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Route suggestion

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Minneapolis, MN
posts: 68
Route suggestion

Help! Our original trip includes staying in Kinsale for 2 nights, 1 night in Kenmare, 1 night in Dingle and 1 night in Doolin. We are planning to skip the Ring of Kerry and instead drive the Dingle loop. As I am researching, does it make sense to stay the 1 night in Kenmare? As we're not driving the Ring of Kerry I am doubting if we should stay there or not. Or should we stay in Killarney or drive directly to Dingle and stay 2 nights in Dingle? We enjoy the scenery and would like advice on the best route for the drive, things to see along the way. Any advice would be appreciated! Cheers!

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
posts: 7,651
reviews: 38
1. Re: Route suggestion

Staying the one night in Kenmare makes perfect sense! The route from Kinsale to Kenmare via Timoleague, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bantry is really beautiful and you'd miss out on this if you went straight to Killarney or Dingle from Kinsale. You can visit the Drombeg Stone Circle near Glandore (take the R597 from Rosscarbery, the stone circle is signposted off this road, you then rejoin the N71 at Leap) and there's a pub in Glandore where in nice weather you can sit outside and enjoy the views. From Glandore you can also drive to Unionhall and on to Castletownshend, a really beautiful little village. Worth the detour if you have the time. The stretch of road from Bantry to Kenmare is spectacular.

Of course two nights in Dingle are not to be sniffed at either...

Merced, California
Destination Expert
for Killarney
posts: 3,308
reviews: 42
2. Re: Route suggestion

Clauds, I agree that the coastal route in West Cork is a must. Last time I stayed in Rosscarbery, we drove home to Killarney along the coast including a stop at Bantry House. I would however recomend continuing the drive into Killarney or there abouts to spend the night rather than in Kenmare. It will bring you that bit closer to Dingle for your one night. Since you don't want/care to see the Ring of Kerry, stopping off in Kenmare will only force you to do this as you will have to take one half of the ring to get to Dingle and thus arrive much later for your one night.

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
posts: 7,651
reviews: 38
3. Re: Route suggestion

Tony, thanks for agreeing with me. Unfortunately I have to disagree with your suggestion of continuing to Killarney rather than staying in Kenmare for the night.

If mrchr follows both our recommendation for the drive through West Cork en-route to Dingle then this will be a full day and Kenmare would make a perfect stop (lovely town, great restaurants and pubs). The next morning mrchr would be fresh and rested and could really appreciate the drive from Kenmare down to Killarney and on to Dingle. This is NOT one half of the Ring of Kerry, only a part of it and the logical end-bit of the route both of us recommended. If you want to avoid the ROK then you would have to leave the N71 at Kenmare and go to Killarney via the R569 and N22, thus missing out on spectacular scenery.

Minneapolis, MN
posts: 68
4. Re: Route suggestion

Thank you for your suggestions! I think we will keep our original reservation and stay in Kenmare and then drive the next day to Dingle. Would you recommend leaving early enough from Kenmare and driving the Dingle loop that day as well, or the next day as we're driving to Doolin? Are there lots of stops between Kenmare and Dingle or does it make sense to try to do that all in 1 day? Again, thanks!

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
posts: 7,651
reviews: 38
5. Re: Route suggestion

mrchr, there is so much to see between Kenmare and Dingle! You really have to make a choice of either getting to Dingle and then driving around Slea Head that afternoon or taking your time driving from Kenmare to Dingle stopping all the time and then driving around Slea Head the next morning. Either way you're going to miss out on something! You really need lots of time for this part of Ireland. But since you just have the time allocated you have to make the best of it. Maybe you should wait and see what the weather brings and then decide on the day whether to go straight to Dingle or linger on the way and hope for better views the next morning for the Slea Head Drive, it can be done in very little time or days...

Minneapolis, MN
posts: 68
6. Re: Route suggestion

Clauds, in your opinion, what are some must see sights from Kenmare to Dingle? Also, are there must see sights along the Dingle loop? Thank you for your great advice and suggestions!

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
posts: 7,651
reviews: 38
7. Re: Route suggestion

mrchr, basically you could stop every five minutes on the drive from Kenmare to Dingle.

The obvious places between Kenmare and Killarney are Moll's Gap (you'll know you're there because there's a signpost and there's also another one of the Avoca shops on your left, can't avoid them...) and then Ladies View (there are many places in between that you won't have time for, like the Black Valley [thanks to Bean for the tip]). But you might have time for having a walk through Killarney or going up to Torc Waterfall. Bean will have much more info on this than me.

Once you get onto the Dingle peninsula you just have to stop at Inch Beach and after that for a coffee or tea (passenger can have an alcoholic drink, if preferred) at the South Pole Inn in Anascaul. For lots of information on the Dingle peninsula (you only have the one day, you poor things) I refer you to JoJoKo's post at tripadvisor.com/PostReply-g194237-i1305-k139…

Be careful on the N86 after Anascaul, there are three places on the road with hairpin bends and they always seem to come out of nowhere. Even after all these years of driving to Dingle we're always surprised by them. We know where they are but still...!

Boston
posts: 815
8. Re: Route suggestion

Hi,

I agree with Clauds… “Staying the one night in Kenmare makes perfect sense! The route from Kinsale to Kenmare via Timoleague, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bantry is really beautiful”.

Kenmare is great little town (smaller than and more walk able than Killarney). We stayed there for a week and loved every day of it, we’ll be back next year.

Adding to Clauds suggestion…from Kinsale head down to Old Head and follow the beach road to Clonakilty, on to Schull , on to Skibbereen and Bantry. Depending on time…drive the Beara Peninsula (drive Healy Pass).

Great Italian restaurant in Kenmare worth a visit, I can’t remember the name but right in town (there’s only one Italian place in town).

9. Re: Route suggestion

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