Kenmare-Kinsale (Ireland) route

Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Kenmare-Kinsale (Ireland) route

My latest quandry is about getting from Kenmare to Kinsale in one day. I thought about taking the inland (and more direct) route through Cork and arriving from the north, but driving along the coast (via Skibereen) and coming in from the south would be nice too. I would like to get into Kinsale no later than 5pm so that my B&B hosts aren't waiting around for me to show up. I can leave Kenmare as early as need be (be gentle on me, though, up before dawn probably won't happen!) I estimate that the direct route would be about 2.5-3 hours while the coastal route would be closer to 5? I've heard that the Beara Peninsula is lovely, but I'm wondering if it's worth seeing if it's only going to be a drive-by with a few intermittant stops. I have most of the day to do it, so should I take the 'long way' or 'short way'?
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I would definitely recommend the coastal route,although be warned the beauty just can't be passed up. One thought would be to leave Kenmare onto the Beara Pen, than cut over the Healy Pass, a must see. Then, You could either dabble on Sheep's Head and Mizen or head to Baltimore for lunch. This spot is a nice place to take a break and not too far off the main road to Skibbereen. It sits right on a small harbor with restaurants/pubs looking out over the water and Sherkin Island. There are many routes to Kinsale below Skib, and most are equally as beautiful. I was fortunate enough to have a good friend tour me around the many villages. If time isn't a factor, than you should travel the coast. Just pick a few places to stop and don't over do it, which is difficult to do in Ireland. Have fun.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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By all means take the coastal route. Even with a few stops (and you'll want to stop often), you can make the drive in five hours. Add another hour (or more) if you decide to go via Healy Pass.

A year ago in May my wife and I and our adult daughter flew from London to Cork, picked up our rental car (mid afternoon), and headed for Kenmare on the coastal route. We missed a turn at Glengarriff that would have kept us on the N71 to Kenmare. We didn't realize what had happened until we got to Adrigole. Rather than double back, we drove over Healy Pass to Lauragh and then to Kenmare. It was dark before we got to the top of the pass so we missed what would have been spectacular views. We met no other cars, only sheep. Getting lost on our first day in Ireland and driving a very narrow mountain road after dark turned out to be a delightful experience and gave us much to talk about for a long time. BTW, if we hadn't had a detailed road map, we would have turned around at Adrigole. With the map, we weren't at all nervous about heading over the pass in the dark. It didn't hurt, of course, that we used to live in Montana and had driven forest service roads in the mountains for years.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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drive from kenmare to Glengariff then to Bantry Bay them down to Skibbereen making sure you also take in Leap and you need to esnure you are on the coastal road worth stopping for 10 minute streatch of the legs in Leap.The drive to Baltimore, and follow the coastal roads to Kinsale with a stop in Clonakilty on the way to Kinsale.
By driving fron Kemare to Glengariff you cut out some of the coast. This means it will not take as long if you were to drive right down to the coast from Kemanre and you miss The peninsula with Beara, Sheeps head and Mitzen point but I think it would be a good comprimise. Use the web link to workout how much driving time and plan it. If you think you have enough time then follow the whole of the cork coast but you should not miss our Glengariff and Bantry Bay and the drive from Kenmare to these places is a really beautiful scenic drive, recommeded by a few guide books. We have done it a few times.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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I forgot to add you mst stop at union Hall even if it just for a confot break and to stetch the legs it is a charming place. Infact the problem is first time you do that coastal route you will want to stop off a few times to take photos.
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