Region: Munster / Filter: attraction


In the stable block next to Bantry House, the 1796 Bantry French Armada Centre relates the story of the French Armada’s attempt to invade Ireland in 1796. It failed and a model of one of the armada’s ships that sank in Bantry Bay is on display—a very interesting look at a little... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If the weather is inclement, concentrate on the Derrynane House with its furnished rooms, audio-visual presentation, museum, and tearooms. But if the weather is fine, spend your time outdoors walking along the sandy beach of Derrynane Bay and crossing the narrow strip of sand that sep... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On leaving the Cliffs of Moher, head north toward, but not into, Lisdoonvarna. Follow the coastal road around Black Head, where the rocky Burren spills into Galway Bay—to Ballyvaughan, where you turn right following signs for the Aillwee Caves on the bluff above. The visitors&rs... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

You travel 5 kilometers of the Dingle Peninsula’s straightest road, known as An Bóthar Fada—The Long Road. It must have seemed a very long road for farmers walking to town.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Follow the coastline to the village of Ardmore. Beyond the neatly painted houses clustered together lies the Ardmore Monastic Site. The well-preserved round tower used to have six internal timber landings joined by ladders, and at the top was a bell to call the monks to prayer or warn... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Some 7 kilometers farther south of Cahermacnaghten, you come to another ring fort, Ballykinvarga. You have to walk several hundred meters before you see the Iron-Age fort surrounded by its defensive, pointed stones known as chevaux de frise, a term derived from a military expression d... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Glengarriff, the road winds upwards and, glancing behind, you have a spectacular view of Bantry Bay lying beyond a patchwork of green fields. Rounding the summit, the road tunnels through a large buttress of rock and you emerge to stunning views of sparse, rocky hillsides.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Arriving at the waterfront in Bantry, you come to Bantry House. Like so many other Irish country houses, it has seen better days, but the present owner, Egerton Shelswell-White, makes visitors welcome and gives a typed information sheet—in the language of your choice—that ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you do not stop along the way, it will take you between two and three hours to drive the Beara Peninsula, where the scenery is wild, but gorgeous. From Kenmare, a minor road (R571) takes you along the north shore of the peninsula to Ardgroom, a picturesque village nestled beside a ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Youghal, retrace your steps towards Waterford to the bridge that crosses the River Blackwater, and turn sharp left (before you cross the river) on Blackwater Valley Drive, a narrow road which follows the broad, muddy waters of the Blackwater through scenic wooded countryside. The... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

About a half-hour drive north of Kinsale lie Blarney Castle and its famous tourist attraction, the Blarney Stone. The gardens are beautiful, there’s several well-signposted walks, the village is adorable with its shops round the village green, and there’s a great shopping ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kissing the Blarney Stone, by climbing atop the keep and hanging upside-down, is said to confer the “gift of the gab.” Even if you are not inclined to join in this backbreaking, unhygienic pursuit, the castle is worth a visit.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

There’s a great shopping opportunity in the town of Blarney at Blarney Woolen Mills for all things Irish, particularly knitwear. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In clear weather a ferry from Dunquin takes day-trip visitors to and from Great Blasket Island. The little village on the island is mostly in ruins, and paths wander amongst the fields where the hardy islanders struggled to earn a living—a café offers the only shelter. (F... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A large, white crucifix marks Slea Head, which affords the first view of the Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí), alternately sparkling like jewels in the blue ocean and disappearing under dark clouds a moment later. Around the point, the scattered village of Dunquin (Dún Chaoin) and t... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kenmare is full of excellent shops: Brenmar Jon sells top-of-the-line fine knitwear.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

There are several interesting shops in Dingl such as Brian de Staic’s jewelry store containing exquisite gold and silver jewelry inspired by Dingle’s flora and ancient Celtic motifs.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you overnight in or near Cashel, be sure to enjoy Brú Ború, a foot-tapping evening of traditional Irish entertainment in the theater below The Rock of Cashel.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Bunavalla pier is where boats leave for the Skellig Islands.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

An interesting history and guide to the castle is available at the entrance. As the majority of castles in Ireland stand roofless and in ruins, it is a treat to visit a 15th-century castle that has been restored so beautifully. The authentic 14th- to 17th-century furniture in the room... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Bunratty Cottage, opposite the Bunratty Castle, offers a wide range of handmade Irish goods.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

