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Kenmare and Dingle

Dalton, Georgia
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Kenmare and Dingle

We will have two nights in Kenmare after arriving from Cork. What are the best parts of Killarney National Park? Should you take a jauty tour?

I do not believe we will have time to go over to Skellig Michael, but we can do the ROK on our second day?

I am debating if we need one or two nights in Dingle? After leaving Kenmare, I would like to be able to do the Slea Head Drive and go over to the Blasket Islands if the ferry is running is October? Is this too much in one day?

What are the best restaurants in Dingle and also pubs?

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

You will be back in Portmagee at 2pm if you get the 10am (ish) ferry to Skellig Michael. Just thought I'd give you a timeline on that in case you were interested. The puffins will be gone in Oct, but if the day is clear you should give it a go if you have time. Views from the top are amazing.

The ROK will take you 8 hours according to a recent poster. Do you REALLY want to spend 8 hours in the car with some stops of course?

You say Jauty Car, I say Jaunting Car !!!. Personally, I hate the things, cold, uncomfortable and expensive. You are much better on foot in killarney. However it is the touristy thing to do so don't completely discount it. You can take a car from Killarney town to Ross Castle and back, or you can take one from any of the gates of Muckross house over to Torc waterfall and you can walk back if you like or take jauty back too !!

If you drive 6 miles to Kate kearneys cottage you can take a jaunting car to the Gap of Dunloe, alternatively you can walk to the gap - 90 minutes or indeed drive in your own car (gingerly) which will take about 30 mins. I LOVE the gap of dunloe. It is much frequented by tourists yet it retains is't beauty, its naturalness and if you go there early enough in the morning (9am ish) you can have the whole place almost to yourself. My favourite way to see the gap is on foot and by bike thumbing my nose to the jarveys all the way !!! (NOT - I value my life)

You will need two nights in Dingle if you want to go to the Blaskets. I'm not sure why you would want to go to those lengths, as the views from any part of the ring of Kerry are stunning anyway, so no need to go to the trouble and expense of a Blasket trip. Regardless, Dingle is worth two days/nights at least. It is a stunning peninsula and Dingle town itself is cosy, welcoming and pretty. It is a small town and you will find all the pubs and restaurants very quickly. Typically the best known pub there is An Droichead Beag, ask anyone and there is another one a couple of doors away that is equally popular, others on this forum can give you more details. A good first nighter pub meal should be had at John Bennys which is on the harbour front - ask anyone !!! This is not 4 star gourmet but is definitely rib sticking, good ol' irish grub. John Benny is nice, the service is good - and the pints are great, After that there are a few restaurants which climb higher up the star rating ladder but you will see these as you stroll around the town during the day.

Muckross house and gardens in Killarney are gorgeous, as are the surrounding lakes and torc mountain in the background.

Regarding Kenmare, my joint first favourite town in County Kerry. Love it. Love that it is snugly enveloped by the mountains and the sea. My two favourite restaurants there are Mulcahys and The Lime Tree. ( the latter may not be open late october but that remains to be seen). Also if you are feeling in cocktail mood why not stroll to the 5* Park Hotel (very near the Lime Tree) for some pre or post dinner cocktails.

Amelia Island...
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2. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

We spent two nights in Dingle (driving from Doolin) before going on to spend two nights in Kenmare, but chose not to drive the Ring of Kerry because of all the tour-bus traffic. Besides, the drives on any of the three adjacent peninsulas are equally spectacular. We spent a bit more than a half-day driving the "Ring of Beara" out of Kenmare, and taking the mountain pass route that splits the area in two was just gorgeous.

Our feeling is that it's all about the weather. When we were there a few weeks ago, there were a number of foggy and cloudy days, so you'd never find any views on any of the drives.

In Dingle, we had a wonderful dinner at the Bull's Head, and enjoyed the music at John Benny's pub. You're likely to have a grand time wherever.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

I agree with Bryno's comments about visiting Kenmare, Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe.

We are hikers, so we saw this part of Ireland on foot in May. We found it to be a great way to see the countryside (with few encounters with other people.) We did the hike around Muckross Lake, which is around 10-12 km. If that's more than you'd want to do, you could take shorter walks. The people at the Information office in Killarney were quite friendly and helpful. I would definitely plan to take the tour of Muckross House and if you are there at lunchtime, stop to eat at the cafe at Muckross House. The food was delicious and well-priced.

We walked the entire length of the Gap of Dunloe beginning at the end opposite Kate Kearney's House as this was closer to where we were staying in Kenmare. (You can ask someone at your hotel or B&B how to get there.) We got there fairly early in the morning and as Bryno described, we pretty much had the road to ourselves.

While we did not drive the ROK in one day, I did read a fairly good description of how to do this in Rick Steves' book on Ireland. It might be worth taking a look at his plan for this route.

Also, Mallenkaufman's suggestion about the Ring of Beara is a good one. It's close to Kenmare and we actually found it more beautiful than the Ring of Kerry. It's also possible to do the entire Ring of Beara in one day, which is what we did.

Edited: 4:05 pm, July 30, 2011
Cork, Ireland
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4. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

Sending longhorn74 a HUG for this:

"Ring of Beara is a good one. It's close to Kenmare and we actually found it more beautiful than the Ring of Kerry."

I couldn't agree with you more !

Charlotte, NC
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5. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

Healy Pass (Ring of Beara) is a must. Unforgettable experience. The best tip we received on our recent trip to Ireland.

Dalton, Georgia
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6. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

Sorry it has taken so long to reply, but I have been out of town. Everyone has great posts and I thank you so much.

In Killarney, the Muckross house and gardens and Gap of Dunloe are a must. We are not big hikers, so I guess we should drive to Kate Kearneys cottage and either drive to the Gap of Dunloe or take a jaunting car to the Gap of Dunloe. We get up early, so being there early in the morning before the crowds would be no problem.

Is Sheen Falls Lodge or Kenmare Park Hotel recommended over the other? Both The Lime Tree and Mulcahys look like wonderful restaurants.

Are there a certain way to drive the Ring of Beara and must see spots along the way? We will certainly do this and maybe we should just see parts of the ROK(forget going to Skellig Michael) since we are only planning on staying in Kenmare for 2 nights.

I think we should two nights in Dingle also. The town seems wonderful and I would like to be able to spend some time looking around in town besides just doing the Slea Head Drive. We will also forget trying to go over to the Blasket Islands(not enough time).

We will go on to Doolin from here for either one or two nights.

Encinitas, CA
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7. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

Just returned from Ireland and miss it already. Dingle was one of our favorite stops. We stayed for three nights at Pax and LOVED it and John, the owner. We enjoyed sitting out on the large glass porch/living room or outside enjoying the amazing views even more than going to the pubs (and this is coming from pub loving people!). Slea Head Drive was awesome and not to be missed. Enjoy your trip!

england
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8. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

I try to get to Gt Blasket once a year, but the last two September/October trips to Dingle the weather was never good enough to get across so dont pin your hopes on going. Actually the Blasket Centre at Dunquin gives a good idea of what it used to be like. The islands are totally deserted and there is nothing there now except seals and birds.

Dalton, Georgia
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9. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

I would like to know if anyone has stayed or know anything about the Castlewood House in Dingle? Also, what would be one good fine dining restaurant in Dingle if we are there for two nights?

Could we drive the Ring of Beara and see all the must see sights coming from Cork and going to Kenmare for our two night stay?

Minnesota
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10. Re: Kenmare and Dingle

We stayed in Kenmare and then followed Rick Steves's brilliant advice on how to drive the Ring of Kerry. It was one of the best days of our trip and we didn't see a single tour bus all day!