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Kenmare to Killarney Drive

Portland, OR
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210 posts
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Kenmare to Killarney Drive

I might not be remembering correctly, but I think I read a post awhile back that stated the drive from Kenmare to Killarney is a little hairy - lots of twists and hairpin turns. Is this correct?

I'm wondering because we are setting up base in Kenmare and after the Gap of Dunloe tour, I'm wondering if we would be ok to have a pint and check out Killarney a little (and possibly do dinner) before heading back and possibly driving part of the way during twilight/just after sunset.

Thanks!

Kris

Chicago, Illinois
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597 posts
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1. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

The road through the Killarney Nat. Park would not be good after a full day, dinner, drinks and after dark. You'd be better off taking the N22 towards Cork and then the R569. Timewise it would work out about the same.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

we drove this route last year and we found that the roads are bit narrow and twisty.i would not do it after dark cos it will take you longer and you will miss the great scenery. would you not consider an overnight in killarney ,its a great vibrant town.

Co. Kildare
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for Ireland
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3. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

Kris, this road IS a bit narrow and twisty in places and during the day you will also meet tour buses. I would not recommend driving it during twilight or in the dark unless you were very familiar with it. There were road improvement works going on between Moll's Gap and Ladies View last September. The stretch from Kenmare to Ladies View is okay, the stretch from there to just outside Killarney is the one where you need to keep your wits about you (NO drink for the driver!).

seattle, WA
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4. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

I have to agree with the others. This was one of the most stressful stretches for me to drive in 14 days. I wasn't really expecting it to be challenging, but the road was extremely narrow in so many places and when another car or (yikes) tour bus was passing you, you almost wanted to close your eyes.

Having done the drive, I wouldn't consider doing it in the dark with a pint on board. I'm not sure I would do it again in the daylight, although I would love to enjoy the scenery as a passenger.

Portland, OR
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5. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

Hi, everyone -

Thanks for the input. Just so you know, neither of us will be drinking several pints and then hopping in the car! My thinking was we would maybe have ONE pint around 4:30, go for a walk, have a drink-free dinner, and then head out about 8 (we'll be there in April), but it's looking like that's not a great idea, at least along that route.

Since we are going to drive up that route in the early morning (and will therefore see the scenery) I think we'll plan to head back after the tour instead when we have plenty hours of daylight left using the alternate route suggested. That way, we can park the car and walk to dinner and a pub (which is predominantly our plan the rest of the trip). I was just trying to think of a way we could spend a little time in Killarney as we aren't really going to be spending any time there due to scheduling (as it is, the Muckross House may even get a pass, much to my dismay, but I couldn't bypass the Dunloe tour).

I suppose we could stay the night there; however, we're then heading back South again to Kinsale the next day and it would mean our luggage will sit in the car in the parking lot in Killarney all day (which makes me a little nervous since I'll be bringing a laptop) and it would be four days in a row of one-night stays, which we're trying to avoid!

Thanks for the input. Gives me some other options to think about.

Kris

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
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6. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

Kris, I don't think anybody was trying to suggest that you'd be guzzling pints and then get in the car and drive! Do go and have the dinner in Killarney and get back to Kenmare but try to do it during daylight hours. By the way, we had an absolutely wonderful dinner in Mulcahy's in Kenmare and the food that I saw coming out of the kitchen in the pub section of the Lansdowne Arms Hotel looked and smelled really good!

Since you're going to Kinsale the next day it would make perfect sense to go back to your base in Kenmare this particular day and save yourselves the packing and unpacking. You're quite right about not wanting to leave anything in the car all day in Killarney (or anywhere).

Portland, OR
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7. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

Ha! Funny you should mention Mulcahy's. We're actually planning to stay at Virginia's Guesthouse right above Mulcahy's and we plan to eat there our first night in Kenmare. I'm glad to know it's worthy of its reviews.

I guess I'll see how my husband feels about the road, how hungry we are and how we feel after the tour of Dunloe, etc. Regardless, we'll make sure we head back during daylight hours.

Thanks again for the advice, everyone!

8. Re: Kenmare to Killarney Drive

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