Explore Kenmare - Kenmare
Kenmare is a small town huddled between the mountains of Cork and Kerry in the West of Ireland. It is found along the Wild Atlantic Way one of the most scenic, wildest, and most captivating coastal drives in the world. This charming picturesque town dates back to 1670 when it was established by Sir William Perry, it is an excellent example of a planned town and one of the most idyllic places in Ireland. Kenmare is surrounded by natural beauty with the wild beauty of the mountains, the great bay and the wooded Roughty Valley, it is splendid setting. It also an excellent base for exploring the natural beauty of the south west of Ireland.
The town has evolved over the years into the beautiful and vibrant town it is today, home to old pubs, craft shops and restaurants. It is certainly one of prettiest towns in Ireland and must be one of the most photographed towns in Europe. The Courthouse is home to the Heritage Centre, this is where the history of Kenmare is displayed. The town library is one of the Carnegie Libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie, it dates back to 1918. It is now home to the Carnegie Arts Centre and theatre. The Holy Cross Church was consecrated in 1864. Killowen Church of Ireland dates back to 1814 and was constructed in a Georgian Gothic Revival style. The Old Market House is a three storey Classical style building, it was designed by the renowned English architect Sir Charles Barry. Cromwell's Bridge is believed to date back to the 11th century. Our Lady's Well is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, although popular with visitors, on the 15th August each year a special pilgrimage takes place that draws large crowds of devotees. Kenmare Lace was established by the convent and church in 1864 to help young girls learn a trade and earn a wage, at its height it produced some of the finest lace around at this time and received many awards, the industry declined in the early 1900's but, the lace room can still be visited today with displays of modern and antique lace on show.
There is a prehistoric stone ring that indicates a settlement here thousands of years ago, it is one of the biggest stone circles in this region of the country. It consists of fifteen stones around the circumference with a boulder dolmen in the centre. These can be seen at The Boanne Heritage Park. Molly Gallivan's Cottage and Farm allows visitors to experience the very rudimentary lifestyle in rural Ireland prior to electricity.
The natural beauty provides a host of outdoor pursuits, with cycling, golfing, horse-riding, water activities and much more on offer. Visitors wil not be short on things to do or see whilst here.
Outside of the town there is much for visitors to explore, with easy access to both the Beara and Iveragh peninsulas there are plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking amongst the many routes. Visitors can immerse themselves in acres of rolling hills and rugged mountains. There are guided walks of various lengths and difficulty, most are not sign posted so it is necessary to be able to read a map. There are also lovely coastal walks too.
Salmon and trout fishing are popular here in the lakes and rivers that surround the town. There are Deep Sea fishing trips available from Kenmare Pier. Take a Safari Cruise where visitors can explore the natural wonders of Kenmare Bay, see a range of sights, from the common seals who come here to birth to the Arctic terns who travel thousand of miles to lay eggs here. It is an area rich in marine and sea-life.
Dining is a real delight here, the town is well known for its fabulous food, there is a great selection of smart restaurants, cafes and bars that cater to all tastes and budgets. Sea food is a speciality here and you will certainly be getting some of the finest and freshest around, visitors will have to travel far afield to find anything that compares. Kenmare is also well known for its friendly traditional pubs with many hosting live music especially in the summer months.
Kenmare is not only one of the prettiest places around, it is also home to the most friendliest and accommodating people anywhere in the world. They will happily tell you the history of the area, share their stories and advise on what to see and where to go. The pace of life here is simpler and slower so visitors can really relax and chill out.