Based on advice from friends in Macroom (In County Cork, between Kinsale and Kenmare/Killarney), we visited Ross Castle, rather than Muckross House. We turned off at Muckross House, but there was a huge number of cars and people on the grounds, and we continued onwards. Ross Castle grounds (very close to Killarney) had a fair number of people, too, but very few visited the tower house itself. I know that you’ve mentioned Blarney Castle in posts from a few years ago, photobearsam, and Ross is much more accessible, without the super narrow, super steep steps, and way fewer stairs.
There’s a wide concrete ramp leading to Ross Castle, and the tour was fascinating, about life in such a Medieval structure, and how things were built and maintained. There were some stairs, but only 3 floors, small group with outstanding guide, pace slow enough for everyone on our tour, and well worth the visit. The adjacent lake and lunch opportunity (free WC, too) were very welcome.
We also got behind a rental car (driver maybe not used to driving on the left, and/or on winding roads?), going less than 30 KPH for the longest time. We couldn’t get around it due to oncoming traffic or no-passing stripes in the centerline of the road, and that made driving slower than it would’ve otherwise been. N roads are faster and wider, R roads are narrower and generally slower, with the occasional tractor to add to the driving challenges. We finally got to a passing opportunity and got past the car. We did make plenty of stops, but a slow car ahead made things even slower. We took 2 days, spending a night in Caherdaniel to go to Skellig Michael the next day.
Macroom has a farmer’s market every Tuesday. If you’re interested in oak-smoked salmon, be sure to stop at K.R.D. Fisheries in Glenbeigh ( krdfisheries.com ).
I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I wish you and Mom a wonderful trip - it will be fabulous!