Skibbereen Heritage Centre's Great Famine Exhibition tells the poignant story of this pivotal period in Irish history. Skibbereen became notorious as one of the worst affected areas in all of Ireland and this tragic era is now brought to life via the latest multimedia technology. Walk or take a virtual tour of sites associated with the Great Famine that still exist today including the mass graves where almost 10,000 people are buried. At Skibbereen Heritage Centre you can also discover the unique nature of Lough Hyne, a salt-water lake just 5km from Skibbereen which is Europe's first Marine Nature Reserve. Find out about the history, folklore and formation of this renowned natural phenomenon with a multi-lingual audio-visual display and follow with a trip to the lake and follow the Knockomagh Wood Nature Trail which overlooks the lake. Skibbereen Heritage Centre also offers a genealogy service for the greater West Cork area, an archaeology trail, a gift shop, reference library and a great welcome!
I have always suggested that if you want to see the real Ireland you must always visit the West Coast, and despite the whole of Ireland being a fantastic place, this in part is very true. Here at the heritage centre in Skibbereen, you get to see a glimpse of what life was like not only many decades ago, but still today. The heritage centre also houses one of the greatest famine exhibitions that I have seen thus far, and with the likes of the Ulster American Folk Park up in Omagh, that is a huge statement to make, but nevertheless one that is very true. I think it also worth mentioning the Lough Hyne Interpretation Centre. Situated approximately 5km from Skibberereen itself, Lough Hyne, offers a visual history into the marine research at Lough Hyne and covers the period between 1886 to 2010, and most definitely worth a visit.