The Ring of Kerry begins and ends at The Lake Hotel
Directions for The Ring of Kerry Day Trip
Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh beach are glorious beaches worth a stop and a walk or at least a picture.
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 some photos.
Cahersiveen is next, at the bridge on the left you can see the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell ” The Great Liberator” and hero to the Irish people in the 1800’s. Across the road is a monument to 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 the 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 Cahersiveen on your right-hand side you can see Valentia Island which can be accessed from Cahersiveen 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 it is highly recommended to 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 breathtaking 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 into the Fishermans Bar at the Butler Arms Hotel for lunch, afterwards, 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 Statue Fort 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.
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 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 to 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 with native Red Deer and wild Eagles soaring over the Lakes.
More Information at Ring of Kerry.co