County Kerry Journals

Co. Kerry

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2005 trip to County Kerry by atherts

Ladies View Photo, More Photos
Quote: Co. Kerry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland for scenic beauty and its numerous historical sites.

Co. Kerry

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Ladies View Photo,
Quote:
County Kerry has a variety of sites to please any serious or casual tourist. Tour buses are common, especially around the Ring of Kerry and on the Dingle Peninsula. These can be easily avoided if you’re a solitary traveler except on the Ring of Kerry. There are many side routes that can be traveled where a tour bus will never go. Walkers will find a myriad of routes especially on the Dingle Peninsula by looking for the Dingle Way. It is well marked and can be picked up at many places along the peninsula. Co. Kerry is probably best known for the scenery. The coast line is rugged and offers spectacular vistas. Several islands offshore can be visited by boat, and give the more adventurous tra...Read More

Suantra Cottages

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Hotel

Suantra Cottages Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
These small, sturdy cottages are the perfect haven on the Dingle peninsula. The wind and rain can really pound out in this area of the peninsula as there is little to break the wind except the next cottage over. The walls are of concrete block and the windows are strong and keep out the wind. There are three good size bedrooms with comfortable beds. Each room has closet and dressers and plenty of room to spread out.The bathroom has a good sized shower/bath and is quite large for an Irish bathroom. There is a back door out to a small backyard area with a clothes line and laundry shed. In the laundry shed a small and well aged washer and dryer struggle to keep up the demands on their meager resources...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Suantra Cottages
Clougher Ballyferriter Co. Kerry Ireland
County Kerry, Ireland

Tig ui Murcu

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Tig ui Murcu Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
This pub doesn't look like much but a wall and window from the outside. Inside we found good food and a mixture of locals and some tourists. It is located on the East side of town and on the North side of the street.The food is mostly pub fare with some interesting variations and specials. We had some very flavorful Irish stew. It tasted like the vegetables had just been picked, and the lamb was kicking up its heels on the slopes of Mt. Eagle within days. OK, maybe that isn't so nice to contemplate, but it was a tasty treat. Another night the special was steak with a blue cheese sauce. We had been tromping around the ruins and hillsides all day, and a good bit of beef sounded in order. Out the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Tig ui Murcu
Ballyferriter
County Kerry

Mike O'Neil's Railway Tavern

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Attraction

Mike O'Neil's Railway Tavern Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
It may not look like much from the outside and if you stop, you’re only going to get liquid refreshment apart from a bag of chips. When we asked, the owner Mike O’Neil (who looks a bit like a mountain man or one of the members of ZZ Top) he said, "no food, booze". "Booze it is," we replied. Actually, my wife had a pot of tea while I asked how the scrumpy was (scrumpy is a hard cider). "The scrumpy is mighty," proclaimed Mike. He poured me a pint, not a lot of kick, but very tasty. It went down quickly while we petted Rusty the dog and chatted with Mike while he puttered about, cleaning up from the night before. The interior is cluttered with memorabilia, pictures, and traditional pub stuff. This is w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 6, 2006

Mike O'Neil's Railway Tavern
Camp, Co. Kerry Ireland
Camp, County Kerry, Ireland

Connor Pass

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Attraction

Connor Pass Photo,
Quote:
The best way to get to the Connor Pass is leaving Dingle. Leave town on the road that goes East next to An Droiced Beag (The Small Bridge bar). If you don’t know where it is, you need to spend more time in Dingle in the evenings. Ask anyone on the street and they’ll point you in the right direction. The road heads up sharply and winds around as it heads up out of Dingle. Going up, you’ll be on the inside of the road, which feels safer but doesn’t give as nice of a view. Go slowly around the curves as walkers, bicyclists, and sightseers may be on the road. There are several places along the way to pull out and take pictures and look down into the valley towards Dingle. Depending on the weather, you’ll ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Connor Pass

Kerry, Ireland

Kilmalkedar Church

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Attraction | "Kilmalkader Church"

Kilmalkedar Church Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Kilmalkedar can be hard to find without a map. It is in the vicinity of the Gallarus Oratory, just a bit farther east. It has a short drive past a sheep pasture and minimal parking along the dirt road. There are several signs around the site telling about the buildings and history. The site contains a nice church with many fine carvings and stonework. The church has fairly intact walls, but no roof. You can enter the church through the front doorway and walk through the different rooms. Pay special attention to the stonework on the arches and windows. At certain times of day, the sun comes over the remaining arched roof supports in a very striking fashion. The church is surrounded by a graveyard that ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Kilmalkedar Church

