Ring of Kerry
Your Self-Guided tour of the
Killarney Concierge will lead you to see so much more on the Ring of Kerry, we cannot mention everything here, it really justifies a full day because the Ring of Kerry and the Skellig Ring are just amazing!
Tips before we Start
- Enjoy your hotel, breakfast and your holiday you don’t have to leave at the crack of dawn, let the busses and early risers off early, leaving at 10 / 11 am in the longer days of the summer is ok if you are not in a rush to be back before 6.30 / 7 pm.
- Arriving back to Killarney later will allow you to miss all the traffic and have a better experience on the Ring of Kerry
- Going off the Ring of Kerry briefly and picking up the “Skellig Ring” will enhance your overall experience beyond your dreams and expectations of Ireland.
What you might have heard
- Do it clockwise to avoid the buses ? We prefer to do it anti clockwise for many reasons and you save the best till last at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. Also when you take in the Skellig Ring by the time you get back on the Ring of Kerry most of any traffic will be gone.
Three Striking places to see on the Ring of Kerry
- Valentia Island
- The Kerry Cliffs
- Derrynane National park
After enjoying the earlier drive from Killarney, hopefully being able to see the McGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range on your left, and then passing over the Laune Bridge in Killorglin. A bit further on the other side of Glenbeigh you will arrive at the “Mountain Stage” Beautiful views of Dingle Bay
Gleensk Railway Viaduct
An old Railway line which operated for over 100 years. It went to Valentia Harbour to service the Trans-Atlantic Cable, Europe’s first live communication with North America. Today its a Walking Route on the Kerry Way.
Saint Brendan the Navigator Monument
As you just pass Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace on the right you will see this beautiful monument dedicated to the Monks who crossed the Atlantic ocean in the 5th Century to the Americas
Old RIC Barracks Cahersiveen
Now a local Heritage museum it was originally built to protect the Transatlantic cable and keep law and order in the area. It was also designed to be built in India and the plans got crossed, the building in India looks more like an Irish Castle
Once a McCarthy Mor stronghold, it was attacked by Cromwell’s forces on behalf of the Queen of England in the War of three Kingdoms. Today it stands as a ruin and some say it is haunted, you will have to see for yourself.
Cahergal Stone Fort
Cahergal Fort is in the same are known locally as over the Water, there are two seperate forts side by side and well worth a photo stop and a great point of interest.
Leacanabuaile Stone Fort
Close to Cahergal Fort these two Stone Forts are well worth a visit, see what others think of the Forty Here………
Its a great stop not only do you get two stone forts but also Ballycarbery Castle close by
Historic Village purposely built to cater foe the Quarry and later the Trans-Atlantic Cable workers. My grandparents on both sides had strong connections in the Royal Hotel and the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable.
Valentia Heritage Museum
Very interesting a Museum dedicated to the Radio Station and the Transatlantic Cable, my Mother went to school here before it became a museum.
- It’s on the right hand side as you leave Knightstown heading for the Lighthouse
This Lighthouse is situated on Valentia Island in an area known as Cromwell Point, its a very scenic area and well worth the visit, it has recently being open the the public.
Tetrapod Trackway Valentia
385,000,000 years old, its one of the oldest trackways on Earth. It was found by a Swiss student in 1991 after a storm broke up the covering rock. A bit of a track down so it’s only for the reasonably fit as the climb back up can be tough.
Grotto and Slate Quarry Valentia Island
What an amazing view from the Grotto and Slate Quarry. The Slate is well traveled around the World on many famous buildings, you will have to visit to see the views for yourself
Saint Brendan’s well
Saint Brendan, the patron Saint of Kerry, it is said he discovered America 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus. Ireland’s Viking like seafaring warrior of Christianity. It is also said it is here Brendan met a couple dying here and anointed them making them Valentia’s first Christians.
Remote Pub & Cooloo Cliffs
On the road to Brendan’s Well you will pass O’Shea’s Pub once done up for a Guinness Commercial on TV, not a real pub but look good. Youtube Video, Cooloo Cliffs has walks near the Cliffs but you really need to take care near the Cliffs, known for freak Waves
Bray Head on Valentia
Bray Head is an old viewing Tower for defending Ireland from Invaders, if you look North and South on a clear day you can see other Towers on other Headlands. It is a spectacular walk with views of the Ocean and The Skellig and Puffin Island. More…..
