and I have to admit that they do make me a bit nervy ! so I quietly made my way over to the circle hopeing that they wouldn't see me. Of course, all three look up and make their way over,I quicken the pace and arrive at the circle before them.
The circle has an electric fence around it, but it's not switched on (or at least wasn't on this day !). The ditch surrounding the circle is full of stagnant rancid water lots of frog spawn, but luckily someone has put a few bits of wood to make access easier. You still sink ankle deep, but at least it's not knee deep.
This is a great circle though, it reminds me of a Dartmoor or West Cornwall circle.There are thirteen stones, all still standing. There is a feeling of peacefulness here. There is no noise other than the wind rustling through the grass. Even the horses, which are now grazing around the outside look calm and serene. It was a shame that it was such grey day, as I bet that the views from here are spectacular.
I'm definitely going to have to come back here again soon !
The best way to get to Reanascreena is to follow Cian's directions below, but when you get to the gate the farm on your right is the owner of the long field that Harv describes below, be polite and ask, I found them to be very helpful. Access is very easy, just a long walk and a duck under a few electric fences, There are bulls in the fields to the right of the long field, but really there is no need to approach from the east.
A few people have called this the best stone circle in Cork, if not Ireland and after being here I have to agree completely. You cant see this circle until you are very near it, but the circle itself has amazing views and what struck me most is that you can see a sliver of sea from here. I dont know why but I felt a sudden realisation that this was incredibly important to the site. I pictured in my head people gathering here and watching for boats returning or arriving and maybe lighting a fire as a beacon. Strange things this place does to you.
I stood leaning against the strangely pillow-like recumbent stone for almost an hour in the rain and it didn't feel too bad at all. After two failed attempts at finding it, maybe it was a mix of triumph and delight that it was indeed worth it.
The swamp around it is foul, very foul. There is a lush growth of pond weed, its that bad. Luckily I spotted two stepping stones into the circle just to the right of the portals and was able to miss out on the delights of the horse dung polluted water.
After an hour or so the sun came out and I took dozens of photos, so exhilarated by the sunburst that I failed to notice one of the horses in the field had decided to steal what it could from my camera bag that I left open in the scramble to catch the sun. It took several Neanderthal-like screams before he dropped my 50mm lens from his teeth and settled for a lick of my telephoto. Not so much like the horse-whisperer, more like the horse-screecher.
I will now dispense possibly the easiest directions to this site... EVER! Travel on the N71 from Rosscarberry to Skibbereen until you come to a small tree enclosed place with a bridge called Connonagh (OS W244 388), take a right here (sign for Reanascreena half buried in the ditch) and take the next right. There is a large farm entrance with concrete walls on the left, go through the next field gate on the left and into the next field. Travel to the back of this field. Voilà!
Get an OS map, and there's a field called 'long field' between two lanes going toward farm buildings. Pull off the lane that runs parallel with the Cashel River. Park in this field through the (hopefully open) gate at 405266. And walk up the field, it's a long field (duh!) and stretches towards the field in which the stones are. When you get to the top of 'long Field' keep walking. The stones appear on the left.
Well worth the trouble, and it's not that far a walk. . honest!
I took Fourwinds’ advice (see his website for details) and ignored the sign about the bull (on the road to the northeast, which our landlady’s local handyman had confirmed was only there to scare off the tourists and avoid any litigation if they hurt themselves), and used the next gate down with an overgrown track. This led directly to a field boundary, through which I could see the circle. Unfortunately, there was no obvious way through the boundary so I made my way to the corner of the field, and shimmied over the wall. Looking around the field I now found myself in, I couldn’t see any break in the boundary at all! There must be one, as the cows had obviously visited recently.
Anyway, the stones were a wonderful introduction to the Irish style, and I could see the cottage from within the circle! Must remember to check when we get back ‘home’ later.