While we were in Ireland this summer, we spent a day driving the Ring of Kerry. We had so many amazing memories and photos from that day, that it needed a blog post all it’s own. To see the reviews, tips, photos, and our drive playlist from the rest of our Ireland trip, click here to see last week’s Travel Tuesday post on our Ireland Road Trip.
We began our Ring of Kerry driving tour in Killarney, from our hotel (Castlerosse Hotel and Golf Resort, right on the ring. See last week’s blog post for reviews and photos of the hotel). As far as planning goes, I got some great advice at ringofkerry.com. You can also click here to download a free guidebook and map at theringofkerry.com, which is what we used when touring. A few quick tips: 1) Plan to have a nice full day to do this drive (some would argue that you need more than that to really explore the little towns along the way, and I agree, however if you were limited on time like we were, you can get a good sampling and drive the entire ring in a day). 2) Don’t start super early in the morning, so that you avoid the morning tour traffic. We started around 10:00 am and didn’t encounter any traffic despite going during a heavy travel month (August). 3) Drive the ring counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise, as they say in Ireland). 4) Some of the roads are VERY narrow and many are winding. You may want to get acclimated to driving on the “other” side of the road and car before tackling this day of driving. 5) ENJOY IT! Drink it in. This was one of my favorite parts of Ireland. Magically beautiful!
Here is how we spent our day. Hope this helps to inspire your own Ring of Kerry journey!
Lunch at Bunker’s. Free Wi-Fi (I think the only time we had Wi-Fi during our day on the ring… not that it’s a bad thing), and good home cooking. My husband had a delicious burger, and I enjoyed a great pint of Guinness and the chicken curry.
Beautiful beaches and views near Kells.
Caherciveen and Ballycarbery Castle
One of my favorite things in Ireland was exploring the ivy-covered ruins of Ballycarbery Castle.
Caherdaniel and Derrynane House
We stopped at the Scarriff Inn for a drink and to enjoy the view of Caherdaniel.
The grounds of Derrynane House were enchanting. I just about expected to see a fairy or leprechaun pop out.
Kenmare is the home stretch of the ring back towards Killarney. We had dinner at Mahony’s, where we listened to some good live music (especially enjoyed the American transplant singer doing a slow rock cover of Fun.’s “We Are Young”). The hubs had bangers and mash, and I had a hearty and fresh beef casserole.
We got to Ladies View just before sunset luckily!
In Killarney you can check out this well-preserved castle and fortress.
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