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Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The Ring of Kerry Scenic Drive, Ireland

The Ring of Kerry is simply one of the very best coastal circuit drives to be had in Ireland.  The 167km Ring of Kerry Scenic Drive will take you all along the spectacular coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, a part of the unspoilt and slightly mystical county of Kerry.  The region is full of history, heritage and culture, but also offers a huge variety of outdoor pursuits which include golf, water-sports, cycling, walking, hiking, and salmon and trout fishing.  It is the ideal place to spend a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in idyllic surroundings.  And there are great beaches!   The circuit starts and ends in Killarney, and should be driven in an anti-clockwise direction to minimize congestion on some of the narrower sections of the road.

From the city of Killarney you need to set off west to Killorglin on the N72.  At Killorglin the coastal road begins and your route will take you on the N70 to Glenbeigh, Kells and Kells Bay, Caherciven, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare, before you take the N71 back to Killarney via the beautiful Killarney National Park.   Besides the marvellous views, which are what the drive is really all about, there are many attractions to visit along the route.

Some of the main places of interest on the Ring of Kerry drive are the Gap of Dunloe and Kate Kearney’s Cottage near Killarney – a good place for nature walks and a boat trip on the lake;  Bog Village near Glenbeigh – a uniquely restored set of six original bog and thatch dwellings and beautiful Rossbeigh Beach (in Glenbeigh) – 8km of golden sand and wonderful views of the mountains.  It is a great beach for surfing or wind-surfing and there is a caravan park if you feel like stopping for a couple of days of fun in the sun.

There are several historic sites to visit including the Derrynane House, Staigue Fort (Castelcove), and the old monastery on Skellig Island.  Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms combines a beautiful stately home with superb gardens and 3 working farms where you can learn all about traditional Irish farming methods.  There are also good walks around the extensive grounds.  After leaving Muckrock House towards Killarney, be sure to visit The Blue Pool Nature Reserve where there is plenty to see, even for the sight-impaired who can follow a special trail.  Ross Castle is a restored ancient Castle with expansive grounds to visit before you return to Killarney at the end of your drive around the Ring of Kerry.

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