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Day around Kenmare/Killarney

West Chicago...
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Day around Kenmare/Killarney

A friend and I will have one day (Wednesday, 18 May, 2011) to explore the area around Kenmare and Killarney. (Note that we'll be staying in Kenmare for 2 nights, Tuesday-Wednesday, 17-18 May.)

We are interested in scenic beauty, some hiking and historic sites (among other things). I know that we can't avail ourselves of all that the area has to offer. So I'd love some guidance on setting some priorities on what do to.

Here is what we're currently interested in:

- Hiking in Killarney National Park - any suggested hikes, short or long?

- Ladies' View

- Torc Waterfall

- Muckross House and Gardens

- Muckross Abbey

- Ross Castle

- Gap of Dunloe - we're not really interested in the circuit including the boat road (unless convinced otherwise) - mainly thinking about hiking the Gap - is that a good idea? how long for the return trip (distance, time)? should we consider renting bikes instead of hiking?

Anything we should delete? Add?

Thanks for any help!

Keith

West Chicago...
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1. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

(that should say boat RIDE)

Kerry
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2. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

KthSch

Don't know if this would be of benefit but some good hikes are listed below

http://www.killarney.ie/walkkillarney.php

Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

Hi Keith,

May is a lovely month for Killarney. Lots of fabulous flowers.

So....

Hiking in Killarney National Park - any suggested hikes, short or long?

##One I haven't done but would like to do is the one to the Meeting of the Waters. You drive out towards Ladies View and there is a pull in on the right (its signed).##

- Ladies' View - ##this is nice but there are lots of spectacular other things to view and you'll see Ladies View on the way over from Kenmare.##

- Torc Waterfall - ##Brilliant. Particularly if there's been rain. If you're fitter than me (which isn't very !!) then climb up the steps and walk to the top of the hill. Some fabulous views and on the right, about 2/3 of the way up, you'll pass by the tree root that was responsible for breaking hubby's wrist in 2009 :o) I had him up in the same spot again last year.##

- Muckross House and Gardens - ##the house is a form of Irish Chateau but on a less grand scale than the smaller Loire Valley ones or the British "grand houses". Its still very interesting but it can take up time. For me the gardens and the restaurant are absolutely the best. And they should be incredible when you are there. ##

- Muckross Abbey - ##Very interesting, very thought provoking. Definately worth a visit.##

- Ross Castle: ##I know lots of people love this but I'm not entirely enamoured. HOWEVER Ross Island (beside the castle) is really brilliant for a walk. There are a number of circuits lasting from 1 hour to about 2 hours. ##

- Gap of Dunloe - we're not really interested in the circuit including the boat road (unless convinced otherwise) - mainly thinking about hiking the Gap - is that a good idea? how long for the return trip (distance, time)? should we consider renting bikes instead of hiking?

##I've only ever driven this via the Black Valley so I can't comment on the energetic stuff!! But it is beautiful. I love the lake area just before the bridge and after the "Gap" when heading towards Kate Kearneys. We've spent hours here on our own (we visit in October-November usually) and its been magical. ##

Have a lovely trip - its an enchanting part of the world.

Cork
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4. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

I lived in Killarney for 7 years and if you follow the trail towards Muckross you will find a beach. Now it is really small but very few people apart from the locals know about it and you can swim in the lakes from there. It really is beautiful. You have to go behind some trees to get to it so your best bet is to ask the Jarvies or someone in the cafe in the park where the beach is. They would be able to show you which route to take. There is a really good site www.irelandonmymind for other things to do and I would reccomend Inch Beach if you get a chance. Walk the whole thing (expect about a 4 hour walk) and go into the dunes.. Amazing!

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

Keith, we're doing a hiking trip to Ireland in mid-May as well so I've been reading a LOT about hikes in Kerry and Clare. Have you looked at the Lonely Planet "Walking in Ireland" book. (I seem to recall that you mentioned it in a post that I read.) Anyway, here are 3 hikes in Killarney NP that we are considering:

1. Purple Mountain and Gap of Dunloe--This is a circuit walk that skips the boats. However, there is some walking at elevation to get up the mountain. The book describes this as a 14.5 km walk taking 6-7 hours with a moderate to demanding level of difficulty. If you just want to do a up-and-back on the Gap of Dunloe, I have seen it described in another book as a 5 km walk (each way) taking 3-4 hours with an easy-to-moderate difficulty.

2. Muckross Lake--This circuit walk is described in the book as 11.5 km long taking 3.5 - 4 hours with an easy level of difficulty. Since it goes by Muckross House, you could combine it with a visit to the house.

3. Torc Mountain--This is an up-and-back hike that the book describes as 8km long taking 3.5 hours at an easy-to-moderate level of difficulty. An alternative route is also given which cuts 1.5 km off the walk and 110 meters of ascent.

The book gives very detailed instructions for these hikes and maps of the routes.

West Chicago...
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6. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

@KerryEarnsKerry - thanks for the link. I've saved it to my favorites. It looks really helpful.

