Kerry like an area – 50 issues to do in Eire’s ‘nation inside a county’

The Irish Bucket Listing: 30 issues to do in Eire earlier than you die

Drive Slea Head: The Dingle Peninsula

Margaret McCarthy of Kenmare Ice-cream. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Little Skellig from Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Strawberry Subject pancakes. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Aileen Crean O’Brien and her son Cian in Kenmare. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Vibrant Dingle city

In full color: Cyclists take within the Hole of Dunloe

Atlantic Irish Seaweed – foraging in Kerry. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Ballybunion Citadel, Co. Kerry. Photograph: Deposit

Piaras Kelly of Kerry Climbing

French flavour: Kenmare

Park Resort Kenmare. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Tríona Duignan

Coomeenole, Dingle peninsula, Co. Kerry.

Hozier at Different Voices. Photograph: RTE/South Wind Blows

Fungie, photographed from Dingle Dolphin Excursions. He has lived round Dingel Bay for the reason that 1980s.

Trá Ban, on the Nice Blasket Island

Bacús Bakery in Dingle

Killarney, Co Kerry

Musician David Keenan performs Different Voices

Maison Gourmand, Kemare. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Prawns from the tasting menu on the Park Kenmare. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Catherine Moylan

Treasure: Ard na Sidhe near the Ring of Kerry.

Skellig Michael is house to 1000’s of Atlantic puffins, a minimum of from March to September. These vibrant, enigmatic seabirds spend their summers on the island, breeding and fattening their chicks on regionally out there meals which frequently contains of excessive calorie sand-eel and sprat. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

John Brennan

View of Trá Bán from inside a cottage on the Blasket Islands

Lunch with a view: The Boathouse Bistro at Dromquinna Manor

Pól and Karen Coakley in Kenmare

Seals on Trá Bán, Blasket Islands

Torc Waterfall, Co Kerry

Inside The Dunloe Resort, Killarney. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Killarney, Co Kerry; Eire. Photograph: Brian Morrison/Fáilte Eire

Ross Citadel, Killarney. Photograph: Deposit

Kerry like an area – 50 issues to do in Eire’s ‘nation inside a county’

‘It is a exhausting life,” mentioned the previous man sipping a pint outdoors Reidy’s pub.

Electronic mail

‘It is a exhausting life,” mentioned the previous man sipping a pint outdoors Reidy’s pub.

He’d sat down an hour earlier than, however nonetheless had the pack on his again and the bike clips on his trouser legs. Round him, Killarney was in fifth gear. Vacationers thronged Important Road, a July solar was beating down, and a breeze dangled the tune of a busker out and in of earshot. An area subsequent to the person surveyed the scene, and threw in his tuppence.

“‘Tis,” he mentioned. “Very troublesome.”

Making an attempt to seize the tone of a Kerry dialog is like attempting to fold water. However let’s simply say the lads did not appear too troubled. Nor was I, earwigging within the background. There are worse trials in life than summery pints within the Kingdom.

This 12 months, you voted Kerry Eire’s Favorite Dwelling Vacation Vacation spot in our Reader Journey Awards. There have been frequent themes to your feedback – surroundings, meals, adventures, childhood reminiscences. Tourism goes again a minimum of 250 years right here, and that shines by in its confidence and customer infrastructure.

However there’s extra to the Kingdom than that.


Killarney, Co Kerry

There is a secret sauce. An X-Issue. Kerry looks like magic realism. A standard highway can, with out warning, ship you right into a cinematic explosion of surroundings.

You will discover a tiny chocolate manufacturing facility overlooking St Finian’s Bay; a vivid yellow pancake cottage close to Moll’s Hole. Each dialog is a rabbit gap. It is 2019, and nonetheless a summer time magnificence pageant held midweek in a large tent with music by the Garda Band can be one of many most-watched TV occasions of the 12 months. At occasions, I would not be stunned to see an animated character cross the road, or An Worry Marbh sit upright within the sea.

