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Ring of Kerry or Killarney Nat Park

We will be staying in Dingle for 3 nts doing the loop and sites there. I am trying to decide if we should do the ring of Kerry (as I have read if you have time for one or the other that Dingle is great) on our way to Rock of Cashel or go right to Killarney Nat Park as we would have one day/night in the area either at Kenmare or nearby..heading to ROCK..Will be leaving Wed am and need to be in Dublin by Friday. Thanks in advance...Joan

Posted by
1599 posts

The southern half of the Ring of Kerry is beautiful, while the north side is just OK by Irish scenery standards anyway. For a nice contrast to Dingle and the Slea Head Drive, you might enjoy taking the "jaunting car through the Gap of Dunloe - return by boat through the lakes" trip. We don't usually do any sort of organized touring but this tour (we bought it from Deros tours in Killarney) was really beautiful and a nice change from driving. Afterwards, drive to Kenmare through the Queen's View which is part of the main road. Kenmare is a lovely small town with loads of quality shops, decent restaurants, and music pubs.....At Rock of Cashel be sure you walk over to nearby ruined Hore Abbey which is interesting and also a great spot to take pictures of the Rock. We had an outstanding dinner last April at a restaurant near the Rock - I don't recall the name but it is the restaurant that is located in a former church. If you can't find its listing, I will look it up in my notes.....Cashel only needs half a day; you might enjoy Birr Gardens which is fairly close. The town of Cashel has little charm and is very touristy.

Posted by
1599 posts

For best variety of experiences, I would suggest Dingle to Killarney - take the Gap of Dunloe tour I mentioned. Next, drive to Kenmare on a very scenic road. Then , drive either to Waterville or Cahersiveen and return to Kenmare OR drive Kenmare out towards Ardgroom on the Beara and back. Don't try to drive a ring around either the Inveragh (Ring of Kerry) or the Beara Peninsula because the south side of Inveragh or the north side of Beara have the better scenery. Both the peninsulas are worthwhile if you have the time. Explore the little roads that lead down to the water, don't just stay on the main road....On the way to Cashel, you might want to stop at Cahir if you'd like to see one more large ruined castle...Then, continue your drive to Cashel which only needs half a day. Stop at Birr to visit the Birr Demense if you have time on the way back to Dublin, it's a very nice place to walk around and stretch your legs...I would maximize your time on the west side of Ireland; if your time is limited, spend little or no time in Dublin.

Posted by
8 posts

Cynthia From what you are saying If the weather is nice and since we have the time..it would be worth it to go from Dingle down and around the Ring of Kerry to Kenmare, Stopping or staying there a night and possible seeing some of the National Park before heading to Cashel the next day. Still having part of Wed when we get there and Thurs am to see Cashel area before heading to Dublin to turn in car at the airport. Txs...Joan

Posted by
11798 posts

I don't think I'd do both the Dingle loop and the Kerry loop. There are a few unique sights on each peninsula but mostly they're substitutes for the other. I'd opt for a little of the National Park. I've only visited ladies' view and walked from the church in Killarney (cross the street and you're on the trail) to Muckross Castle but we enjoyed both. There may be other parts of the park that interest you as well.