@beanalainn - I always wanted to wait and visit the southwest during May...which is why it has waited until my fifth visit! Thanks so much for the specific feedback on some of the hiking and sight options. I should have mentioned that my only 'non-negotiable' is Muckross Gardens (which I've informed my friend). Glad to see you confirm that. Didn't know about the restaurant, so we may time things to be there around lunch, especially if we don't do a picnic that day. I'd forgotten all about the island near Ross Castle. Thanks again. I just wish we had more than one day in the area! But I'll be back, I'm sure!

@mezzdon - thanks for the beach info and the website. Will check that out.

@longhorn74 - thanks to you, too and yes, I have that Lonely Planet book. It seems excellent. (Will also be using it for my trip in September to the Northwest.) Probably won't do that Purple Mountain/Gap of Dunloe circuit only because we just have the one day in the area...and that hike might be the whole day essentially. Don't want to shortchange other possibilities. Still hoping to at least do a portion of the Gap, probably the up and back you mention. And who knows? We might have lots of energy and do the circuit anyway...after all there will be a huge amount of daytime when we're there. The Muckross Lake hike I would guess is a probable for us and who knows about Torc Mountain. Maybe we'll find a crazy way to squeeze most of it in! So when are you going to be in Ireland! (Our trip runs from the 15th to the 25th.)

Keith

Kenmare, Ireland
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7. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

Hi Keith, we have a great walking club here in Kenmare try these sites.

www.kenmarewalkingclub.com or

www.kenmare.ie/walking They have lots of guided walks...

i think site is being updated at this moment but should be active soon..

If you are going for a beer in kenmare let me know (",)

Tim.....

Edited: 25 February 2011, 17:36
West Chicago...
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8. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

@timbo01 - thanks for the links! And yes, we'll be going for beer both nights in Kenmare. I won't have more than one or two (I'm diabetic and the carb count is just too high!) but my friend who's travelling with me loves his beer. I just switch to tea when I've reached my carb limit. We're definitely hoping for at least part of the time to combine the pub visit with listening to some good trad.

So details - we'll be arriving in Kenmare on Tuesday evening, 17 May. Our journey that day is all the way from Glendalough with many stops along the way so we're not sure exactly when we'll arrive. We just know that we'll leave Cahir no later than 5:30pm for Kenmare. So we should be there no later than 8:30pm when we'll check in to Virginia's Guesthouse. Probably (and hopefully) earlier. Then a late meal somewhere (even if it's quick) following by pubs, beer and music.

On Wednesday evening, 18 May more of the same in Kenmare after spending the day doing the things on this thread.

So...

Keith

Merced, California
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9. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

Hi Keith,

Loved seeing your post and am excited to respond. There are so many possibilities for you and the previous posters have done a great job.

You could even walk from Kenmare all the way to Killarney National Park along the Old Kenmare Road. It is a 'green' road in that it is overgrown in parts and it too gives you several options. The best way to do it though would be one way and so a bus from Kenmare to Killarney in the morning allowing you to take your time walking back along the road. Any time I have done it I have arranged for a driver to pick me up in Kenmare and bring me back to Killarney. There is a good article on it here belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/walk-of-the… All told Kenmare to Killarney is 16 miles along the Kerry Way. This website gives better trail descriptions www.kerryway.com/trail-description/index.php and you will be looking at the last two descriptions down on the bottom left of the page. So you would walk from Killarney to Muckross House and over to Torc Waterfall and up the steps that Bean mentions past the back of Torc Mountain and on to Kenmare.

The public bus would have you in Killarney for 9:30 am but that might be a bit late for you?

www.buseireann.ie/pdf/1280393982-270.pdf

Here is a map of Killarney National Park killarneynationalpark.ie/images/parkmap.jpg showing the Old Kenmare Road just south of Torc Mountain south of Muckross Lake. Also on the eastern shore of the lake is the beach mentioned by Mexxdon called Dundag. On the western edge of the lake is the Meeting of the Waters mentioned by Beanalainn next to Dinnis Cottage and The Old Weir Bridge.

I'm thinking what would work for you would be to drive from Kenmare early and through Killarney heading out of town on the N72 following signs for Kilorgin and then Gap of Dunloe. Park at Kate Kearney's and walk up and back out of the Gap for as long as you feel up for it. Avoid taking a jaunting car no matter how persistent they are.

Then drive back through Killarney to and park by Muckross House. Follow the long tree lined drive away from the house and begin your counter clockwise walk around Muckross Lake through Dinis and the Meeting of the waters and back to Muckross House by Torc Waterfall. Old maps do not show it but this walk is not on the main road as a walking trail has been put in.

West Chicago...
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10. Re: Day around Kenmare/Killarney

Hey Tony from the land of my birth,

Thanks for coming on and giving your advice! The Kerry Way between Killarney and Kenmare is quite tempting (I have the Rucksack Reader) but with just one day in the area, I think we're most likely to follow something like the advice you gave at the end. I'm thinking the Gap of Dunloe is the way for us to start as you suggest and then play it by ear the rest of the day using the advice on this thread, but being sure to get over to Muckross, especially for the gardens and some hiking.

And no worries because no way I'm taking a jaunting car. I have absolutely no interest. In fact for a long time I thought that was the only way one could do the Gap of Dunloe, so I wrote it off as a possibility. When I found out it could be hiked, it was back on the table. :)

Someday I'll be back for longer!

Keith