The Ring of Kerry begins and ends at the Lake Hotel
To travel the full Ring of Kerry properly you will need a full day leaving Killarney at around 10 am and returning around 6 pm.
Directions for The Ring of Kerry day trip
More information on the Ring of Kerry …… Ringofkerry.co
Leaving the Lake Hotel in Killarney turn left 1.5 miles to Killarney, veer left for the Killorglin road, pass Killarney Golf Club on your left ( 1.5 miles ). This is the road to Killorglin. Killorglin is famous for Puck Fair, a Pagan festival dating back 3000 years (10 / 11 and 12th August each year).
Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh beach
Further on you will also pass the Red Fox Inn and Traditional Bog Village just before Glenbeigh, on the other side of Glenbeigh there is a beautiful beach at Rossbeigh, 3 miles of sandy beach, head back to the N70 to Kells.
From the mountain stage there is a great view of Dingle Bay with the Blasket Islands out to sea, take some time to stop and get in some photos.
Cahersiveen is next, at the bridge on the left you can see the birth place of Daniel O’Connell ” The Great Liberator” and hero to the Irish people in the 1800’s. Across the road is a monument for Kerry’s most famous Son, Saint Brendan (Brandon) or “Brendan the Navigator” it is said he discovered America 1000 years before Columbus.
Cahersiveen is also home of two stone forts dating back to the 9th.Century, all visitor information can be found at the tower like building, a refurbished R.I.C barracks near the town center. It is thought that this building was to be built in Asia and someone got the plans crossed, you will understand when you see it.
You can also find Ballycabbery Castle (ruin) once a fortress to The McCarthy Mór (as that at Castlelough beside the Lake Hotel ).
Leaving Caherciveen on your right hand side you can see VALENTIA ISLAND which can be accessed from Caherciveen by a car ferry at Renard Pier and exit the Island at the bridge in PORTMAGEE on the other side of Valentia.
Valentia was where the first transatlantic cable was laid to America in 1857, you can also visit the Slate Quarry and the Lighthouse, there are many remains of old structures including Stone (Ring) Forts and Churches. Out to sea you can see The Skellig Rocks, 700 feet out of the Atlantic Ocean, these were lived on by monks as a monastery from the 5th Century, you can visit the rocks by boat and is highly recommended so bring a packed lunch from the Lake Hotel.
You now have an option to take the “Skellig Ring” and visit Saint Finians Bay, it is a narrow road but worth it for the breath taking scenery and natural rugged coastline. Go to Ballinskelligs and then head on to Waterville.
Heading on to Waterville turn right at the church and take the coast road into Waterville. In Waterville why not drop in to the Fishermans Bar at the Butler Arms Hotel for lunch, after lunch walk the beach to stretch your legs, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley McClaine, Walt Disney, Tiger Woods, Payne Stuart and Michael Jordan have all visited here.
Next you travel on one mile to the Village along where Charlie Chaplin used to walk every morning and park on the right side to take a walk on the promenade. You can visit Charlie Chaplin’s statue too. Leaving Waterville you head up and over the mountains at COOMAKISTA PASS, park here and enjoy the views, to the north Ballinskelligs Bay and to the south Derrynane and Castlecove, in the far distance you can see County Cork.
If it is a nice day go to Derrynane, there is a beautiful beach here. You can also visit Daniel O’Connell’s home which is now a museum. Time stands still at Derrynane so enjoy the moment!
After Caherdaniel head for STAIGUE FORT (2500 years old) and experience the way it was, 2500 years ago for the Celt’s. SNEEM home of the legendary CASEY brothers, The New York times wrote – “The Toughest Family That Ever Lived”. Steve Casey was the undisputed world wrestling champion for more than ten years, when wrestling was wrestling.
Joe Louis refused many offers from Steve Casey as he feared this Irish man who could box as well as wrestle, there is a life size statue of Steve (the Crusher) Casey on the left as you leave Sneem. It is said his hands were 15 inches wide from the point of his thumb to the point of his little finger.
To complete the Ring of Kerry you head to Kenmare next or turn left and head for Molls Gap, here you will have a good view of the Mountains of Kerry, left at Molls Gap and you will see lakes on your left with the Black Valley and the Head of the Gap (the Gap of Dunloe) in the distance.
Back to Killarney
At Ladies View you can see The Lake Hotel, that white building in the distance and as you descend you can see the Three Lakes of Killarney. You will pass the Upper Lake and the Middle Lake before you get to Torc Waterfall on your right and then on to Muckross House and Gardens, well worth a visit and stretch those legs after a great day.
All that is left is, back to the ” Lake ” and shower / bath / or relax in the outdoor lakeside Jacuzzi followed by a relaxing drink in the Devil’s Punchbowl Bar overlooking the floodlit Castle and lake, Native Red Deer and Wild Eagles soaring over the Lakes.