An August 2005 trip
to County Kerry by Funky Monkey
Quote: Captivating yet calming, scenic and serene, County Kerry has some of Ireland's most breathtaking scenery. Here's a quick guide to my short stay there.
Also in Kerry, arguably in a sub-county of its own, is the Dingle Peninsula - all of the stunning views on a stretch of land half the size.
The town of Killarney, situated on the Ring of Kerry not far from where I was staying, is a vibrant town which, despite being quite commercialised with hotels, B+Bs, and shops, remains quite "untouristy". It is nestled in the heart of the Killarny National Park, a lovely area of Kerry with lakes, rivers, woods and mountains. It's worth a visit if you're in the area.
Cycling is also an option, but you will need a lot of stamina to get up the hills, and on the many blind corners, you are much less likely to be seen.
The views out of the back rooms are beautiful, and on a clear day you can get a good view of some of the highest mountains in Ireland. The rooms themselves are very nice, each decorated to a high standard. Every room has a TV, and there is also one in the main lounge area of the building. There are only six rooms in the lodge, so you can expect an almost one-to-one service when it comes to breakfast.
The lodge is on the Ring of Kerry and is about 5 minutes from Killarney, so there are plenty of places to go and do things. You can also go out and do private fishing for free; the lodge is a stone’s throw from the River Laune.
I really can't find anything to complain about the Laune Lodge.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 6, 2005
Ring of Kerry road (N72)
+353 64 44238
There is a great atmosphere at Kate Kearney's Cottage, and although her Mountain Dew may not be served, you'll still be given the warm hospitality that she gave travellers to the area nearly two centuries ago.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 10, 2005
Kate Kearney's Cottage
Gap of Dunloe
+353 64 44146
Attraction | "The Ring of Kerry"
The road itself is quite a narrow one (there are only a few motorways in Ireland, mainly around Dublin), but you shouldn't get into any major traffic jams, and the ones you do are mostly just behind one of the coach tours that do the ring. That's another thing: the coaches and buses go anti-clockwise around the ring, so if you want to avoid meeting them on the corners, it's suggested that you go with them.
The views from the road are truly spectacular views, and there are many photo points along the way where you can park your car at the roadside and take a photo or two. There are also lots of beaches around the coastline sections of the ring, but my favourite was the one at St. Finan's Bay, from which you can see the Skellig Islands. Also in St. Finan's Bay is the Skellig Chocolate Factory, where you can sample and then buy some of their delicious filled chocolates. My personal favourite was Banoffee, but adults may prefer some of the liquor-filled ones.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 8, 2005
Ring of Kerry
179 Km Circular Road
You start off with the cylindrical tank and the Surge Tank, a clever setup that simulates a waterfall and the rise and fall of the tides.
Next is an Amazonian Display, where they have surprisingly large catfish, tiny mut, deadly poison frogs, and, of course, piranhas.
After that is the Tropical Marine Tank, where they have all of the characters from "Finding Nemo," including a clownfish, the little crab, and my favourite, a pufferfish.
Then there's the Shark Tank, which as the name suggests is home to several black tip sharks, some huge rays, and a turtle called Molly. See if you can count all of the small tropical fish; they say that there are thousands of them!
In the next tank are the eerily beautiful jellyfish, all lit up with ultraviolet light to give them an almost hypnotic glow.
I personally thought that the sea horses in the next tank were the cutest and most graceful of all the fish there, but one thing confused me. As you watch them drift around, they appear not to move anything, except their tail to hold onto things, so how do they swim around?
Next was the Touch Tank, home to the extremely friendly rays that seem to be playing to the crowd as they swim around and entertain the visitors. You are allowed to touch the rays, although they seem keener to see you! The aquarium staff also takes crabs and starfish out of the tank for people to touch, a surefire hit if you have children.
To finish it off, there is a walk through the Ocean Tunnel, where you can see cod, flat fish, and surprisingly territorial spider crabs. There must be about 10 of them in there, all of which seem to be constantly fighting!
The aquarium was a real highlight of my stay in County Kerry, and it is well worth a visit.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2005
Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium
The Wood, (An Choill)
+353 66 91 52 111
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom