Explore – Kerry
Facing the broad Atlantic Ocean, majestic Kerry is a place of breathtaking scenery where you’ll be enchanted by the wealth of nature’s treasures; from heritage centres to Ireland’s two highest mountains ‘Carrantoohil’ and ‘Mount Brandon’ and Ireland’s highest pass ‘The Conor Pass’. And of course, the true Irish culture is alive in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas of Kerry, where traditional Irish music, dance and song come to life.
Things to Do
Kerry is a place for lovers of all good things in life. From the lake district surrounding Killarney National Park, to the spectacular scenic drives on the Dingle and Ring of Kerry peninsulas.
The Ring of Kerry or Iveragh Peninsula is a 179km circular route that takes you through 10,000 years of dramatic history, majestic landscape and mountains, from deep forest to the crashing waters of the Atlantic and sandy beaches. This magnificent landscape is the natural setting for various activities: walking, cycling and running; fishing in rivers for salmon and trout and at sea for bass, ray and mackerel. Your journey through the Ring of Kerry will also provide you with insight into the heritage of Ireland. See iron Age forts, Ogham stones and old monasteries.
At the heart of the Ring of Kerry lies the famous Gap of Dunloe. This is a 11km narrow mountain pass between Macgillycuddy’s Peek and Purple Mountain. Visitors travel along a winding pathway alongside 5 loughs: Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. They are connected by the River Loe. Between the 2 first lakes is an old arch bridge called the wishing bridge. According to local folklore wishes made upon it are destined to come through.
On your tour of the Ring of Kerry make sure to include a visit to Muckross House & Killarney National Park. Muckross House is a 19th century Victorian mansion set in the stunning setting of Killarney Park. The house is located near the shores of Muckross Lake, one of the 3 lakes in Killarney and features all the necessary furnishings and artefacts of the period. This is the ideal base from which to explore the park.
The park combines mountainous landscape, including the highest mountain range in Ireland – the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, world famous lakes, woods and waterfalls.
World famous mountains can also be found in the Dingle Peninsula. The peninsula stretches 48 km into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland’s south-west coast and is dominated by the range of mountains that form it’s spine. It attracts climbers and walkers from many parts of Ireland and overseas each year, but still maintains an unspoilt an quiet beauty. Many choice of walks is available for all sorts of levels. From strenuous ridge walking to more gentle slopes, from cliff to beach walks.
The coastline consists of sea cliffs and sandy beaches, with 2 large sand spits at Inch on the south and the Maharees to the north.
Sandy beaches, rugged mountains, sea cliffs, many walking routes, picturesque fishing and market towns, stunning scenery and a thriving Irish language community are many of the reasons why County Kerry stands as nature’s masterpiece. This is the perfect setting for many outdoor pursuits including walking, cycling, diving, fishing, surfing, kayaking and swimming, but most of all, this is the place where one stands and admires beauty.
Places to Stay
Hidden Ireland Historic Country Guest Houses
Bed and Breakfast
Coolclogher is an early Victorian house in a secluded private estate on the outskirts of Killarney. Luxuriously restored, Coolclogher has spacious reception rooms and large, comfortable bedrooms with magniﬁcent views over the gardens and mature parkland to the dramatic mountains of the Killarney National Park. It is an excellent base for exploring this ruggedly beautiful county and is also available to let for groups. Right on the Ring of Kerry, Ross Castle is within walking distance while the Gap of Dunloe, Muckross House and Gardens and Torc waterfall in easy reach, as are a number of world famous golf courses.
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Glanleam was built as a linen mill in 1775 and later converted into a house by the Knight of Kerry, who planted the magniﬁcent sub-tropical gardens. In 1975 Meta Kreissig bought the estate which had declined for 50 years. She rescued the house, restored and enlarged the garden and, with her daughter Jessica, made it a delightful place to stay, with amixture of antique and contemporary furniture and an extensive library. The most beautiful setting, right at the sea, and recent rediscovery of ancient healing points on its lands make Glanleam the perfect place to boost your energy levels and restore your health.
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Built from the remains of an old famine workhouse, Sallyport stands on the shores of the Kenmare River at the southeastern border of the Ring of Kerry. The house overlooks a picturesque harbour with views towards the mountains of the Beara Peninsula. The pretty market town of Kenmare, with its friendlymusic-ﬁlled pubs and excellent restaurants, is just ﬁve minutes away, while Killarney and Glengarriff are both within easy reach. Sallyport adjoins the delightful Reenagross Woodland Park and is a wonderful base for exploring this beautiful region, which includes mountainous peninsulas jutting out into the sea, numerous gardens and the 10,000 hectare Killarney National Park.
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Coolclogher House Selfcatering
A large 19th century mansion set in a secluded 60-acre estate, Coolclogher is a tranquil retreat just a short distance from Killarney town. Numerous leisure activities include golf, hill walking and ﬁshing, which ensures that guests always have plenty of choice.