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Killarney

Country
Ireland
State
Kerry
City
Killarney
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Killarney (Cill Airne, "Church of the Sloe") lies near the coast in the southwest corner of Ireland. Nearby lie the well-known Killarney Lakes.

The beauty of the surrounding area and the wide range of recreation and leisure activities it offers make Killarney one of Ireland's most popular tourist centers. Once a typical little country town but now largely given over to the tourist trade, Killarney itself has little in the way of sights.

The Roman Catholic cathedral, St Mary's (by Pugin, 1855) and the Protestant parish church, also St Mary's, are both in Early English style.

Opposite the Franciscan church (1860), near the station, stands a monument to the "four poets of Kerry" (17th and 18th C.): Pierce Ferriter (d. 1653), Geoffrey O'Donoughue (d. 1677), Aodhagan O'Rahilly (d. 1728) and Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan (d. 1784).



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How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport, in Kerry, offers frequent connections to Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool and London Stansted. International services include flights to Frankfurt, Germany and Lorient in Brittany, France. Kerry Airport is a 15-minute drive by shuttle bus or hire car from Killarney.

By Ferry

The nearest port to Killarney is Cork, 54 miles away. There are daily car ferries from March to January going to Swansea in South Wales, taking 10 hours. There is also a weekly service from Roscoff in France, with duration of 12 hours.

In Killarney, you can cruise on Lough Lin in the comfort and safety of a modern covered and heated water coach. Travellers will enjoy unrestricted views of the Killarney National Park and can listen to a live commentary that will inform them of the history and folklore of the area. Sailings leave daily from Ross Castle.

By Car

From Dublin, take the N7 heading southwest to Limerick and then the N21 continuing to Killarney. From Cork, travellers should head for the N22 going west directly to Killarney.

By Bus

Regular bus services run from Cork and Dublin to Killarney. There is a limited bus schedule servicing Killarney and the immediate surroundings. The bus service around the Ring of Kerry only operates in summer and late spring.

Key places to visit
The Colleen Bawn Rock, Muckross Friary, Muckross House and Gardens, Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall


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Places to Visit

Torc Waterfall

A short walk up a steep, wide footpath leads to the Torc Waterfall. It has a fall of 60 feet and the footpath leading up to it offers excellent views over the Killarney lakes. This waterfall is formed by a river which flows from the Punch Bowl, high in the mountain, and provides a spectacular display after a heavy rainfall. Torc Mountain stands at the southern edge of the Middle Lake.

Ross Castle

Picturesquely located on the edge of Lough Leane, 15th century Ross Castle was an O'Donoghue chieftain stronghold. According to legend, the castle would never be conquered by land. In the 17th century, Cromwellian forces successfully attacked the castle by crossing the lake, fulfilling the prophecy. Modern tour guides offer substantial and interesting historical facts, and provide tours of the restored tower and 17th century dwelling house.

Muckross House and Gardens

This sprawling ivy-covered Victorian mansion was built for a wealthy landowner in 1843, and donated to the state in the 1930s. The house is now a folk museum which portrays the lifestyles of the gentry and the serving classes of the 19th century. On display are locally-made furniture, prints, art and needlework, strangely mixed with un-Irish items like Oriental screens, Chippendale chairs and Turkish carpets. The gardens of Muckross are also of great interest to visitors. Rich in Rhododendron and Azaleas during season, the garden is also famed for its extensive water garden. Visitors can wander to the on-site restaurant and workshops, where local artisans demonstrate bookbinding, weaving and pottery.

Muckross Friary

3mi/5km south of Killarney in a lovely woodland setting, we come to Muckross Friary (15th C.: National Monument), one of the best-preserved Franciscan abbeys in Ireland. The church, with a massive central tower, contains a number of tombs. The very beautiful cloister is surrounded by arcading in different architectural styles, and in the center is a huge yew (a tree frequently found in monasteries, since it provided good wood for carving). Three flights of steps lead to the monastery rooms on the upper floor.

The Colleen Bawn Rock

Some 30 minutes or so drive from Muckross House, on a right and then left bend, you encounter a most beautiful little beach looking out onto Muckross Lake and across to Dinis Cottage. Meanwhile, just a stones throw from the beach lies a small but most striking rocky island, perhaps the most famous piece of limestone in Killarney, the Colleen Bawn Rock. The story around the naming of this rock is interesting, with its basis being in fact, but its fame derived from fiction.

Right Time to Visit

March - August

Temperature

July - August -> 19(°C) - Summer
January - February -> 2(°C) - Spring


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