To help you appreciate this unusual landscape, first visit The Burren Display Centre at Kilfenora, which offers a film on the geology and rare flora and fauna of the area. Models explain the pattern of settlement and the geological makeup of the area, and show the non-botanist what to... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Continuing uphill from Kilmalkedar Church, the field to your right contains the ruins of the Chancellor’s House. Park your car by the gate on the right that follows the little lane (not signposted) and walk into the farmer’s field to examine the waist-high foundations of t... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From the Aillwee Caves retrace your steps a short distance down the road towards Ballyvaughan and take the first turn left, passing Gregans Castle hotel and up Corkscrew Hill, a winding road that takes you from a lush, green valley to the gray, rocky landscape above. Take the first tu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cahir Castle has stood on guard to defend the surrounding town of Cahir since 1375. A guided tour explains the elaborate defensive system, making a visit here both interesting and informative. A separate audio-visual presentation provides information about the castle and other monumen... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The normal routing of the Ring is to travel from Cahersiveen to Killorglin and then on to Killarney and return to Kenmare. However, our suggested route for your return to Kenmare is to take a right-hand turn to Caragh Lake (5 kilometers before your reach Killorglin) and follow the nar... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

To reach Cork from Cobh, take the Carrigaloe-Glenbrook ferry from Cobh across Cork Harbour. This ferry can save you an hour's driving time around the edge of Cork Harbour, and you'll avoid the hassles of driving through Cork's generally heavy traffic. The ferry runs from 7... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

About 3 kilometers east of Kinsale, the impressive, 17th-century Charles Fort stands guard over the entrance to its harbor. It takes several hours to tour the five bastions that make up the complex. The ordnance sheds are restored and hold a photographic and historical exhibition abou... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kenmare is full of excellent shops: Cleo’s has outstanding knitwear.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Turn right as you leave the Burren Display Centre and left as you come to the main road to reach the Cliffs of Moher—the most spectacular section of the coastline—where towering cliffs rise above the pounding Atlantic Ocean. These majestic cliffs, stretching along 5 kilome... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Way of St. Brendan is laid out on a map that you obtain at Cloghane’s tiny tourist office. The route begins in nearby Brandon and follows a well-marked route that the saint supposedly took to the top of Mount Brandon (about five hours of walking). Cloghane’s tourist of... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Cobh Experience, an audio-visual display housed in the restored Victorian railway station, tells the story of this port. Cobh was the point of departure for many emigrants off to seek a better life in America and Australia. For many it was the last piece of Irish soil they stood o... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving the Dingle Peninsula (signposted Tralee), the Connor Pass twists you upward to the summit, where a backward glance gives you a magnificent view of Dingle and its harbor. The view is spectacular, but there is no guarantee that you will see it—all will be green fields, blu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Continuing your journey westward you come to Caherdaniel village where you turn left for Derrynane House, the home of Daniel O’Connell, “The Liberator,” a title he earned for winning Catholic emancipation. If the weather is inclement, concentrate on the house with its furnished ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Killarney, a two-hour drive will bring you to Limerick, but rather than taking a direct route, take the time to explore the lovely Dingle Peninsula. It’s a very special place, a narrow promontory of harshly beautiful land and seascapes where the people are especially fri... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Given its proximity to the sea it is not surprising that you find a great many excellent seafood restaurants here. The Half Door and adjacent Doyle’s are two upmarket favorites.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