Kerry is devastatingly stunning landscapes. But it surely’s additionally Pauline Bewick and Brendan Kennelly. It is Amy Winehouse enjoying a stripped again Love is a Shedding Recreation in St James’s Church. It is soccer. It is how you are feeling if you hear Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh’s voice. It is Peig and Puck Truthful. Saint Brendan and Star Wars. Fungie and Francis Brennan. It is a specific type of cuteness.

Fungie, Dingle Dolphin Tours DSC_7441.png

Fungie, photographed from Dingle Dolphin Excursions. He has lived round Dingel Bay for the reason that 1980s.

The ‘Kingdom’ tag apparently dates again to 65AD, when the O’Connor clan took management, nevertheless it’s since taken on a lifetime of its personal. Kerry is a rustic inside a county, someplace that blurs the strains between varied visions of Eire, that knocks you off guard and retains you that manner. It is a feeling, as a lot as a spot.

I like that Kerry does not stand nonetheless. It does not relaxation on these tourism laurels. It values vibrant small companies. Its meals scenes are bettering – significantly in Dingle and Kenmare. Its ‘Reeks District’ was re-branded simply final 12 months, and already Tough Guides has named it the most effective locations on the earth to go to. Kerry is rooted up to now, trying to the longer term, and your favorite house vacation for 2019.

‘Tis very troublesome, all proper. – Pól Ó Conghaile

The Foodie’s Take

Pol and Karen Coakley, Kenmare.jpg

Pól and Karen Coakley in Kenmare

There isn’t any scarcity of nice locations to eat in Kerry. Karen Coakley (pictured) is a TV chef and meals blogger from Kenmare, who runs meals excursions of the city each Wednesday in the summertime as Kenmare Foodie ( Right here, she tells us concerning the meals she likes to eat, and the native spots on her excursions. 

“I’ve this ardour for meals, and a ardour for the place I stay. There are two roads from Kenmare to Killarney, and I would all the time come by the Nationwide Park. I simply drove by it now, and I needed to hold stopping the automobile to take movies for Instagram to indicate everybody how stunning it’s.

“Killarney Nationwide Park is probably the most wonderful place, and actually inside 10 minutes of my home I am in the midst of it. I do know Killarney is seen as a touristy vacation spot, however to me, it is simply stunning.

“Folks all the time ask me the place to eat in Kenmare, however there actually is simply a lot alternative. Basically, you’ll be able to’t get a foul meal in Kenmare, the usual is admittedly excessive. For myself and my husband, if the solar is shining then it is the Boathouse Bistro ( It is proper on the water, overlooking Kenmare Bay and the islands. They have a unbelievable gin record and nice scampi.

READ  One man, 100,000 objects: The small Mayo museum that packs an enormous punch

Margaret McCarthy, Kenmare Ice-cream.jpg

Margaret McCarthy of Kenmare Ice-cream. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

“For seafood, Packie’s ( is an establishment. It has been going for, frankly, I do not know the way lengthy. All the things is native and seasonal. Mulcahy’s ( is one other favorite – he has so many seasonal signature dishes and his sushi is phenomenal.

Poffs ( does wonderful brunch, with fabulous eggs benedict. For espresso and pastries, we’ve Maison Gourmand, a French patisserie that is on my meals tour. There are three bakers in there, they’re all French, and so they make every part from scratch. It is the true deal!

“We go to some nice producers on my meals excursions – folks love the story behind Kenmare Ice Cream (; above), for instance, and we end up at Tom Crean Fish & Wine (, run by the well-known explorer’s granddaughter, Aileen Crean-O’Brien (beneath). She tells her story about him, and the way she herself went to Antarctica to stroll in his footsteps.

aileen o'brien crean and cian.jpg

Aileen Crean O’Brien and her son Cian in Kenmare. Photograph: Pól Ó Conghaile

Outdoors of Kenmare, I like the Strawberry Fields pancake cottage (, between Moll’s Hole and Sneem. They serve probably the most wonderful pancakes with native toppings, and you’ll sit outdoors and have a look at the mountains.

