After I left the Dingle Peninsula, I stayed the night in Killarney. I got in late in the afternoon (5ish probably) and made my way to dinner from the B&B. The place I wanted to go was closed (sad face) so I ended up eating at this delicious Indian place. If you are in Ireland, you may get sick of Irish food. *gasp* Erin, how can you say that?! Well, I just did. Their food is delicious but also can be heavy if you’re eating it for every meal. Don’t feel badly if you just want a taste of something different. Plus, Indian food in the UK and Ireland is TOP NOTCH. Not that I’ve been to India before but it’s better than a lot of the stuff in Minnesota!
My point of staying in Killarney was to to do the Ring of Kerry. It was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Ireland to begin with. Aaaand… I skipped it. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “She’s crazy! One of the most popular things to do in Ireland and she skips it?” Here’s my reasoning. It would have been another full day of driving (well all my days were full days of driving but you know what I mean). I just couldn’t face that after spending the whole day seeing the Dingle Peninsula the day before. Plus, Dingle was so great and I read that a lot of people think it’s better than the Ring of Kerry. So, I didn’t do it. Here’s what I did instead!
Heading from Killarney to Kilkenny, I decided to take a small detour and drive through Killarney National Park. Spoiler alert, it was gorgeous! The drive through the park is actually part of the Ring of Kerry so I didn’t skip all of it 😉 I stopped often but I always had the looming, “You still have a 3 hour drive to your next stop, hurry up!” in the back of my mind. When I go back, I would like to spend a couple of days in Killarney so I can explore the town and do the full Ring of Kerry at a leisurely pace!
When you leave Killarney, head south on the N71 and you’ll see signs to lead you to the park. Right outside of the city (less than 10 min drive), you’ll find Ross Castle. Set on the edge of Lough Leane, you really couldn’t get a prettier setting for a castle. It was built by O’Donoghue Mór in the 15th century. It was recently restored and is open from April to October. There is fee for a guided tour but you can wander around the grounds for free! Since it is on the Ring of Kerry, I’m sure it would get very busy in the summer months so keep that in mind!
See that boat up there? You can also pick one up from here that takes you around the Lakes of Killarney and Inisfallen Island. Wish I had time for that!
My next stop was Torc Waterfall. Park your car in the lot and then it is just a quick 5 minute walk through the pretty forest above until you get to the waterfall. The waterfall is some 70 to 80 feet high and makes some cool zig zags on it’s way down (that’s the technical term).
Just wanted to say that I am really proud this picture (above). Look at the smooth water and minimal camera shake. Boom!
With the bigger attractions behind me, I just kept my eye out for little viewpoints and stops along the way. If you can’t tell, it was really (really really) windy this day so I was too cold to spend too long out of the car. Since I was alone and no one was around, I set up my camera and took lots of (not so flattering) pictures of myself with my self timer. Note to self, get a remote.
This cute, picturesque church is called Derrycunihy. The church appears to be abandoned but it did have a little lot you could pull off into and wander around the outside of the building.
The last viewpoint I stopped at is called the Ladies View. Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting visited here during the royal visit in 1861. They were so taken with the view that it was named after them. So cute, right? There is a little shop right across the road where you can park and grab a snack or a gift.
Well, that’s it from my jaunt around Killarney National Park! I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back with more posts soon (I promise!). If you have anything to add or any questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.