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Ring of Kerry

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Ring of Kerry Driving Route

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The Ring of Kerry is legendary both at home and around the world. It is  recognised as a unique scenic drive. However, it is truly a place to stay and linger!
Leaving Glenbeigh, the road winds around the hills and mountains that make up the spine of the Iveragh peninsula. The views open on to Dingle Bay and you can see the vastness of the bay from Rossbeigh and Inch beaches out to the Blasket Islands. You will see the remnants of the Old Railway Tunnel and “Gleesk Viaduct” as you travel along. The Golden Mile greets you when you approach Kells, it's a stunning walk and The Kerry Way passes here on its way around the peninsula.
Take a little detour down to the beautiful Blue Flag beach and pier at Kells, a traditional fishing community. Take time out for a swim, fishing or an adrenalin packed rib ride along the coastline. Sheepdog trials are popular here so keep a lookout on the mountains for working dogs herding sheep. Kells Bay Gardens is one of Ireland’s important Victorian gardens. They contain one of the foremost collections of Southern Hemisphere plants in Europe. There are 6extraordinary gardens including the Palm and Succulent Garden, the Ladies Walled Garden and the Bamboo Glade. The garden center specializes in imported tree ferns and exotic plants. And you can relax with ocean views in the Victorian Tea Rooms.
 
 
Surrounded by a combination of mountains and water, Cahersiveen is nestled between Beentee Mountain and the River Fertha. Of great historical and archaeological importance, Cahersiveen is the actual birthplace of Daniel O’Connell. Visit his birthplace, the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church, learn local history at the Old Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks and visit Ballycarberry Castle and the Stone Forts of Cahergal and Leacanabuaile. Stunning walks include the Daniel O’Connell Walk and the Beentee Loop Walk that starts and finishes in the town centre. For those who enjoy cycling spend the day cycling around Valentia Island and the Skellig Ring.
From Cahersiveen Marina there are an abundance of activities for you to enjoy and it is a haven for visiting sailors. Deep sea angling is very popular; whale watching and Skellig Rock tours are located here too; and there are eco cruises on a “boat with wheels” which tours the harbour with views of the islands, monastic sites, castle, lighthouse, seals and seabirds.
From Cahersiveen, the Skellig Ring is an amazing detour to enjoy and for information on this experience, please visit www.gokerry.ie. However, today, we are going to travel on to Waterville via Dromid, Maistir Gaoithe.
Dromid is separated into two valleys – the Inny Valley (Gleann na hAoine) and the Cumeragh Valley (Gleann an Cumerigh) - due to the two rivers that flow through each valley. It is a vast area and very beautiful influenced by many natural features from the rugged lines of the mountains and hills to the lakes and rivers.
Dromid depends largely on sheep farming. However, it is also a walkers and cyclists paradise with superb views, amazing mountain passes, hidden valleys and quiet country roads. The Kerry Way winds it way through this region but should you wish to take the stunning road less travelled, turn eastwards towards the McGillycuddy Reeks and enjoy the magnificent vistas, remoteness and vastness of Bealach Oisín and the “interior” of the Iveragh peninsula.
Fishing is renowned here. Loch na Mona, Loch Derriana and Cloonloughlin Lake bring anglers from far and wide and Cúm Beatha, where the River Inny rises, is one of the most famous salmon and trout fishing rivers in Munster.
As part of the South Kerry Gaeltacht, Dromid is steeped in culture and tradition. Football is at the core of the community with Piarsaigh na Dromoda at its heart! Sunday nights set dancing is a must at the Inny Tavern, so if you want to add the South Kerry Set to your repertoire, you now know the spot!
The Ring of Kerry Equestrian Centre is situated on the Ring of Kerry Road 5km from Waterville. It is ideally located for treks to the beautiful Reenroe beach and provides an indoor arena for wet days. Lessons include: livery, summer pony camps, beach rides, trekking and trails. Dog kennels are also available should you wish to bring your four legged friend and stay in the area.
Waterville is famous for its links golf and lake, river and shore angling. It can roll off famous visitor names such as Payne Stewart, Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara but it is perhaps Charlie Chaplin who is the most inspirational of all with a life size commemorative statue dedicated to him on the waterfront.
Waterville is a pretty waterfront village cushioned with the vastness of Ballinskelligs Bay to the southwest and the mountains and lakes of the Iveragh peninsula to the east and south. The sweeping panoramas are stunning and can be enjoyed leisurely taking a stroll along the promenade that stretches the length of the village.
As an angler’s paradise, it offers lake (Lough Currane being the most notable), river and shore angling with sea trout and salmon being the two main species. A variety of species can be caught from the shore including bass, ray and pollock.
Waterville’s other favourite pastime is golf. Waterville Golf Links, one of Ireland’s oldest courses, is rated top 5 in Ireland and is in the top 20 links courses of the world! The newer Skellig Bay Golf Course has integrated the course with over 8,000 yards of ancient famine walls!
The Kerry Way makes it way through Waterville to Caherdaniel but there are a variety of beach and promenade strolls to enjoy. Also, take time to visit some of Waterville’s amazing archaeological sites.
Church Island on Lough Currane is home to St. Fionan’s church, a Romanesque church located on the western end of the island and probably built during the twelfth century. Its ruined nave, chancel and doorway still bear some attractive stone carvings of people and animals. St. Fionan’s Cell is situated on the western end of the island and though the roof is long gone, the large, irregular stones that were used in its construction of its very thick walls make up in endurance what they lacked in elegance!
As you leave Waterville climbing towards Coomakista Pass, take time to visit Loher Stone Fort, which was probably the property of a local chieftain in the early Christian period around the 9th century AD. The walls of this fort survive to a height of over three metres and are three metres thick. On climbing the internal stairs (restored) you can see how well they are built. There is a single massive doorway leading through into the inner area with the remains of two houses, one rectangular and one circular, with walls surviving to one and a half metres. The site is protected on three sides by high mountains and the views are spectacular over Ballinskelligs Bay.
Ring of Kerry