After our brief stops in Kilkenny and Cork, we continued our Irish driving by heading further south to Killarney. Killarney town is just outside Killarney National Park, and the region is home to stunning scenery and plenty of outdoor activities. It also features the Ring of Kerry drive, a loop around the Iveragh Peninsula and some of County Kerry's most beautiful views.
|Killarney national park|
After lots of sunshine earlier in the trip, Irish weather caught up with us and we had a very wet drive around the Ring of Kerry. This wasn't a huge inconvenience given we were mostly in the car, but did mean some of the views were misty, and others were masked entirely by clouds and rain! The drive takes most of a day so we didn't have time to repeat it, but if we're ever in Ireland again it will give us something to return to.
We stayed just inside the national park border at Killarney lakeland cottages. Even the smallest cottages were bigger than we needed, with 3 bedrooms, but with 4 nights in the area we were keen to have a kitchen and the location was perfect. Even with the extra space, the price was reasonable and the cottages would be great value if staying as a larger family.
|Killarney lakeland cottages|
Fortunately we had sunny weather in the region too, and we made full use of that by walking some of the trails and sights within the national park. The park is huge and it would take many hours (perhaps days) to walk it fully, but there is a lot clustered to the western edge closest to Killarney town.
Muckross House and Gardens, set on the edge of Muckross Lake, provide a helpful focal point for exploring and we also took in one of the tours of the 19th century mansion house. Nearby is the semi-ruined Muckross Abbey, free to wander at leisure, and it is an easy 1 mile walk between the two attractions.
|Driveway leading to Muchross House|
The house, gardens and abbey were enjoyable, but it was the outdoor component that I liked best. We did a walk from the abbey and house up to Torc waterfall. Unlike Powerscourt waterfall, it was free! I liked it much more than Powerscourt too, and eating a picnic lunch alongside it was a highlight of the day.
Details of Killarney National Park can be found at http://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/ .
Do you have a favourite national park?