You will have no difficulty obtaining transportation to Dún Aengus (about 8 kilometers from the harbor), the best known of the island’s stone forts, believed to date from the early Celtic period some two to three thousand years ago. It has sheer cliffs at its back and is ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On the outskirts of the Kinvarra Village, the restored Dunguaire Castle has a craft shop and, on summer evenings, hosts medieval banquets. (Open May–Oct, tel: 091 637108.)... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just at the entrance to the Bunratty Castle and Folk Parkpark is Durty Nelly’s, one of Ireland’s most popular pubs, dating from the 1600s.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In the distance, the entrance to Dingle’s harbor is guarded by Esk Tower, built in 1847 by an English landlord to give paid work to the men of Dingle. Its giant wooden hand serves as a marker for fishermen to the entrance to the protected harbor.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Fishy Fishy is an excellent choice for lunch in the town of Kinsale. At all but the ethnic restaurants, reservations are needed for dinner. It’s a pleasant pastime to check the menus on display as you inhale mouth-watering aromas and peek at happy people enjoying their food. Note: w... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Dingle’s population is under 2,000, yet it has over 50 pubs, some of which double as shops—like Foxy John’s, where you can buy hardware while enjoying a drink.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A couple of kilometers’ drive past Ballyferriter brings you to the Gallarus Oratory (Séipéilín Ghallarais). Over 1,000 years ago many of St. Brendan’s contemporaries lived on the Dingle Peninsula in unmortared, beehive-shaped stone huts called clochans... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The road through the Gap of Dunloe (signposted from the Killorglin road just past the golf course) is a single-lane dirt track up a 6-kilometer ravine carved by glaciers. Kate Kearney’s Cottage sits at the entrance to the ravine. Legend has it that Kate was a beautiful witch who... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just before you enter Glengarriff, turn left for the harbor to take a ferryboat for the ten-minute ride to Garinish Island, a most worthwhile trip. (Harbour Queen Ferryboats, tel: 027 63116, fax: 027 63298.) Garinish Island, once a barren rock where only gorse and heather grew, was tr... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Ballylickey an inland excursion takes you to Gougane Barra Lake, a beautiful lake locked into a ring of mountains. Here you find a small hotel where you can stop for a snack or a warming drink, and a little church on an island in the lake, the oratory where St. Finbarr went to co... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Skirting the southern shore of the peninsula, the narrow road hugs the ocean through Castletownbere and Adrigole, from where you can follow the coastal road into Glengarriff or take the opportunity for a spectacular view by turning left and ascending the Healy Pass. It’s hard to... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Several of the Main Street shops have been refurbished, but the town still has an unspoiled look to it. Make your first stop the Heritage Centre with its displays on the town, where you can pick up a brochure that outlines a walking tour of the old buildings.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Visit the Heritage Centre with its displays of locally made lace (tel: 064 41233).... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just round the point from Abbey Island lies Iskeroon and Bunavalla pier where boats leave for the Skellig Islands... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The drive round the Iveragh Peninsula is, in my opinion, somewhat overrated, but if you want to see the much-publicized Ring of Kerry, hope that the fickle Irish weather is at its best.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Across the estuary from Charles Fort, you see the 1603 James Fort where William Penn’s father was governor of Kinsale, while William worked as a clerk of the Admiralty Court. Later, William was given a land grant in America on which he founded the state of Pennsylvania.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In the the heart of Midleton you find the Jameson Heritage Centre in the old whiskey distillery. Marvel at the world’s largest pot distillery in the courtyard (capacity 143,872 liters), learn about whiskey production, visit the huge waterwheel, and be rewarded by a sample of the... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kate Kearney’s Cottage sits at the entrance to the ravine. Legend has it that Kate was a beautiful witch who drove men wild with desire—now her home is greatly enlarged as a coffee and souvenir shop.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just a short walk from the Heritage Centre, the Kenmare Stone Circle is the largest in the southwest of Ireland. Walks abound, from strolling along the broad river estuary to strenuous hill hikes. The circle is thought to be the largest in southwest Ireland.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Arriving in the nearby village of Múirioch, turn right at the Y for Kilmalkedar Church (Séipéal Chill Mhaolcéadair). This now-roofless place of worship was built in the 12th century on the site of a 7th-century church. However, it dates back even further, f... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Alleyways, with fanciful names such as The Butter Slip, lead you from the High Street to St. Kieran Street where you find Kylters Inn, the oldest building in town. This historic inn has a lurid history—supposedly a hostess of many centuries ago murdered four successive husbands,... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Kenmare travel over one of Ireland’s most beautiful roads (N71) for the twisty 34-kilometer drive over mountains to Killarney, stopping at Ladies’ View to admire a spectacular panorama with the lakes of Killarney spread at your feet.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

'Lahinch Championship Golf Course- The Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club: "An Irish treasure loved by pros and amateurs alike" Playing the Old Course at Lahinch just a week before winning the 2009 Open Championship, Stewart Cink came away smitten with the club. The "f... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Lime Tree restaurant is located in the Old Schoolhouse, a building dating back to 1832. This well regarded restaurant prides itself on serving only the freshest of products.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cloghane’s tourist office also sells a booklet that takes you on a self-guided tour through the Loch a Duin Valley (Sciuird also leads a walking tour). Beginning at the hut beside the road at the bottom of Connor Pass, this route leads you on a well-marked, three-hour walk throu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On the road to Ballyferriter (Balle an Fheirtearaigh), the pottery of Louis Mulcahy makes an interesting stop. During the summer you can try your hand at throwing a pot, and thus gain an appreciation for how difficult it is. (Open all year 10 am–5:30 pm.)... more

  • Property Recommended

The traditional path on the Ring of Kerry from Cahersiveen, a classic Irish town with a long main street made up of shops and pubs, is to travel to Killorglin and then to Killarney and back to Kenmare. However, our suggested route for your return to Kenmare is to take a right-hand tur... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Dingle’s population is under 2,000, yet it has over 50 pubs, some of which double as shops—like McCarthy’s where you can listen to poetry readings while enjoying a drink.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Muckross House and Gardens are 5 kilometers out of Killarney on the Kenmare road. (Be sure to choose the entrance gate that enables you to take your car to the car park beside the house). Tudor-style Muckross was built in 1843 in an enviable position beside the lake. The main rooms ar... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Take a step back in time and visit Muckross Traditional Farms (the entrance is on the opposite side of the car park to the house). Stroll up the lane (or ride the old bus) to visit three farms that demonstrate what Kerry farming was like in the 1930s before the advent of electricity a... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kenmare is full of excellent shops: Nostalgia offers antique as well as new linen and lace.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A short distance from the visitors’ center at the Cliffs of Moher, O’Brien’s Tower (built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O’Brien, Member of Parliament, for “strangers visiting the magnificent scenery of this neighborhood”) marks the highest and most photographed point along the ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Packies is a lively restaurant serving fresh fish, organic produce with an Irish and European flair.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

