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How is the drive between Kenmare and Killarney Ireland?

How is the drive between Kenmare and Killarney Ireland?

Jan 17th, 2005, 07:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 223
How is the drive between Kenmare and Killarney Ireland?

We'll be bringing our two teens to Ireland in June and I'm torn between staying in Kenmare or Killarney when we're in Kerry. We can stay between 2 and 4 nights depending how I adjust the rest of the itinerary.

The town of Kenmare itself sounds more appealing (less touristy) to us, but many of the attractions we want to see are closer to Killarney, such as the National Forest. Don't want to feel we are in the car too much. We don't plan to drive the Ring of Kerry, but will stay in Dingle two or three nights so will drive that peninsula.

Other stops on the 11 day trip include Cashel, Dulbin and possibly Doolin (might skip Doolin and go straight from Shannon to Killarney for first few nights, then to Dingle, then to Cashel and lastly Dulbin for our flight home.)

I've read some really negative thiings about Killarney town itself, but the surrounding area sounds so beautiful and with so much to do?

Any opinions? I posted a similar question last week, but didn't get much reply.

bucky is offline  
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Killarney is Ireland`s largest tourist centre outside of Dublin.It has been in business for 250 years and was the last family holiday for Queen Victoria of England before her husband died later in 1861.The town is full of hotels and B and Bs as well as a wide range of shopping facilities aimed at tourists.
People do not travel from all over the world to Killarney to see the town but to see the beauty of the surrounding countryside.Places to see include Killarney National Park (on the road to Kenmare),The Gap of Dunloe and The Ring of Kerry which is the name of the road from Killarney to Killorgin to Cahirciveen to Kenmare and back to Killarney -over 100 miles,most of it really beautiful. www.derostours.com covers some of the local tours.
This year there is a celebration of 250 years of serving the visitors at www.killarney250.com.The teens might enjoy a trip to Skellig Rock near the Ring of Kerry- a day trip.Another good trip is the one through the Gap of Dunloe and down through the three lakes in a small boat.Enjoy a meal in Muckross House in the National Park and perhaps visit the traditional farm nearby.
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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Hi bucky:

I'm a big fan of Kenmare and I do find Killarney to be a bit crazy, espe. in the summer months. It should be noted that I like a much quieter place. There is certainly a lot to do in Killarney and it might be a bit more interesting for the teens. Killarney sould it's sould to torism over 100 years ago and you will certainly find lots of tacky plastic leprochaun shops and made for tourist music nights as you sit at long picnic tables. I certainly think you can have fun there though and you might be able to find some out of the way places. It will likely be pretty crowded.

As far as staying in Kenmare, I like the fact that your have equal access to Beara and Iveragh. The drive to Killarney is about 45-60 mins as I remember and very scenic so it's certainly worth the drive. Kenmare is one of my favorite Irish towns and I just like the feel. I'll go back again and again.

I hope this helps a little bit.

wojazz3 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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We stayed in Kenmare in October last year and loved the location. It's a very pretty, quaint little town that doesn't feel like a tourist trap. We didn't spend any time in Killarney so I can't compare the two, but from what I've read and heard from other travelers, Killarny doesn't come close to the charm of Kenmare. We drove to the National Forest and lakes from Kenmare and found it an easy, scenic drive. Torc Waterfall is beautiful and Muckross House is worth a visit too.

If you are going to be staying in the Kenmare area for more than 2 nights, I would recommend driving at least part of the Ring of Kerry (we did the Dingle peninsula too). We set off from Kenmare and drove the southern part of the Ring (clockwise direction) to the Skelling Ring. This is the best part of the ROK with splendid views over the Skellig Islands and because the roads are very narrow, no tour buses are allowed here. Luckily, being October and a Sunday, we only saw one tour bus on the entire ROK. (We set off early too -- just after 8am).
california_claire is offline  
Jan 17th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Kenmare is very pretty. We travel shoulder season generally, and Killarney isn't bad in the spring or fall, crowds wise. Still hopping, but not bad. We chose it as it was so close to the park, etc. But in July, I could see it getting swamped with people. As Ardfert said, it's got a lot of infrastructure, so there has to be a horde of people there to fill all those B&Bs and hotels.

I think in the main season, I'd pick Kenmare. It's about 20 miles down the road from Killarney (although the park, the Torq waterfall, etc are actually south of Killarney town). The road isn't large though and there will undoubtedly be some traffic to sort through to get close to the attractions.
Clifton is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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My wife & I stayed in Kenmare last October for 3 nights and loved it. We drove through Killarney to get there, and we commented at the time that we hoped Kenmare would be more charming than Killarney appeared to be. It was, to the nth degree. We are currently planning to win the lottery and retire to Kenmare.

Like California Claire, we easily drove from Kenmare to Killarney National Forest, perhaps 30 minutes of relatively slow driving. And Bill is right on the money about Kenmare being so convenient to the peninsulas to the east--one of our favorite 1/2 day trips was driving from Kenmare to Glengariff & back.

Also, I second California Claire's suggestion of driving part of the Ring of Kerry. We did a little loop, clockwise from Kenmare, getting as far south as Sneem (great lunch at the Blue Bull). We called our loop *The Ring of Sneem*
beach_dweller is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Thanks, all. I have decided on Kenmare. That's where I really wanted to go all along, it's just that Pat Preston strongly encouaraged me to stay in Killarney on her website. Because we are traveling with teens, she felt it would be more convenient and fun for them. But I think they would enjoy either place and I know my husband and I would prefer Kenmare based on your descriptions. It sounds lovely. Can't wait to go! I think we are going to stay at the Lodge. I emailed shelburne lodge as well but they haven't replied.
bucky is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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hello - I stayed in Kenmare for two nights this past June. I can strongly recommend Annagry House B&B if you are looking for a place to stay. www.annagryhouse.com. Have a great trip!
acubsfan34 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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I am sure almost anywhere you stay in Kenmare will be fine. We loved the Shelburne Lodge--excellent owners, great house with lots of history and lots of antique furniture & artwork. It's about a 5-7 minute walk into the heart of town (The Lodge looked nice too; we passed it on our way to and from town, as it is on the same street as Shelburne Lodge).
beach_dweller is offline  

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