It is only when visitors to North Kerry wonder at our countryside and lifestyle, do we stop to reflect a little on what we have! Idyllic country lanes, vibrant rural communities, fascinating heritage towns, stunning golden beaches, world famous links courses, great literary feats and the natural storytelling gifts of North Kerry locals.
Arriving to Kerry through Tarbert sets the scene! The Killimer ferry is an activity in itself offering the opportunity to dolphin watch en-route.
Heading towards Listowel, experience Moyvane’s Nature Trail and Village Walk. This takes pride of place in the village and has won the Kerry Open Gate Award.
Listowel is regarded as the “Literary Capital of Ireland”. World famous writers such as John B Keane, Bryan McMahon and George Fitzmaurice are the foundation stones for Listowel Writer’s Week. A designated Heritage Town, Listowel displays a myriad of wonderful architectural features and these can be viewed on the Heritage Trail. Take in the “Big Bridge” and the “Garden of Europe” that contains more than 2,500 trees and shrubs from all European countries.
Heading towards Ballybunion, enjoy the rural countryside of North Kerry passing through Lisselton. Alternatively, should you take the coast road from Tarbert, you will visit Ballylongford, birthplace of one of Ireland’s finest poets, Brendan Kennelly.
Carrigafoyle Castle, a listed National Monument is located on Carrigafoyle Island. Built between 1490 and 1500, it features a spiral staircase of 104 steps that visitors can climb to this very day. Standing 30m high it has stunning views from its battlements.
Ballybunion is truly a great seaside town. Blue Flag beaches, seaweed baths, buckets and spades, sandcastles, picnics, periwinkles, candy floss and blue Atlantic waves with sea breezes full of salty air!
Enjoy Ballyduff, a village successful in both Gaelic Football and Hurling. Close to the village at Rattoo, a Round Tower reaches to a height of 28m and is the only complete round tower in Kerry and dates from the late 10th or early 11th centuries.
"An Tóchar", Causeway, is Old Irish for “the road”. The village was founded by a group of settled travellers on an ancient Celtic roadway which originated in the neighbouring parish of Ballyheigue and was reputed to have ended in Tara, seat of the High-Kings of Ireland.
Take time for the gorgeous circular drive around the Kerry Head Peninsula with spectacular panoramas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Dingle Peninsula and Clare coast.
Ballyheigue village boasts miles of beaches and is overlooked by the ruins of a castle built in 1812, which is the site of Ballyheigue’s scenic 9 hole Golf Club. With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ballyheigue is very popular for swimmers and walkers.
Banna Strand extends from Ballyheigue Beach at the Black Rock to Barrow Beach. Its sand dunes can rise up to 12 metres (40 ft).
Ardfert parish takes in the villages of Ardfert and Kilmoyley. Ardfert village grew up around the ancient church of St. Brendan, Ardfert Cathedral. Founded in the 6th Century, it is now a National Monument and hosts an Interpretive Centre. Ardfert Friary is also a National Monument founded circa 1253. This little village was once the “Capital” of the County!
On the northern shores of Tralee Bay, lies Fenit, Europe’s most westerly commercial port. The harbour is also important for fishing and its 136-berth marina adds a leisurely atmosphere to the village with its beautiful views of Tralee Bay. Fenit Castle, a tower house, was built in the 16th century to protect the entrance to Barrow Harbour and Tralee Golf Club, the world famous Arnold Palmer designed course, exists across the straits of Barrow Harbour.
North of Tralee and situated on the north side of the Shannow river, Kilflynn is today part of the parish of Abbeydorney. Places to visit are St Columba’s Heritage Centre, Kilflynn; St. Bernard’s Church, Abbeydorney; St Mary’s Church, Kilflynn; and the old railway station in Abbeydorney.
Lixnaw was once the seat of the Earls of Kerry and one of its descendants, later Lord Lansdowne, born in Dublin but largely reared in Lixnaw, became British Prime Minister in 1782. Visit the Korean War Memorial, St. Michael’s Church and the Holy Wells of St Michael and St Senan.
Halfway between Listowel and Castleisland, the heather clad hills of Lyreacrompane lie in the Stacks Mountains. Take time to explore its wonderful lanes and country roads and for walking enthusiasts, the new Loop Walk is magical and full of the character of this special place.
Tralee offers a range of both indoor and outdoor attractions and activities and there is something for all the family making it a real family friendly place to be. For a rural market town Tralee offers amazing shopping with a host of boutiques, bookshops, antiques and craft shops tucked away in old lanes and stylish new arcades. From the Christmas Lights to the Rose of Tralee Festival, there is a buzz and bustle to the town all year round.
The North Kerry Way stretches from Tralee town to Tarbert taking in the idyllic scenic coastline of North Kerry.
Blennerville has been an important lynchpin connecting east and west - The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway (1891 – 1953) and the Jeanie Johnston emigrant ship. The Tralee & Dingle Light Railway was one of the world’s most famous narrow gauge railways and the Jeannie Johnston emigrant ship was built here carrying over 2,500 emigrants to a new life in the USA with no crew or passengers ever lost.
Visit its famous Windmill. This unique 201-year-old restored windmill houses an acclaimed exhibition of Irish milling history and features working millstones. A selection of exhibitions on the region is also on show here.
Did You Know?
That the father of famous American outlaw Jessie James was from Asdee.
That the Lartigue Monorail is the only one of its kind in the World.
That in March 1919 the voice of W.T. Ditcham an engineer with the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Company was projected from Ballybunion to a receiving station in Cape Breton, Novia Scotia. These were the first words clearly spoken by human voice from East to West.
That on June 24th 1834 a race meeting on Ballyeigh Beach turned in to one of Ireland’s worst ever faction fights involving over 3000 people. The race meeting was banned and transferred to Listowel and is now known as the Listowel Harvest Race Festival.
The North Kerry Way
Heritage, Beach & Cliff Walks
Pitch and Putt
Blue Flag Beaches
Kerry Head Peninsula Drive
The Lartigue Monorail
Kerry Writer’s Museum
The “Garden of Europe”
St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre
Ballybunion Health & Leisure Club
Rattoo Round Tower
Ardfert Cathedral & Interpretive Centre
Ardfert Retreat Centre
St. Brendan’s Sculpture
Tralee Bay Sailing School
St Columba’s Heritage Centre
Korean War Memorial
St. Michael’s & St. Senan’s Holy Wells
Coaching Ireland is currently recruiting Part Time Presenters for the Lucozade Sport Education Programme....