When someone mentions Ireland as a holiday destination, it’s easy for the mind to instantly think of a Dublin city break. Ireland has a lot more to offer. The spectacular sights of the Ring of Kerry attract tourists from all over the world and you’d be a fool to miss out. The Ring of Kerry offers travellers an insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland which will peak the interest of history lovers. If history isn’t really your thing, Kerry offers some of the finest beaches and dramatic scenery in Europe.
Killarney National Park
Muckross House in Killarney National Park. ©Hannah Williams
Not too far out from the town of Killarney, the National Park is a great place to see the highest mountain range in Ireland – MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Teamed with the Lakes of Killarney and the sloping woodlands, the view is one you won’t forget. The focal point of the National Park is Muckross House, a nineteenth-century mansion which offers you a look into Irish history. You can take a step back into Irish past with a tour of the traditional farms, Mucros weaving and Mucros pottery. Once you’ve worn yourself out, you can take a wander over to the garden restaurant for a bite to eat to replenish your energy.
16km from Killarney lies Ladies View which is arguably the most photographed place on the Ring of Kerry. The spot displays a panoramic view of the three lakes of Killarney in front of the mountain range which is guaranteed to leave you breathless.
Kenmare is a small, picturesque town along the Ring of Kerry. It was titled Kerry’s first heritage and offers a great picture into the ways of Irish life. Kenmare is jam packed full of enjoyable and exciting things to do including great gourmet food to give you a taste of Ireland (if gourmet isn’t your thing, there are chip vans dotted around for you to grab a tasty burger or curry chips.) Fitting into the theme of the Ring of Kerry, the town is full of remarkable scenery and with B&Bs spread throughout, it’s a great place to stay. You’ll never be bored in this colourful town with the option to go horseback riding, play golf or pull out your rods to go fishing, just to name a few of the many activities available.
The Skellig Islands stand aloof in the Atlantic Ocean and when seen from the right vantage point along the Ring of Kerry, the picture perfect view is magnificent. The sea crags were previously inhabited by monks. Their lives can be studied through the remains and recreations as well as the auditorium that plays a video to give you an insight to their history.
The nature of the sites makes it one of Ireland’s most important places for breeding seabirds, providing a safe haven for the populations. The island is fitted with a Sea Bird Exhibit to honour the wildlife and allow visitors the chance to learn about the birds.
The latest Star Wars film also had scenes that took place on Skellig Michael, which is a great claim to fame and a history in itself for those hardcore Star Wars fans.
Even on a gloomy day, the beach at Derrynane House in Kerry looks amazing. ©Hannah Williams
Derrynane House is the home to one of Ireland’s most historic figures, Daniel O’Connell. On entering the house there is a small cinema room which allows you to hear the story of Daniel and all he accomplished for Ireland’s history.
Once the video is over, you are free to roam the house and see where and how life was lived back in the day. The house is surrounded by wonderful gardens but this isn’t the show stealer. Once you walk over the grassy banks, you are greeted with arguably one of the most beautiful views. The yellow sandy beach of Derrynane contrasts sharply against the grey rocks and bluest of blue water of the Atlantic Ocean – the view is definitely not something you’d expect to see in Ireland. There’s no denying it’s a little colder than a beach in Tenerife, but linked with the rich history and other magnificent sights, Kerry is a great place to get away for a few days and soak up the culture.
For more information on booking your holiday visit Discover Ireland.
Featured Image: ©Hannah Williams