A Favorite City of Mine
Killarney is located in County Kerry in southwestern Ireland. The town is on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane (“Lake of Leanring”), which is part of the Killarney National Park.
Places We Ate
- The Laurels Pub & Restaurant for dinner; Fish & Chips and Lamb Shank and a bottle of Rhone red wine.
- The Smoke House for dinner; Monkfish and Steak with a bottle of red wine. The food was good, however; the service needs some major help.
- O’Connors Pub for drinks.
- Murphy’s Ice Cream – Handmade in Dingle. Had the Dingle Sea Salt, Chocolate and Irish Coffee (with whiskey in it).
Killarney is a great place to listen to Irish music and the music usually kicks off around 9:30 p.m.
Tourism is the largest industry in Killarney. There are more hotel beds in Killarney than in any other Irish city or town! Killarney is famous for its jaunting cars (horse-drawn carts) operated by local jarvies.
A Jaunting Cart
The Town and Area Is Known For
- St. Mary’s Cathedral.
- Ross Castle. Built on the lake shore in the late 15th century by local ruling clan the O’Donoghues Mor (Ross).
- Muckross House and Abbey. Muckross Abbey was founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy More. The abbey was burned down by Cromwellian forces under General Ludlow in 1654 and today remains a ruin.
- The Lakes of Killarney (see below).
- MacGillycuddy’s Reeks (“The Black Stacks”). A mountain range stretching slightly over 12 miles. It includes the highest peaks in Ireland and the only peaks on the island that are over 3,300 feet.
- Purple Mountain. At a height of 2,730 feet. There are 3 main peaks; Purple, Tomies and Shehy. The mountain has the Gap of Dunloe to the west, the Lakes of Killarney to the south and the east and the valley of the River Laune to the north. The eastern half is part of the Killarney National Park.
- Mangerton Mountain. At a height of 2,753 feet it is the tallest of the Mangerton mountain range. Its western slope lies within Killarney National Park.
- The Gap of Dunloe. A narrow mountain pass between MacGillyciddy’s Reeks (west) and Purple Mountain (east). It is about 6.8 miles from north to south. Within it are five lakes; Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough. These lakes are connected by the River Loe.
- Torc Waterfall. A waterfall at the base of Torc Mountain. Within the Killarney National Park and part of the Ring of Kerry.
- The Ring of Kerry (see below).
Town of Kenmare
A lunch stop in Kenmare at the Purple Heather Bistro before heading to Killarney.
The Town of Kenmare
Kenmare means “the little nest”. A small town in the south of County Kerry, Ireland. The name Kenmare is the anglicised form of Ceann Mara meaning “head of the sea”, referring to the head of Kenmare Bay. Kenmare is located at the head of Kenmare Bay, sometimes called the Kenmare River, where the Roughty River flows into the sea.
The Malton Hotel
The Malton, formerly the Great Southern Hotel Killarney, has been a focal point of this lively and bustling tourist town since 1854. That year saw the grand opening of the 1st railway line to Killarney from Dublin. The Great Southern and Western Railway Company decided to build a “Grand Hotel” outside of Dublin. They would require 40 acres of land at the railhead for a station and hotel, but they wanted it free. The land in question was part of the giant estate owned by Lord Kenmare. The architect to build the hotel was Frederick Darley. The official architect to Trinity College. He also designed Merchant’s Hall in Dublin, the Kings Inn Library and a Magnetic Observatory at Trinity.
Check Out Their Website!
County Kerry is located in the southwest region and in the province of Munster.
Close Encounters –
Barely an Inch to Spare!
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park was the 1st national park established in Ireland, created when Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish state in 1932. The park is 25,425 acres, including the Lakes of Killarney, Oak and Yew woodlands and mountain peaks. It has Ireland’s only native herd of Red Deer. It has the most extensive covering of native forest remaining in Ireland.
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry in south-western Ireland.
Popular Spots Along The Route
- Muckross House
- Ross Castle
- Lough Leane
- Ladies View – a panoramic viewpoint
- Gap of Dunloe
- Torc Waterfall
All tour buses run in a counter-clockwise direction due to the narrow roads.
The Lakes Of Killarney
- Lough Leane (“Lake of Learning”) – the largest of the three lakes.
- Muckross Lake or Middle Lake
- Upper Lake
The lakes are renowned for their trout fisheries.
Ross Island, a peninsula on the eastern shore of Lough Leane, is the site of copper mines dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age, the earliest known copper mines in the British Isles.
Muckross peninsula, which separates Lough Leane from Muckross Lake, contains one of the few yew woods in Europe.
The photos below were taken at Ladies View, a scenic stopping point that offers a great view of the lakes and the valleys.
(Photos by RSheridan)