Kerry, Ireland

Gallarus Oratory

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Gallarus Oratory Photo,
Quote:
We made a perfunctory effort to find the Gallarus Oratory in 2002, but probably took a wrong road. The roads on the peninsula wind around and are not well signed unless you have a good map or directions. You can’t really get lost, just displaced until you get back to a main road. It is well worth picking up a free map at a local shop or tourist site that gives you a rough idea of the location of different sites. There is a good map available for a small cost that shows roads and sites that will get you where you need to be. The best solution is usually just to keep driving as distances on the map are deceiving. You will either end up where you want to be and realize that the distance on the map is not...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Gallarus Oratory
Dingle Peninsula
Kerry, Ireland

Holden Leathergoods

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Attraction

Holden Leathergoods Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Holden Leathergoods is housed in a former school house and can be difficult to find. It is a good distance from Dingle, in fact it is on the other side of the bay. The best way to get there (probably the only way) is to leave Dingle traveling North to Ventry/Slea Head. Coming out of town there is a roundabout, take the first left going across the bridge. Immediately after the bridge go straight and follow the signs towards Ventry along the Slea Head road. Keep an eye out for signs on the left for the leather shop and Colaiste Ide (an all girls Irish school). Turn left on the road and travel along about a half mile watching for another sign to the leather shop on the left. This will be a much narrower ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Holden Leathergoods
Dingle
County Kerry, Ireland
+353 66 9151796

Minard Castle

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Attraction

Minard Castle Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Minard Castle lies below Dingle town to the Southeast. It is a short and scenic drive. The castle lies above a bay with scenic cliffs surrounding it. Minard Castle is located 5km southwest of Annascaul village. Travelling from Killarney, at Lispole, turn left after O’Sullivans Pub (if it is still there). A short drive down the road takes you to a small bridge. As you cross over there is parking along the roadside. To the West is a sand and rock beach with the castle on a hill above. Not much is left of the castle but the walls. In 1650, the castle was destroyed by Cromwellian forces under Sadler and LeHunt, who set off explosive charges under its four corners killing all the occupants. The castle is n...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Minard Castle
Dingle Peninsula
County Kerry, Ireland

Raheenyhooig Burial Ground

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Attraction

Raheenyhooig Burial Ground Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
Raheenyhooig Burial Ground lies on the other side of Dingle bay from Dingle town. The old graveyard at Raheenyhooig serves the detached portion of the parish on the Burnham Peninsula. This is most notable for containing the family vault of the Mullins family, Barons Ventry. It is on the same road as Holden Leathergoods and the Eask tower. The best way to get there (probably the only way) is to leave Dingle traveling North to Ventry/Slea Head. Coming out of town there is a roundabout, take the first left going across the bridge. Immediately after the bridge go straight and follow the signs towards Ventry along the Slea Head road. Keep an eye out for signs on the left for the leather shop and Colaiste I...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Raheenyhooig Burial Ground
Dingle Peninsula
County Kerry, Ireland

Louis Mulcahy Pottery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Louis Mulcahy Pottery Photo, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Quote:
Located past Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula, this working pottery studio produces colorful and creative products made from local clay and glazes devised at the shop including vases, teapots, platters, and much more. Visitors may tour the extensive shop area and choose from among the many varieties and styles of pottery.One of the most interesting things about this studio is that they allow visitors of all ages to throw clay and have it fired. You can return the next day to pick up your creation. There are classes and regularly scheduled sessions for budding potters, but best of all, it is free. It is also a good way for Dad and Mom to visit the shop while the kids are kept busy.The shop a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Louis Mulcahy Pottery
Clogher Strand
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
+353 (0) 66 9156229

Rahinnane Castle

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Rahinnane Castle Photo,
Quote:
Driving West from Dingle, the R559 comes to Ventry, 2mi/3km northwest of which, on the Ballyferriter road, are the ruins of Rahinnane Castle (15th C., National Monument), in a circular remains of a ringfort.Rahinnane Castle was the principal towerhouse and stronghold of the Knights of Kerry who belonged to the Geraldine family. The castle sits on a hillside and commands a magnificent view of Ventry Harbour and the surrounding lands.The castle was built on the site of an old ringfort. The ringfort was built up and a second added with thick walls, giving the appearance that there may have been a moat, although there never was one. This castle was the residential stronghold of the local chiefta...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Rahinnane Castle

