Many things have been said about Kenmare, located in Co. Kerry in the picturesque south-west of Ireland. Kenmare has been described as the Jewel in the Crown of the Kingdom, a Gourmet Town, a Five Star Location and a designated Heritage Town. It is the winner of numerous Tidy Town Gold Medals, and its pretty streetscape, dating back to 1670, together with the magnificent location on Kenmare Bay at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains draws visitors back year after year.
Situated on both the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara, and easily accessible by air (Kerry Airport 48km, Cork Airport 96km), sea (ferries from France arrive in near-by Cork) and road, Kenmare makes an ideal touring centre from which to discover the famed beauty of the rugged coastline and mountainous hinterland.
While staying in Kenmare, there are so many daytrips for you to do at your own pace, here are just a few ideas (there also plenty of walking routes to consider also).
The Spectacular Ring of Kerry
Travel on the famous Ring of Kerry route on the Iveragh Peninsula. This trip of 110 miles is world famous for its diversity of landscape and beauty. It offers a wonderful coastal drive (or cycle for the more energetic) stopping en route in the charming villages along the way.
To see more about the Ring of Kerry and Download our useful map, giving tips and ideas on how to see it at its best click the Image.
Ring of Bearea
Explore one of the south west hidden gems, from the breathtaking scenery to the colourful villages of Eyries and Allihies, one can only see for oneself to truly experience the ruggedness and the untouched beauty of the Ring of Beara.
Another ideal day trip is to go to Gougane Barra, a beautiful lakeside setting with a small church nestled in the mountainous regions of West Cork. From there travel to Bantry House and explore the hidden Gems this historic house has to offer.
Kerry has 75 miles of sandy beaches and the cleanest waters in Europe. They vary from quiet sandy beaches to exposed beaches which receive huge Atlantic surf. The European Blue Flag has been awarded to a number of Kerry’s beaches representing a high level of environmental quality.
Lose yourself in the 25 thousand acres of Killarney National Park & Muckross Estate with its many walking trails. Killarney National Park comprises the Lakes of Killarney as well as the surrounding woodlands and mountains, McGillycuddy Reeks being the highest mountain range in Ireland. The most familiar part of the National Park is Muckross House dating from 1843, a former private residence where you can view the children’s toys, the famous Killarney furniture of the library & drawing room & the famous specially prepared bedroom where Queen Victoria slept during her visit in 1861.
It is impossible to visit the Dingle Peninsula and not be impressed by its archaeological heritage as one combines each site’s folklore & mythology. The Dingle Peninsula’s isolated location on the edge of the known world was possibly the reason a concentration of Early Christian monastic sites were founded there.
The region is every golfer’s paradise. The ambitious golfer is sure to find satisfaction as well as resistance on some of Kerry’s fine golf courses. Such celebrated courses as the two local courses, Kenmare and the Ring of Kerry.
Fish the lakes and rivers of Kerry for Wild Salmon, Brown Trout and Sea Trout in season. Whether you are interested in sea, lake or river fishing Kerry has it all. Deep sea fishing can be arranged from near Sneem. Local lakes and rivers have salmon and brown trout.
Explore the remoteness of the Gap of Dunloe and the beauty of Killarney Lakes. The ideal and perfect way to experience this is to avail of the Traditional Day trip. The 250 year old trip involves horse trap or walk (10kms) through the Gap of Dunloe amidst rugged mountains, returning by boat through Killarney’s three famous magical mystical lakes.
For those who are avid gardeners, a visit to Direen Garden in Lauragh is a must. Explore the sub tropical water side estate, from the travel over the Healy Pass to Glengariff, where a short boat ride will take you to Garnish Island, a botanical Garden. See for yourself what the warm gulf current does for foliage in the south west of Ireland.
Bonane Heritage Park
The Park is unique in that it has an abundance of well preserved multi-period archeological sites from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age right up to pre-famine times. The Bonane Heritage Park provides visitors with a 1600 meter walk though 5000 years of history while enjoying some of the breath taking scenery. The Park is located 6 miles from Kenmare and is open all year around.
Established in 1949 as a family run Equestrian Centre. Located in a beautiful traditional Irish yard in the beautiful surrounding countryside of Kenmare, just 5kms outside the town on the Sneem road (N70). Offering the enjoyment of horses and ponies to everyone, beginner to experienced rider alike. Rides to sea, mountains and farm rides for the whole family. Saturday morning Pony Club where kids will learn how to groom, tack and look after their pony.
Emerald Outdoors offer spectacular guided tours of Kenmare Bay; whether this is your first visit to Kenmare or not, their Day/Night kayaking trips and new paddle boarding tours are an experience not to be missed. All Emerald Outdoors’ trips are guided by highly experienced and qualified staff.
Kenmare Golf Course
This famous old course is a fair test of golf and is unique in that it suits all standards of golfers. It is the jewel in the crown of the late great Mr. Eddie Hackett, one of the game’s premier golf course architects. Views over Kenmare Bay and the surrounding mountains are breath-taking. The course has some great feature holes and is always in first class condition.
Working closely with the local community, Benoit runs a number of specialist courses for aspiring chocolate makers. His most popular event is the bi-monthly children’s workshop, although sometimes his greatest critics, all the children go home delighted by what they have experienced with plenty of stories to tell. Lorge offers workshops for groups, family & children. Hen Party workshops also available.