For a foodie expertise with a distinction, there’s Atlantic Irish Seaweed (, run by John and Kerryann Fitzgerald. They do seaweed discovery walks and workshops.

“That is one factor my meals excursions have taught me, that there is a magnificence in holding issues native. There’s an incredible connection between the producers and resorts and eating places in Kenmare. It is a very particular place.”

24 Hours in Kenmare: An ideal day within the kingdom’s foodie gem

In dialog with Nicola Brady

The Adventurer’s Information


Piaras Kelly of Kerry Climbing

With Tough Guides lately lauding the Reeks District as one of many world’s greatest locations to discover in 2019, there’s an actual buzz across the area the journey bible described as merely “spectacular”. Piaras Kelly (pictured) runs Kerry Climbing ( along with his spouse, Catherine, and takes folks strolling, climbing and scrambling up the mountains.

“I like Carrauntoohil. Clearly there are many totally different routes as much as the highest – my private favorite is a rock climb known as Howling Ridge.

“That goes up the north face, and it is doable for everyone with even a half first rate degree of health, even when you’re by no means climbed earlier than. We do get people who find themselves a bit nervous, however a part of my job helps folks recover from their fears.

“We frequently get individuals who have come all the way down to do Carrauntoohil for the primary time, and one of many extra easy routes might be the Satan’s Ladder. As soon as they’ve accomplished that a couple of occasions, they typically come again to do Howling Ridge with ropes, helmets and the complete package.

“The Brother O’Shea’s Gully route requires the identical degree of health and time, however the one distinction is it has extra sections the place you want to use your fingers. It isn’t mountaineering, however you positively could not do it along with your fingers in your pockets. A tough information for any ascent is between six and 7 hours, up and down.

“You can have a view of your ft all day if the cloud is down, however on a half-decent day all of the routes have beautiful views. I do know it just like the again of my hand, I’ve climbed it 1000’s of occasions – there are routes that I’ve pioneered, and it is actually on my doorstep – I stay on the foot of Carrauntoohil.

“It isn’t my mountain, however I really feel like it’s.

Kayaking is my different ardour. I stay fairly near the lakes of Killarney, so once I’m not on the vertical I can get onto the horizontal pretty straightforward. I am going to paddle down the river, ending in Killorgan, and plenty of different stops alongside the best way.

There’s a variety of historical past there, on the lakes, and Inishfallen Island. We’re simply blessed. We now have the mountains and the ocean, the rivers and the lakes.

“For kayaking, I might most likely advocate Irish Adventures (irishadventures.internet) which run journeys in Dingle. They’re going to take you out to see Fungie, and so they additionally do dawn journeys out within the harbour, that are fairly particular.

I would additionally extremely advocate the Cappanalea Out of doors Training Centre ( within the Reeks – they do stand-up paddle boarding, white-water kayaking, bush crafts and stuff for teenagers too.

“A tour of Muckross Lake would most likely be my favorite biking journey – you’ll be able to cycle the entire manner round, and there is a pretty little searching lodge-turned-coffee store known as Dinis (, so you’ll be able to break up the cycle with a espresso and a pleasant little bit of cake.

“There’s additionally an exquisite space known as Glencar, simply on the opposite facet of the McGillycuddy Reeks. Everyone’s very conversant in the facet of Carrauntoohil close to the Hole of Dunloe, however not many individuals know that when you proceed on for an additional couple of miles, you are actually within the coronary heart of the Reeks district. If I used to be to inform somebody the right way to get off the overwhelmed monitor, I would inform them to go to Glencar.”

Extra: Eire’s ‘Reeks District’ makes Tough Guides’ High 6

In dialog with Nicola Brady

The Hotelier’s Hotlist


John Brennan (proper), with brother Francis.


John Brennan (pictured, proper) is Managing Director of The Park Resort Kenmare (, the award-winning property he runs along with his brother, Francis. The pair welcome 1000’s of visitors by their doorways annually, and are by no means wanting a tip or two for getting probably the most out of the county…

“I like Kenmare Bay. The estuary is 37 miles lengthy, and it is bordered by the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara. So from a surroundings perspective, it is completely magnificent. Nothing will thrill me greater than taking place Kenmare Bay on our boat, and going into Helen’s bar in Kilmakilloge for an open crab sandwich. If I can try this, on any day of the 12 months, then I would contemplate blissful day in Kenmare.