Kerry, Ireland

Clougher Head

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

View of Clougher Strand from Clougher Head Photo,
Quote:
There doesn’t appear to be much here except a great view. Actually, this is a place I’ve come back to at different times throughout the trips we’ve made. It can look different with every change of weather and light.The view to the west, with the sun setting alongside the Great Blasket Island, is dramatic as the red and gold of the sun sweep across the water. The view changes as the sun sinks behind a ridge of clouds that often lie on the horizon, changing the green island to purple and gold.The view to the East is Clougher Strand with the waves crashing dramatically against the rocky shore. Often the surf crashes up in great spouts higher than the rocky cliffs. In the late evening, the light...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Reask Monastic Site

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Reask Monastic Site Photo,
Quote:
We returned to the Reask Monastic site we’d passed on the way to the Gallarus Oratory. A short drive down a very residential dirt road led us to the site eventually, you have to be patient. The name Reask comes from the Irish, an Riasc which means The Marsh. It is believed to from about the 6th century. There is actually not much to see except the foundations, and ogham stones. It does give you a good feel of the layout of the site and how the community functioned. It is fairly well signed in the manner of most historic sites. There is no charge. The site was excavated in the ‘70s. There are no records existing of the site, so what is known is what is seen on the site.There are the remains of sever...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Reask Monastic Site

Kerry, Ireland

Lisbeth Mulcahy-The Weavers Shop

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Lisbeth Mulcahy's The Weavers' Shop"

Quote:
This well-known County Kerry weaver creates fabrics, clothing, and tapestries inspired by the local sea and landscape using pure Irish wool, linen/cotton, and alpaca wool. There is also a nice selection of Irish handmade soaps, knitwear, candles, and gift cards.The shop is located in the middle of town on Green Street by the church. The shop was a wide range of woven goods and several looms set up to show the work in progress. The colors and designs are beautiful and capture the feeling and colors of the area. The prices are very reasonable for hand-created work, and while the men promptly reach for their wallets protectively, women will reach for theirs for a whole different reason. There are seve...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2006

Lisbeth Mulcahy-The Weavers Shop
Green Street
Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry

Statue at Blasket Centre Photo,
Quote:
The Blasket Centre is a must visit spot on the Dingle peninsula. We visited in 2002, but it is well worth a second look. In preparation for an excursion to the Great Blasket Island, the Centre gives you a better appreciation for the history. The Centre is a modern building with a large car park that accommodates tour buses. It is a much more pleasant visit if they are not about. There is a small charge to tour the Centre, but it is covered by the Duchus pass. There is a short video presentation that gives the history of the Blaskets and the current story. Don’t miss it. It is offered in several languages. The rest of the center is laid out in several rooms off a main corridor. Each roo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 13, 2006

Dunbeg Stone Fort

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Dunbeg Stone Fort Photo, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Quote:
The Dunbeg Stone Fort, or An Dún Beag, is located on the east side of the drive to Slea Head. Leaving Dingle, cross the bridge and follow the signs to Slea Head and Ventry. Past Ventry, the road winds along above the ocean, and as you begin to climb or the ocean falls away, keep an eye out for a sign to the Dunbeg Stone Fort and the Beehive Huts. There is a small car park that can accommodate parking for both the Beehive Huts and the Dunbeg Stone Fort. The Beehive Huts are a short distance up the hillside. The Dunbeg Stone Fort is across the road to the east. Depending on the time of year, there is a small shed (we refer to them as 2-Euro huts because, in 2002, they were all 2-Euro for any site) that ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2006

Fahan Beehive Huts (Clochans)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Fahan Beehive Huts, or Clocháns"

Fahan Beehive Huts (Clochans) Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
The Fahan Beehive Huts, or clocháns, are located on the East side of the drive to Slea Head. Leaving Dingle, cross the bridge and follow the signs to Slea Head and Ventry. Past Ventry, the road winds along above the ocean, and as you begin to climb or the ocean falls away, keep an eye out for a sign to the Dunbeg Stone Fort and the Beehive Huts. There is a small car park that can accommodate parking for both the Beehive Huts and the Dunbeg Stone Fort. The Beehive Huts are a short distance up the hillside.Depending on the time of year, there is a small shed (we refer to them as 2-Euro huts because, in 2002, they were all 2 Euro for any site) that will require a small payment for entrance. Don’t begr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2006

