Explore Killarney - Killarney
Killarney town is situated on the shores of Lough Leane in County Kerry, in the south west of Ireland. It sits in a truly breath taking location with woodlands, waterfalls, lakes and the dramatic McGillycuddy's Reeks providing a stunning backdrop to the town.
It is a charming town that is vibrant and friendly, it has a nice assortment of craft and boutique shops, traditional pubs and smart gourmet restaurants. It has been drawing tourists for more than two hundred and fifty years and continues to remain a popular tourist destination. However, the history of the town can be dated back to the Bronze Age. It is home to disused copper mines dating back 5,000 years, eventually ceasing activity in the 19th century. Its natural beauty serves as a playground offering a wealth of amenities for outdoor pursuits, viistors can walk, hike, cycle, horse-ride, fish, kayak, sail and much more. There are ample activities as well as a wealth of history and heritage to explore.
The town is best seen by foot that way visitors can get a feel of the essence of this historic and vibrant town. Visitors can take a self-guided tour, ot their are guided tours where a professional guide will take you around pointing out all the points of interest along the way, they last about one hour fifteen minutes, are fun and revealing.
The 19th century St Mary's Cathedral is a splendid Gothic Revival church designed by the famous English Architect Augustus Welby Pugin. The light filled interior has a number of features including, the tall lancet windows, an impressive organ, whilst the exterior is rugged. The cathedral was consecrated in 1855 and renovated in the 1970's when much of its splendid plasterwork was destroyed.
Ross Castle stands proudly on the shores of Lough Leane, this 15th century fortress has a varied and interesting history. Much of the original structure remains including the curtain walls and two of the towers. The castle is decorated with 16th and 17th century furniture and allows visitors to see what life was like here. It makes for an interesting and enjoyable visit. There are also guided tours and the guides really bring the castle to life through its history, the past inhabitants and the many stories associated with the castle.
Killarney National Park was the first national park in Ireland, created in 1932, it consists of 27,000 acres and features more than 100 kilometres of lakes, mountains, castles and some of the most stunning scenery around. It is renowned for its native natural habitats and species, it is home to red deer, oakholly woods and yew woods. The National Visitor Centre can provide all the information visitors require including walking trails and all aspects of the park. Located on the grounds is the Victorian mansion Muckross House, it is an excellent example of a sympathicially restored stately home and illustrates the lifestyle of the landed gentry at this time, in stark contrasts to the downstairs basement where the servants worked. Also within the park are Muckross Gardens which are renowned for their beauty, different gardens and unusual collection of plants and shrubs. The adjoining garden centre contains a number of skilled craft workers who display traditional skills in the crafts of weaving, bookbinding and pottery. The Traditional Farm has preserved the actual farming methods in rural Ireland, in times gone by. Three individual working farms, see home the farmers and their families lived in simple conditions, see traditional farming methods and animals. Muckross Abbey dates back to 1448 when it was established as a Franciscan friary, today it is a well preserved ruin, it served as the burial ground for local chieftains in the 17th and 18th centuries as well as some notable people.
During the 7th century St Finan constructed a monastery on the enchanting island of Inisfallen in Lough Leane, and the area became a focal point for Christianity. Inisfallen is the largest of the thirty two islands on the lake. Remaining on this 21 acre island are ruins of the 12th century Augustian priory and a small 11th-12th century Romanesque church, being some of the most remarkable archaeological remains from this early Christian period. The island was a seat of learning and attracted many a scholar, the annals of Inisfallen were written here by the monks and are an important source of early Irish history, they span an incredible 300 years, and are stored in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. There are regular boat trips to the island from March until October.
Torc Waterfall is found about seven kilometres outside of the town, and are a landmark here, they are a short walk from the road and the climb is not too difficult. The waterfall is about 20 metres high and are best seen after a heavy rainfall when the water cascades down. There are nice views from the top of the Middle Lake.
Dining out is a real delight here, the restaurants here take considerable pride in sourcing seasonal and fresh local produce that is then used to create mouth-watering dishes that are found on the menus of the many fine restaurants, bistros and pubs here. You will not be disappointed in the food selection, deciding will be the problem.
In the evening and night time the town has an entirely different, the night owls come out to play, experience the fantastic nightlife, soak up the energetic atmosphere as you walk around, and sample the famous Irish entertainment and hospatality. Live music pours from many of the local pubs with trad Irish sessions being extremely popular, visitors are encouraged to join and it doesn't take long to be clapping along to the music.
Killarney is home to probably the most friendly, accommodating and enthusiastic people around. Their enthusiasm is infectious and visitors will revel in the beauty and experiences there are here.