“We just like the boats, and we’ve a couple of of them. We go away Kenmare, go all the way down to Oysterbed, after which maybe go over to O’Carroll’s Cove, or for a stroll on the seashore at Derrynane (beneath). Or we’d scoot over to Cahersiveen, Valentia Island and, if the day was good, over to Dingle for a chew to eat.

READ  High 10 locations to see Irish wildlife - from whales in West Cork to puffins in Wexford

Derrynane, Getty Images.jpg.ismrlhw.partial.jpg

Derrynane Seaside. Photograph: Getty

We like to go to Out of the Blue ( for lunch – they do very good fish and chips, with mushy peas. If we have been overnighting in Dingle, we might go to The Chart Home (


“There’s not a day that we would exit on the boat with out seeing dolphins. You too can see basking sharks and also you’d completely all the time see seals. For those who exit so far as the Skelligs, across the fabulous Bull Rock, you would possibly see puffins and gannets, too. We noticed a sunfish at some point ­- he is an actual silly fish! He has a giant flipper on his again that retains flopping over; he is an actual weird-looking fella.

“I can not stand the scent of fish on the boat, although, so we by no means fish. I’ve solely gone fishing as soon as – I could not bodily take a fish off a hook.

“One factor that our visitors all the time love, that is perhaps a little bit of a shock, is a stroll on the Previous Kenmare/Killarney highway. We drive visitors on the market and so they stroll the previous highway again. It’s an 8km stroll, and it is proper throughout the mountain the place nobody would ever be.

“We had two folks from New York with us simply over the New 12 months, and so they cherished it – I knew they’d. I dropped them over, and so they weren’t again ’til 4pm. They loved it a lot that they mentioned they simply sat and appeared on the views, they could not tear themselves away.

“We try this as a complimentary guided stroll each Saturday morning for visitors at The Park. What’s good about it’s it is the previous highway, so it is solely a mud monitor, nevertheless it’s good and vast, and it comes over part of the mountain you’d by no means come throughout.

“The Halloween Howl is a unbelievable occasion in Kenmare. The entire city is reworked right into a Dracula-like setting, with unbelievable occasions, kids’s events and an enormous parade within the city. Households like it, and we might have a great deal of individuals who come down for that yearly, as a result of the youngsters simply get such a buzz out of it.”

Eire’s High 10 house vacation locations revealed

In dialog with Nicola Brady

The Literary Vacationer


Catherine Moylan


Catherine Moylan (pictured) is the chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week  (, which takes place on the final weekend of Could and sees world-renowned authors flock to this gorgeous Kerry city. However there’s a lot extra to see within the county that impressed numerous poems, songs and performs…

“I used to be born and bred in Listowel. I grew up right here and, like lots of people, went away for a couple of years. However I am again over 10 years now, and it is an honour to be chairperson of the Listowel Writers’ Week (Could 29 to June 2).

“Generally, I feel you admire a spot extra if you go away for some time and return house – it offers you a renewed enthusiasm for a spot.

“This 12 months would be the 49th 12 months of Writers’ Week, so it is really the oldest literary competition within the nation. There are an terrible lot of individuals whose work has been found on the competition. The unique goal was to each present an viewers for rising writers, and to have a good time established writers. And it nonetheless does that to today.


Kerry Seanachie and creator Batt Burns along with his grand daughters Laoise and Aisling Burns at Listowel Writers week. Photograph: Fáilte Eire / Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus LTD.

“We now have a younger adults e book competition, too; 900 college students descended upon the city final November. We did little quirky issues, like competitions for the perfect six-word tales – a few of them have been unimaginable.

“We now have a movie membership within the native cinema in Listowel each Thursday, and you’ve got individuals who come who’re anyplace from 9 years previous to 90. There’s a little bit dialogue there afterwards, and it is all very casual, however unassuming and beautiful. We’re so fortunate to have that.