The Kerry Cliffs
Wow Wow Wow, not to be missed, way higher than the Cliffs of Moher, not a bit touristy, just pure natural scenery. You can see Puffin Island, The Skelligs and the surrounding Cliffs..
US Navy Liberator Monument 63939
During the second World War this Navy aircraft crashed into the Skelligs on the 27th of February 1944.
- After leaving the Chocolate factory take the next right about 1 km and drive another kilometer, more…
Skellig Chocolate factory
Who doesn’t like a Chocolate Factory, beautiful selection of Chocolate, an award winning team and a great stop for a Coffee, Tea of Hot Chocolate. Great views, this is in the heart of the Skellig Ring. Skellig Chocolate Factory
McCarthy’s Castle in Ballinskelligs
Another McCarthy mor Castle, like Ballycarberry, Castlelough, Ballymalis and Blarney Castle in Cork. Situated on a beautiful Blue Flag beach you can also walk to Ballinskelligs Abbey to the right of the Tower as you look out to the Ocean.
It is here the Monks from Great Skellig Michael set up this Abbey and called it Saint Michael’s sometime around the 12th Century. It’s a beautiful place to visit today.
Fisherman’s Bar Waterville
A great Lunch / drink stop, historic building family run for four generations. Hosted many famous people over the years most recent the Star Wars film crew when filming on Skellig Michael.
Charlie Chaplin Waterville
The Chaplin Family spent many years visiting Waterville in the Butler Arms Hotel which was and still is run by the Huggard family. It’s nice to take a stroll around the Village and the Promenade with its beautiful views.
Eightercua Stone Row
Just as you leave Waterville on the left side of the road you can see this beautiful standing stone row. It is on private land so you can only see it from the road. It has significant history here the Battle of the World took place in 1900 BC between the Irish and an invading army. More…
A little bit off the beaten track and a narrow road you will find Loher Fort, great views in the distance of Hog’s head , Bolus head and the Skellig Islands.
- It dates back to the 9th Century ans was built to protect People and Animals
Loher Church Waterville
What a view, what a church on the edge of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, very popular for weddings the backdrop is hard to match anywhere in Ireland.
- There is a car park on the opposite side of the road
Great views, Loher Fort, Waterville to the North, Derrynane, Scariff Island, to the South. Ireland’s answer to Christ the Redeemer Statue is here.
- There is also a Monument to local man Commandant Quinlan as per Netflix movie “The Siege of Jadotville”.
Derrynane Ogham Stone
On your way to Derrynane House and Gardens this beautiful old Ogham Stone is on the left 300 meters before you get to Derrynane House.
- Park nearer the House as it is easier to find a suitable place
Once home to Daniel O’Connell the Liberator, now it is a museum and beautiful Gardens set by a magnificent Blue Flag Beach, this is one of the highlights of the Ring of Kerry, enjoy.
- Daniel O’Connell was a close friend of Frederick Douglass
Derrynane Fairy trails
If you are traveling with Kids this is a must on the Ring of Kerry, there are lots of Fairy Huts near Daniel O’Connell’s Summer home.
- In the Ahamore Tea rooms at Derrynane House there are Fairy trail Maps available
Nowhere will you find such a beautiful place for an Abbey then on Abbey Island, you can walk directly to the Abbey from the beach. This is one of the places we want you to see, make sure you can take some pictures here.
- Walk the Beach or the Path on the Dunes
O’Carroll’s Cove and Beach Bar
Ireland’s only Beach Bar & Restaurant, right on the beach in a beautiful location, fresh Seafood available, cool drinks, spotlessly clean, run by Ray & Catherine and the O’Carroll family.
Back in the Killarney National park you will pass Ladies View, in the distance you can see the Lake Hotel in Killarney, a quick stop for a photograph of the View and the Leprechaun crossing sign.
Lakeside Bistro and Bar
After a great day out finish it off with a nice cool Beer or Cocktail overlooking a 12th Century Castle and the Lakes of Killarney. Great atmosphere and friendly staff and a family run.
The Lake Hotel Killarney
Est. 1820 is celebrating its 200th year this year 2020. Family run hotel with great service and location un matched in Killarney.
The Lake Hotel Killarney