Fahan Beehive Huts (Clochans)
Ventry Beach
County Kerry

Famine Cottage

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Famine Cottage Photo, County Kerry, Ireland
Quote:
This must be the only deserted cottage with its own website. http://www.faminecottage.com/Then again, perhaps not. Be that as it may, this is an interesting piece of history. The cottage lies on a hill overlooking the Slea Head route. There is a small car park with some basic signage. Depending on the time of year, there is a small shed (we refer to them as 2-Euro huts because, in 2002, they were all 2-Euro for any site) that will require a small payment for entrance. Don’t begrudge them this, as they keep the grounds clean (mostly) and mowed (usually) for easier access.It is a long hike up the hill to the cottage that might be difficult for small children or older folks. Once you’re at...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2006

Famine Cottage
Ventry
County Kerry

Slea Head

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Crucifixtion Statue at Slea Head Photo, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Quote:
The picturesque Slea Head Drive goes from Dingle around the Dingle Peninsula and returns back to Dingle. On the way you’ll pass through several small towns, including Ventry, Dunquin, and Ballyferriter. The views around Ventry and Dunquin are the most spectacular, but do benefit significantly with some good weather.Heading north out of Dingle, continue on the roundabout following the signs to Slea Head. Take your time and drive slowly. The roads are very narrow and winding, and often walkers and bikers are around the next corner. There are sites to see along the way, including the Fahan Beehive huts, Dunbeg Stone fort and the Famine Cottage.Near Ventry, keep an eye out for boats in the harbor...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2006

Dunquin

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Dunquin Pier Photo, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Quote:
Dunquin, or Dún Chaoin in Irish, is a small town on the Dingle Peninsula. It is on the Slea Head drive just north of Slea Head. The town is fairly spread out along the drive and includes a pub and some small cafés. The area is in the Gaeltacht, or Irish-speaking area, and is the most westerly point in Europe. The population changes with the tourist season, but there are about 150 voters registered, so it is not crowded. Dunquin is often referred to as the “next parish to America”. Dunquin is overlooked by Mount Eagle (1,659 feet), which rises to the north of Slea Head.Kruger’s Pub in Dunquin is a great place to catch a pint and look out the windows over the ocean. There is occasional music, and i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2006

Ballyferriter

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Pub Sign in Ballyferriter Photo,
Quote:
Ballyferriter is a small village nestled in a green valley between the hill of Croaghmarhin to the south and the peaks of Sybil Head and the Three Sisters to the north. To the east, Smerwick Harbor has a two mile long stretch of sandy beach called Béal Bán. To the west, the Atlantic is side has rocky cliffs, with small coves and beaches just right for smuggling. The town has a hotel and a few pubs. There are numerous cottages and a few B&Bs around the town. Most shopping is done in Dingle although An Cat Dubh or the Black Cat is a small shop with essentials is located to the West of town. To the east Tigh Bhric has a restaurant, a gas station and a small shop. There is a church and a museum in Ballyfe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

An Droichead Beag (Small Bridge Bar) Photo, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Quote:
The Small Bridge is a typical Irish pub. Quiet by day, it is a good place to pop in while walking around Dingle for a quiet sit down and pint. The interior is dark and cozy with wooden table, benches, and stools scattered about. The bar is small and cluttered, but they pour a fine pint. In the evenings the pace picks up considerably when the music starts. There is no food served except some snacks, mostly packets of crisps of various flavors. I’ve never understood the Irish liking for shrimp flavored chips, they range from fishy to tidepool at noon in strength, but there ye have it. The musicians occupy one of the tables in the corner. The rest of the room is pretty packed with sitting and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2007

An Droichead Beag (Small Bridge Bar)
An Droichead Beag, Main Street
Dingle
+353 (66) 9151723

Ocean and view towards Ferriter's Castle Photo,
Quote:
It all started with the All-Ireland Gaelic football match which we watched on a Sunday at the hotel bar in Ballyferriter. We’d stopped in earlier in the day for a quick pint, and chatted awhile with the Polish bartender. We thought that experiencing Gaelic football in a Gaelic speaking area wiht a Polish bartender would be a fun and enlightening experience, and it was.We arrived early to secure a good seat, and found one just to the right of the large screen television, but still back far enough to see well. We ordered pints, and throughout the match a few more pints and lunch. I opted for a beef and kidney pie while the ladies settled for more standard fare. The pie was large, tasted delicious a...Read More