One of the most photographed sights, the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb, is found alongside the road between Corofin and Ballyvaughan. Most of these dolmens, or burial tombs, date back to Neolithic Period.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kenmare is full of excellent shops: Quills has vast quantities of high quality woolens.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Reask (Riasc) is an ancient monastic settlement with a large slab cross and foundations of beehive huts.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The drive round the Iveragh Peninsula is, in my opinion, somewhat overrated, but if you want to see the much-publicized Ring of Kerry, hope that the fickle Irish weather is at its best. For when mists wreathe the Ring, it takes a lot of imagination to conjure up seascapes as you drive... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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The Rock of Cashel seems to grow out of the landscape as you near the town and you can see why this easily defensible site was the capital for the kings of Munster as long ago as 370 A.D. In the course of converting Ireland to Christianity, St. Patrick reached the castle and, accordin... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Ross Castle has been restored and you can climb its steep, stone stairs to see what living in a castle was like. The castle dates back to the late 15th century.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A panoramic view of Derrynane Bay can be enjoyed form the Scariff Inn—you cannot miss the landmark bright-red pub sitting beside the road 3 kilometers above the seashore.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

We recommend forsaking your car and taking one of Sciuird’s minivan or walking tours around Dingle. Michael and his dad, Timothy, offer tours that range from an hour’s walk round Dingle town to visiting ancient, Ogham stones, wedge tombs, standing stones, and ring forts. (Sciuird,... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you're in the mood and haven’t eaten, try Seanachie (a restored, thatched farmhouse, now a traditional restaurant and bar), which sits atop the hill and serves good Irish and Continental food.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Where the coastal road meets the N25, detour from your route, turning sharp left to Shell House. Like it or hate it, there is nothing quite like it on any suburban street in the world—a cottage where all available wall surfaces are decorated with colored shells in various patter... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

As a complement (or alternative) to visiting Skellig Michael, visit the Skellig Heritage Centre on Valencia Island. The center is found where the road bridge meets the island, directly opposite Portmagee. An audio-visual presentation, “The Call of the Skelligs,” takes you ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Skellig Michael is a very special place, a rocky island topped by the ruins of an ancient monastery lying 12 kilometers off the coast of the Ring of Kerry. Boats run daily between Easter and October, and you need to call at least two days in advance to make a reservation. However, the... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The road to Slea Head, signposted as Slea Head Drive (Ceann Sléibhe), twists and turns, following the contours of the increasingly rocky coast. Stunning seascapes present themselves, demanding that you pause just to admire the view. Several of the farms along the way have beehive sto... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you are heading for the Cliffs of Moher, take the N69 to the Tarbert ferry, which takes you across the River Shannon.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Just to the northwest of Bunratty lies the strangest landscape in Ireland, The Burren. Burren means “a rocky place” and this is certainly the case for, as far as the eye can see, this is a wilderness—a wilderness that is rich in archaeological sites (megalithic tombs... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Kenmare is full of excellent shops: The Craft Shop offers souvenirs and pottery.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Given its proximity to the sea it is not surprising that you find a great many excellent seafood restaurants here. The Half Door and adjacent Doyle’s are two upmarket favorites.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

On the Mall in Waterford City, The House of Waterford Crystal is a very worthwhile excursion. Come and see how for over 225 years master craftsmen have hand-blown and hand-cut beautiful crystal items. Of course there is an opportunity to purchase and ship items. Open daily year round.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Park Hotel is famous for its opulent afternoon silver- service teas and superb restaurant.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The town of Kenmare has some delightful restaurants including The Purple Heather, a daytime bistro.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Ardrahan, you turn right on the N18 and, after 6 kilometers, left for the 2-kilometer drive to Thoor Ballylee. William Butler Yeats bought this 13th-century tower house and cottage in 1917 and it was his summer home for 11 years. The cozy, thatched cottage is now a bookshop. An a... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Kenmare travel over one of Ireland’s most beautiful roads (N71) for the twisty 34-kilometer drive over mountains to Killarney, stopping at Ladies’ View to admire a spectacular panorama with the lakes of Killarney spread at your feet. In amongst the woodlands you find the car... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

There are lots of interesting walks on the Dingle Peninsula. Two of the more unusual ones are following the Way of St. Brendan, and exploring the Loch a Duin Valley. The Way of St. Brendan is laid out on a map that you obtain at Cloghane’s tiny tourist office. The route begins in ne... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended