Killarney Map and Tourist Information
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Renowned for its beauty, famed for the splendour of its scenery, KILLARNEY is one of the world's best-loved tourist spots. Killarney (Cill Airne - The Church of Sloes) became a magnificent town about 1750 when the local magnate, Lord Kenmare, developed the tourist business and four major roads were built to the outside world. The area still bears the marks of a group of houses huddled outside the demesne walls. The present population is about 9,000 and the main economic base is tourism. The town and area celebrated its 250th birthday in 2005 when Killarney 250 celebrations took place throughout the year.
Situated in the south-western corner of Ireland, with its three famous lakes reflecting the ever changing skies above the great mountain ranges, Killarney has been the inspiration of poets and
painters for many centuries, and now it is also a thriving commercial and tourist centre. Killarney offers a and varied range of hotels from the large and luxurious to the small and intimate. There are some excellent guesthouses, cosy farmhouses, friewidendly town and country homes, with self-catering accommodation in the most attractive locations with a total capacity to cater for almost 7,000 visitors. It is the ideal playground for the sporting enthusiast - you can fish, swim, golf, play tennis, ride a pony, paddle a canoe, or climb a mountain. For those who are interested in history and archaeology there are many outstanding items of interest to be seen. The wooded peninsula of Muckross separates the Lower from the Middle Lake sometimes called Muckross Lake. At the tip of the Muckross Peninsula is the quaint Bricken Bridge and Dinis Island further on with its sub-
tropical vegetation and views of the 'Meeting of the Waters'.
A narrow straight called the Long Range leads to the island-studded Upper Lake. Around these islands are luxuriant woods of oak, arbutus, holly and mountain ash, while beneath grows a profusion of fern and other plants. Added to the beauty of the three main lakes are many other lakes in the folds of the mountains, and the numerous picturesque cascades such as Torc Waterfall. Rising to the west of the Killarney valley are the peaks of MacGillycuddy's Reeks. These mountains beloved of the climber, including Carrauntuohill 3414 feet (1,040 metres), the highest peak in Ireland.
Aghadoe Hill - Only 4km (2.5 miles) from Killarney, off the main Killarney to Tralee road. The ruins of Aghadoe comprise the lower portion of a round tower, a castle and remains of a church, of which the oldest section - the nave - dates from the 7th century. Aghadoe Hill (120m /400ft.) affords what is perhaps the most comprehensive view of the Killarney district, with a wonderful panorama of the lakes and mountains.
Ogham Stones, Dunloe - The earliest writing in Ireland began probably around 300 AD and this we know from stones inscribed in the alphabet known as Ogham - called after Ogmiso, the Celtic god of writing. The alphabet is made up of sets of up to five strokes on, diagonally across or on either side of a central line - the central line begins the edge of a stone.
Siamsa T’re - The National Folk Theatre of Ireland - Founded in 1974, Siamsa T’re is the showcase for our Celtic culture through music, dance, storytelling and mime. Siamsa T’re is renowned nationally for its exciting performances and has presented this important aspect of Irish cultural life all over the world. The evening programmes commence at 8.30pm and advance reservation (Tel: 066-7123055) is recommended during the peak Summer season.
Kerry Poets Monument - Facing the Franciscan Friary is the statue of the 'Speir Bhean', i.e. Beautiful Woman. A personification of Ireland sculptured by Seamus Murphy and erected in 1940 to commemorate Kerry's four best known Gaelic poets. Pierce Ferriter, Aogan O'Rahilly, Geoffrey O'Donoghue, Eoghan Rua O'Sullivan.
Kate Kearney's Cottage - Discover Killarney at its mystical best. Travel by traditional vintage bus to Kate Kearney's cottage from O'Connors Pub. From here, if you're energetic, you can walk 11km (7 miles) to the shore of the Upper Lake at Gearhameen. If leisure is your desire, then relax instead in a pony and trap and enjoy the magnificent view en route. The Gap boats await to steer you through the Long Range to the famous Meeting of the Waters. Here you shoot the Rapids and go through Lough Leane to Ross
Castle. From here your transport awaits to take you back to Killarney. This is a truly memorable day-trip and is highly recommended. Rent-a-bike and travel by boat. Boat leaves at 11am from Ross Castle (Reen Pier). Booking necessary.
Killegy Church - 5km (3 miles) from Killarney off the main Killarney to Kenmare road. This is a small Church with a medium-pitched stone roof and a low bell tower of two stages. The building is an 18th century reconstruction of an earlier Church. Nearby on the Killarney to Kenmare road can be seen a large Celtic Cross.
Meeting Of The Waters - Old Weir Bridge & Dinis Cottage - 9km (5.5 miles) from Killarney on the Killarney to Kenmare road. This is the point where the waters from the Upper Lake reach the other two Lakes of Killarney, the Middle or Muckross Lake and Lough Leane. Here can be seen a wealth of luxuriant plants and shrubs. It is at the Old Weir Bridge that the boats shoot the rapids, on the wonderful Gap of Dunloe tours.
Innisfallen Island - Innisfallen Island is near the northern end of Lough Leane and about 1.5km from the shore off Ross Castle, in Killarney in County Kerry. An interesting visit may be made to Innisfallen an island of only 21 acres. Evergreens flourish all over the island and the holly is particularly luxuriant. A monastery was founded on Innisfallen in the 7th century and it became a seat of learning and it said that King Brian Boru studied there. On the island are the remains of the extensive 12th century Augustinian priory and a small 11th -12th century Romanesque church. The Annals of Innisfallen, a chronicle of world and Irish history in Irish and Latin (now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford), were compiled here at intervals to 1320 by a succession of 39 monastic scribes. Boat trips to the island operate from the Ross Castle area from Ross and Reen piers.
Loo Valley & Glengarriff - Leaving Killarney, take the Cork road along the banks of the River Flesk, passing on the way Killaha Castle, stronghold of the Irish Chieftain 'The O'Donoghue' of Glenflesk. Pass beneath the rugged cliffs of the Robbers' Glen, through Loo
Valley and on to Kilgarvan and then through Borlin Valley to Glengarriff. Boats operate from Glengarriff, from March to October, to Garnish Island 14.5 hectares (36 acres) laid out in Italian Gardens with rare and beautiful sub-tropical plants. The return journey to Killarney is over the mountains through the Healy Pass via Adrigole and on to Lauragh, Tuosist on to Kenmare and back to Killarney town. Alternatively the N71 road goes straight to Turner's Rock Tunnel to Kenmare and from there it goes over Moll's Gap back to Killarney.
Ladies View - 16km (10 miles) from Killarney on the Killarney to Kenmare road. This popular view may have derived its name because of the delight expressed by Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting on their visit to the spot over 100 years ago. From here you can get one of the best views of the Killarney valley.
Coolwood Children's Zoo & Wildlife Sanctuary. The sound of a dappling stream, boardwalks, exquisite birds and animals and a relaxing tearoom. 3 acres of childrens zoo, 50 acres of wildlife sanctuary, playground, coffee shop, forest walks located at Coolcaslagh off N22 Road to Cork.
Muckross Abbey - This is situated 5km (3 miles) from Killarney, off the Killarney to Kenmare road. The Friary of Muckross, popularly known as Muckross Abbey was founded for the Observantine Franciscans on the site of an earlier religious establishment in 1448 by Donal McCarthy, Chieftain of Desmond. Recently renovated, the ruin is in excellent condition and is open to visitors.
St Mary's Catholic Church, Killarney - Killarney is home to St Mary’s, a beautiful Gothic-style building that serves as the cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Kerry. Previously, St Brendan’s at Ardfert was the diocese’s cathedral. English architect Augustus Pugin, who worked on the iconic Palace of Westminster, designed St Mary’s with a rugged exterior and smooth, light-filled interior. The cathedral was consecrated in 1855 and renovated in the 1970s.
A World of Entertainment
Entertainment in Killarney is varied and offers something for everybody. The range available is quite large and even the most discerning visitor will find something to his liking. In fact, in a recent survey, conducted by failte Ireland (Irish Tourist Board), visitors expressed great satisfaction with the range of night entertainment offered. Further information is available from the Killarney Tourist Office, Beech Road, Killarney.
Walking & Cycling Trails
Old Boathouse Nature Trail - The shortest of all Killarney National Park's Nature Trails. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is located close to Muckross House and Gardens. It covers the Dundag Peninsula which offers and excellent panorama of the mountains and the middle lake.
Arthur Young's Walk - This is a nature trail for the most energetic. It is the longest nature trail - 4km in total, from the start of the demesne road to Dinis. It traverses fine natural yew-woods and oak woods frequented by Sika Deer, and meanders along an old road known to visitors 200 years ago, and passes the old copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula.
The Blue Pool Nature Trail - is Cloghereen Wood close to Muckross village goes through woodlands planted with a great variety of coniferous and deciduous trees and is inhabited by many birds and other animals. The trail goes around a small lake, a part of which is the beautiful Blue Pool after which the trail is named. The Trail is almost 2km long. A section of the trail is suitable for the visually impaired.
Nature Trails - Self guided nature trails are an excellent way for visitors to explore the National Park. There are three trails in the Killarney National Park, for each trail within the Park there is an attractive illustrated leaflet.
Ring of Kerry Cycle Route - The Ring of Kerry Route passes through some of the most beautiful countryside to be found in all of Ireland. The entire journey is signposted remember
that some sections of the route are high and exposed. Even in the summer months please take note of the weather forecast and take suitable clothing and supplies.
Kerry Way - is a long distance walking route (135miles/215km). See the Kerry Way Map.
Kate Kearney's Cottage & The Gap of Dunloe - The Gap of Dunloe is one of the most stunningly beautiful parts of County Kerry and indeed Ireland . Stretching through the MacGuillicuddy Reeks mountain range, this beautiful glacial valley simply must be experienced to be appreciated.
The Gap is of course famous for its jaunting cars, horse riding and ponymen, local families who’ve been catering to the masses flocking to the gap for over 100 years. Of course there’s a host of activities awaiting those who have a slightly more adventurous spirit. Walking, cycling hiking, rock climbing are all on offer. With three fine restaurants all catering to differing tastes, if you’ve worked up an appetite why not stop in for a bite.