“I typically inform individuals who come to go to that they want to consider the hinterland. Listowel is just one place, however most of the writers who come get inspiration from throughout us.

Ballybunion, with its Blue Flag seashore, is simply 9 miles away. Collins Seaweed Baths are on the women’ seashore, and have been on the go for 90 years.

When I’ve pals visiting, we’ll normally go for lunch in Listowel, have a wander round, and take a look at the boutiques. Then I am going to take them out to Ballybunion for a dip within the sea and a beautiful seaweed tub. You possibly can have a cup of espresso on the seashore and it is simply magic. It’d treatment something!


Ballybunion Citadel, Co. Kerry. Photograph: Deposit

“There is a cliff stroll simply above the seashore, and a brand new one known as Bromore Cliffs. Michael Flahive, who arrange the stroll (, has lived within the space for years, and he’ll regale you with tales of his youth and adventures… he is a natural-born storyteller! I have been there thrice and every time I am going, I hear one other story.

“There is a tune, The Cliffs of Dooneen, which Christy Moore is known for. Folks assume that the cliffs are in Clare, however they’re really simply up from Ballybunion. I would advocate driving from Ballybunion into Ballylongford to see the hometown of Brendan Kennelly, too. It is a pretty, quintessentially Irish city.

“We all the time joke that there have to be one thing within the water in Listowel, between all of the songwriters and the poets, the playwrights and the writers! All of them grew up in a city that revered and revered the spoken and the written phrase.”

Digital Detox in Derrynane: A household vacation quick on smartphones

In dialog with Nicola Brady

The Musician’s Ear


Tríona Duignan


Tríona Duignan is a music promoter based mostly in Dingle, who has labored on Different Voices  ( from the very starting. This is her tackle her house county…

“Music has all the time been a giant a part of my life. My dad, Eoin, is a conventional musician, so I grew up with music round the home. Different Voices [the winter festival and TV show] had a big impact on me – it has been nice to be part of it from the start and to see it construct from such a small factor to what it’s now.

READ  Father Ted's Home to Loop Head - 10 issues for The Donald to do in Clare

“Seeing bands on this small, intimate setting makes such a distinction. That is what Different Voices is all about – the intimacy, having the ability to benefit from the vibrations and the music and the vitality.

DG hozier.jpg

Hozier at Different Voices. Photograph: RTE/South Wind Blows

“In Dingle, Nelliefreds ( and McCarthy’s ( are each nice for stay music. The folks live shows in St James’ Church are intimate and particular too.

“I have not really been up there but, however Mike the Pies ( in Listowel is doing very well, and it is alleged to be good. There is a good music venue known as Sol y Sombra ( – it is a tapas bar in a church in Killorglin.

“We’re spoiled in Kerry – there all the time appears to be one thing happening. The Dingle Meals Competition ( is a good weekend for meals and music. All of the eating places participate within the meals path, you may get little samples in every single place you go. There’s an incredible buzz across the city. I’ve a café in Dingle known as Pantrí (, and I obtained DJs enjoying on the market for the entire weekend, which was nice enjoyable.

“One factor I like is heading out to the Blasket Islands (above). It is completely breathtaking. An ideal day for me can be getting up early, having an excellent breakfast in Pantrí, then making a picnic of some bits from The Little Cheese Store (beneath,on Grey’s Lane), bread from Bácús (, goodies and salads from Crinkle Shops, then heading off.

Even driving round Slea Head is gorgeous, we’re so spoilt with the surroundings. I’ve travelled all around the globe however the Dingle Peninsula is probably the most stunning place I’ve ever seen.

“I type of love the wild, wintry days in Kerry. For those who drive out west you’ll be able to see the waves crashing – at Clogher seashore, the waves can nearly be crashing on prime of your automobile. There’s simply one thing so nice concerning the blustery climate, going out for a windy stroll on the seashore then going for a pleasant cosy pint.

