Finn Melon

Tom Crean Trail - Short

Start: Tom Crean Garden Annascaul Village

Distance: 5 Km

Rating: Easy Terrain

Time: 2 hours

This road walk begins at the Tom Crean Garden and sculpture in Annascaul Village and goes directly to his birthplace at Gortacurrane. The walk then goes to his final resting place at Ballinacourty Graveyard and ends at his pub 'The South Pole Inn' back in the village. A lovely tribute walk to our most enduring polar explorer.

Finn Melon

Tom Crean Trail - Long

Start: Tom Crean Garden Annascaul Village

Distance: 16.5Km

Rating: Easy

Terrain: Road

Time: 5 hours

Beginning at the Tom Crean Garden this walk goes west out of Annascaul village, turning left on the R561. Turn right to a quiet back road which leads past the old Coast Guard Station at Minard Cove and then north west across the N86 to his birthplace at Gortacurrane and his final resting place at Ballinacourty Graveyard to finish at his pub 'The South Pole Inn'.

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tom crean sculpture annascaul

Tom Crean Artic Explorer

Tom Crean was born in Gortacurraun, outside Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula. Tom attended Brackloon National School before enlisting in the British Royal Navy in 1893. He was a member of Captain Scott's 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition, which saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen, and ended in the deaths of Scott and his polar party. He was also second officer on the Endurance under Ernest Shackleton. After the ship became beset in the pack ice and sank, he spent months drifting on the ice and undertook an open boat journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia.

After his Antartic adventures he retired from the navy in 1920 and with his wife Ellen Herlihy opened a pub, The South Pole Inn in Annascaul village where they settled and raised a family. He died from a burst appendix in July 1938 and is buried in Ballinacourty graveyard. In July 2003 a statue of Tom Crean sculpted by Eamon O’Doherty was unveiled in a small memorial garden across the road from the South Pole Inn.