Welcome to North Kerry

Banna near Ardfert. ©Holiday Tralee @ Copyright Ardfert Cathedral Blennerville Windmill

North Kerry – rural bliss, stunning beaches, famous links, historical icons,  family fun & the literary giants!

It is only when visitors to North Kerry wonder at our countryside and lifestyle, do 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. For planning your route just follow the link to AA Roadwatch, this will make it easier for you to get here the quickest way possible where ever your coming from.

Arriving to Kerry through Tarbert sets the scene! The Killimer ferry offers you the opportunity to dolphin watch en-route s to Dingle to see their greatest resident Fungi the dolphin. Heading towards Listowel, see Moyvane’s Nature Trail and Village Walk. Listowel is 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 wonderful architecture on the Heritage Trail. Take in the “Big Bridge” and the “Garden of Europe” that contains more than 2,500 trees and shrubs from European countries.

Heading towards Ballybunion, enjoy the rural countryside of North Kerry passing through Lisselton. Stop at the Thatch Bar and fill up on ancient local knowledge from people who have been there all their lives. Enjoy great food and drinks while you travel. Or you can take the coast road from Tarbert, and you can visit Ballylongford, birthplace of one of Ireland’s finest poets, Brendan Kennelly. 

Carrigafoyle Castle, a listed National Monument is found on Carrigafoyle Island. Built between 1490 and 1500, it features a 104 step spiral staircase that visitors can climb. Standing 30 meters 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! Not forgetting the Bromore Cliffs, their beauty is truly a great sight to be seen and admired.   Along with the magnificant beaches and cliff's Ballybunion hosts one of the world's most popular golf course's ranking in the top 10 most visited every year. One visitor is former president Bill Clinton. If you're looking for a guided walking tour or a cycle around the town and surrounding area then EcoTrek is your place to go. The man behind it Danny Houlihan is a man with vast knowledge and history of Ballybunion and the North Kerry area. So for a day full of history and fun then Danny's your man for all of that.

Enjoy Ballyduff, a village successful in both Gaelic Football and Hurling. Close to the village at Rattoo, a round tower reaches a height of 28 meters. It's the only complete round tower in Kerry and it dates from the late 10th or early 11th century.

"An Tóchar", Causeway, is Old Irish for “the road”. The village was founded by a group of settled travellers on an ancient Celtic road. The road originated in 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 has miles of beach and is overlooked by the ruins of a castle built in 1812. It is the site of Ballyheigue’s scenic 9 hole Golf Club. With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ballyheigue is popular with swimmers and walkers.

Banna Strand extends from Ballyheigue Beach at the Black Rock to Barrow Beach. Its sand dunes can rise up to 40 feet.

Ardfert parish includes 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. The Ardfert Friary is 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 important for fishing and its 136-berth marina adds a leisurely atmosphere to the village with its beautiful views of Tralee Bay. and Fenit Castle. Fenit Castle is a tower house  built in the 16th century to protect the entrance to Barrow Harbour. Tralee Golf Club, the famous Arnold Palmer designed course is across the straits of Barrow Harbour.

North of Tralee and on the north side of the Shannow river, Kilflynn is 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, 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 hikers, the new Loop Walk is magical and full of the character of this special place.Tralee offers 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 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 by 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 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.



Things to see and do


The North Kerry Way

Heritage, Beach & Cliff Walks


Pitch and Putt


Blue Flag Beaches




Dolphin Watching


Horse Riding


Kerry Head Peninsula Drive



Things to see.

The Bridewell

The Lartigue Monorail

Farmers Markets

Kerry Writer’s Museum

The “Garden of Europe”

St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre

Carrigafoyle Castle

Tinteán Theatre

Seaweed Baths

Ballybunion Health & Leisure Club

Rattoo Round Tower

Ardfert Cathedral & Interpretive Centre

Ardfert Friary

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

North Kerry
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