The Black Valley
This is another unique area and is located to the southern side of MacGillycuddy's Reeks. It connects the Gap of Dunloe with Moll's Gap. The valley can be seen from Ladies' View, a vista along the road through the Killarney National Park, and is famous for being the last place on mainland Ireland to be connected to electricity and telephone because of its remoteness.
While most tourists stick to the main roads through the Killarney National Park, those who are more adventurous will brave the narrow road through the valley to see a truly wild part of Ireland.
There are very few homes in the Black Valley; one can drive for a couple miles without seeing a house. What visitors will see really depends on the season. During the tourist season, from mid-Spring to late Summer, acre upon acre of bog cotton and wild yellow irises blanket the valley floor. Wild red fuchsia, purple heather and bright yellow gorse line the road and rocky outcrops. Cascades, streams, lakes and rivers flow through blanket bog and woody glens. Late in the season, leafy woodlands change colors and shows another side of the valley with fiery colors.
Lord Brandon's Cottage
At the juncture between the valley road and the Head of the Gap, visitors will come to Lord Brandon's Cottage. The cottage was the hunting lodge for Lord Brandon, the Right Honorable and Reverend William Crosbie (1 November 1771 to 3 May 1832)...Baron of Brandon and Rector of Castleisland. It was written in his obituary that Lord Brandon was "a man of superior order of mind and of great literary attainments." He was also respected by his friends and colleagues, as he was a warm and generous person. For much of the last twenty years of his life he lived in his lakeside cottage in Killarney, now called Lord Brandon's Cottage, though the last two years his home was in Nice, France, where the weather was much more suitable for his aging constitution.
Today, the original cottage is in ruin, but there is a cafe on the site which offers refreshments to visitors. Paths wander through the surrounding lands, and there is a jetty behind the house where one can get a boat tour of the Killarney Lakes.