Mark, Dingle, Little Cheese shop DSC_7321.jpg

Mark Murphy of the Little Cheese Store in Dingle

Tig Bhric ( bar is simply reverse Wine Strand, and so they have a beautiful hearth, candles on the tables and an previous file participant, which is very nice. It is a microbrewery as effectively, so you’ll be able to have a pint of their very own brew.

Skellig Rock is attractive. I went to the Skelligs as soon as, and on the boat journey over there have been colleges of dolphins and whales throughout us. Then once we arrived on the island, there have been a great deal of child puffins. They’re solely there at sure occasions of 12 months, so we have been so fortunate to see them. The person driving our boat had caught some fish, so we purchased that off him and cooked it up again within the cottage we have been staying at in Waterville. That was a cool day.”

Extra: The Fáilte Awakens: 10 photographs that present the Skelligs’ star energy

In dialog with Nicola Brady

Six Tremendous Locations to Keep

Searching for someplace particular to remain within the Kingdom? Journey Editor Pól Ó Conghaile has six options from his Little Black Guide…

1. Castlewood Home, Dingle


Dingle hideaway: Castlewood Home.


“Pure class and luxury from begin to end” was how readers described Brian and Helen Heaton’s now-iconic Irish guesthouse. Castlewood (pictured above) which gained ‘Greatest Irish Welcome’ in our Reader Journey Awards 2019, additionally putting extremely in ‘Eire’s Favorite Small Keep’ and – no shock for regulars right here – ‘Greatest Irish Breakfast’. B&B begins from €96 per room in February, with a bunch of particular packages out there.

Contact: 066 915-2788;

2. Killarney Park Resort

Exterior KPH1.jpg

The Killarney Park Resort

Kerry has no scarcity of five-stars, with The Park Kenmare, The Dunloe, Sheen Falls, Aghadoe Heights and The Europe simply a few of the jewels in its crown. The Killarney Park is a surprisingly intimate and central keep that appears to achieve out and embrace you at the same time as you stroll down the drive. Employees have that Kerry kindness too – no one will overlook your title, however they will not over-use it, both. B&B from €230.

Contact: 064 663-5555;

three. Cahernane Home, Killarney

Cahernane House, Co. Kerry170606_COMMERCIAL_Cahernane_1.jpg

Cahernane Home, Co. Kerry

Killarney’s worst-kept secret re-opened final 12 months after a €6m refurb, with a brand new look complemented by vintage particulars just like the banker’s desk used at reception. B&B with dinner begins from round €95pp. For those who like this, check out Ard Na Sidhe (, an exquisite Arts & Crafts home overlooking Caragh Lake close to Killorglin.

Contact: 064 663-1895;

four. Ballygarry Home, Tralee


Ballygarry Home Resort in Tralee

Its Nádúr Spa, pleasant workers and new Restaurant 58 (paying homage to the 12 months it opened) have been simply a few of the causes Ballygarry Home made our Fab 50 final 12 months. B&B with dinner is presently out there on particular from €89pp. Different Kerry four-stars price checking are Parknasilla and the Nice Southern in Killarney, lately taken over by the Scally household.

Contact: 066 712-3322;

5. Pax Home, Dingle

John O’Farrell’s trendy Irish guesthouse is ready only a mile outdoors Dingle, and it boasts a few of the greatest views on the peninsula. Beforehand named Eire’s No1 B&B in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Selection Awards, costs begin from €100 per room… nevertheless it’s price paying additional for the ocean views.

Contact: 066 915-1518;

6. Camp like a champ!

Wave Crest Caravan Park Kerry

Tenting and caravan parks featured extensively in Reader Journey Awards nominations, and also you’re spoiled for alternative in Kerry. Manix Level, Wave Crest and Glenross are only a pattern – or, for a deal with, why not splash out on a glamping journey at Dromquinna Manor? Luxurious tents begin from €150 per evening.


NB: All costs topic to availability/change.

The Irish Unbiased Reader Journey Awards 2019 are sponsored by Iarnród Eireann. Learn the complete record of winners right here.

Weekend Journal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *