Europe, International

Exploring Ireland Solo – Killarney National Park

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!

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

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!

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

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!

Killarney national park

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).

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Just wanted to say that I am really proud this picture (above). Look at the smooth water and minimal camera shake. Boom!

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

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.

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

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.

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

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.

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due MidwestI bet this view is even better when the sun is shining!

Killarney National park

Exploring Killarney National Park - Due Midwest

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.

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  • Reply Anung

    I love Kerry. Wish I had more time there. But I went horse back riding and it was amazing

    February 22, 2017 at 7:16 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I wish I did too! I definitely want to go back. Horseback riding sounds amazing!

      February 23, 2017 at 2:58 PM
  • Reply Alissa Schrank

    ireland looks beautiful! it is at the top of my husband and i’s bucket list! he mostly just wants to drink guinness!

    February 22, 2017 at 9:08 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      You definitely should go! I found a really good deal on Groupon Getaways and I think they have them quite often. If you go, let me know!

      February 23, 2017 at 3:09 PM
  • Reply Kyla

    It looks like a fantastic place to visit, Ireland is so beautiful! The moss on the trees, the little ferns, lovely!! And your pictures of yourself are lovely…even with the wind and self timer, although I’m sure a remote would be a bit faster in the cold!! 🙂

    March 1, 2017 at 5:46 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks Kyla! It would be nice to have a remote but my new camera doesn’t have one that’s compatible with it (hence the self-timer)! I miss it so much 🙂

      March 1, 2017 at 6:06 PM
  • Reply Inês

    Beautiful photos! I actually lived in Dublin for a year and one of the things I regret most is not taking the time to explore more of Ireland! Your post is definitely making me want to go back and do a road trip!!

    March 1, 2017 at 6:21 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! I studied abroad in Scotland and I regret the same thing! You should definitely go back. I had an awesome time, I only wish I had stayed for longer!

      March 1, 2017 at 6:27 PM
  • Reply Vrithi Chandramani

    Ireland is such a beautiful and Peaceful place. My husband and I drove from Shannon to Dublin a few years ago and it was one of our most memorable trips. Lovely post. And yes the Indian food is great in Ireland. I am from India so it’s a big deal when I say that 😉

    March 1, 2017 at 6:54 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Wow, that is a big deal! I’m glad it wasn’t just my limited experience of Indian food! Sounds like a great trip you had, I already want to go back.

      March 1, 2017 at 8:20 PM
  • Reply Anna Hammerschmidt

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! When I travel alone I take tons of self timing photos too 🙂 I love that you just went with your gut and switched up your itinerary. Sometimes when you do too much of a similar things, you get oversaturation on a trip. Maybe its good you saved ring of kerry so you can truly appreciate it next time.

    March 1, 2017 at 7:01 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! I think you’re right about saving it for next time. I was totally burnt out on driving and I think it would be more fun next time! Plus, it would be great to do if there was someone else to share the driving with. 🙂

      March 1, 2017 at 8:21 PM
  • Reply Aireona- Nightborn Travel

    I did Ireland with my cousin and we had the best time. Killarney was one of my favorite places- your pictures are just as I imagined. Very beautiful.

    March 1, 2017 at 7:10 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Ireland is the best, isn’t it? Thanks for your nice comment!

      March 1, 2017 at 8:22 PM
  • Reply Danielle

    Officially in love with Torc Waterfall. So green!

    March 1, 2017 at 7:14 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks Danielle! It really is a lovely spot!

      March 1, 2017 at 8:22 PM
  • Reply Due Midwest - Exploring Ireland Solo – Rock of Cashel

    […] my drive through Killarney National Park, I headed across the country to Kilkenny. On my way, I just had to stop at the Rock of Cashel. It […]

    March 1, 2017 at 7:35 PM
  • Reply Daniela || Ipanema travels to

    It looks so serene and green! Hm, when do I go to Ireland? Such a big world and only one life… Thanks for the inspiration!

    March 1, 2017 at 9:21 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      It’s soo hard to narrow down when there are so many places to go. However, I do think Ireland should be on your list. It was gorgeous!

      March 3, 2017 at 4:39 PM
  • Reply Asia

    Wow the pictures here are so gorgeous! I must add Killarney to my list! I went to Ireland many many years ago but it was the fastest trip ever. Thank you for the inspiration!

    March 1, 2017 at 11:13 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      You’re welcome and thanks for the compliment! You definitely should check out Killarney when you’re there. The west coast was by far my favorite!

      March 3, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  • Reply Annette Richmond

    I love solo traveling and have always wanted to visit Ireland. Thanks for sharing your adventure! I look forward to visiting some of your suggested sites.

    March 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Let me know if you do! Ireland was a great place to travel alone! I wish I would have tried harder to meet people but I had a great time regardless.

      March 3, 2017 at 4:37 PM
  • Reply Leslie

    I love all the greens of Ireland, it’s such a magical place! The photos you included are amazing, thanks for sharing your solo experience 🙂

    March 2, 2017 at 9:01 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

      March 3, 2017 at 4:36 PM
  • Reply Due Midwest - A Taste of Ireland Road Trip

    […] and the Ladies View. If you want to know more about what I did in the park, check out the full post here.       […]

    May 20, 2017 at 10:03 AM
  • Reply Due Midwest - How to Spend Six Days in Ireland

    […] and the Ladies View. If you want to know more about what I did in the park, check out the full post here.       […]

    May 26, 2017 at 4:52 PM
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