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Kenmare or Dingle best base for visiting Killarney?

Kenmare or Dingle best base for visiting Killarney?

Old Jan 4th, 2008, 08:04 AM
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Kenmare or Dingle best base for visiting Killarney?

We had planned on visiting Killarney from Kenmare, but somehow there aren't enough days for all we want to do. And I thought 3 weeks would be a lot!

What are your thoughts on visiting Killarney from Dingle?

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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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I wouldn't, but some people would. For me, it's too long a drive for a day trip (took us two hours from Killarney to Kenmare... now, that's for our second day driving in Ireland and getting a bit lost a time or two, but still). So that's four hours on the road in one day. What are you planning to do in Killarney? The town itself isn't that exciting; the main attraction is the national park. If you plan on seeing as much of that as possible, I'd stay in Killarney or Kenmare for a couple of nights instead of Dingle. The main factors are probably a) how much you dislike moving hotels vs. how long you can take in the car, and b) what time of year you're going and how comfortable you are driving in the dark (for example, in June, you'd have daylight till 10:00 or so, so lots of time to do a very full day; in the winter, not so much).
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Agree with the above. I didn't find Killarney particularly enjoyable, but the park is stunning. We stayed in Kenmare and drove through the park. It's a very slow drive (lots of twists and turns) so it's better to take your time. I would split up the time and spend a few nights in Kenmare and then go to Dingle if you are up to it.

Tracy
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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It sure would help to know your whole schedule. When you pull a tiny piece of the trip out it is not in context to anything else. Where will you be before and after? How many days will you have in Kenmare or Dingle? Is it either/or? Or both Kenmare and Dingle? What do you expect to do in Killarney? There are just so many variables to consider.

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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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I think the best option is to tour killarney area on your way from kenmare to dingle (or dingle to kenmare depending on direction you are traveling).

The best part (in my opinion) is the section of ROK from kenmare, thru moll's gap, past ladies' view, thru Killarney National Park. You would have time to visit Muckross and/or Ross Castle then go on your way.

I agree with above that Killarney, the town, is not a must stop...it is the surrounding area that is the attraction.
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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IrishEyes, we will be traveling counterclockwise around the island. Before Dingle we would hopefully be near Cliffs of Moher for a night or two, and then 1 night at Echo Lodge near Adare if I can fit it in.

Have done some more reading and I agree that visiting Killarney from Dingle doesn't make sense.

We like to drive, and we usually do some walking and light hiking. Muckross House & Gardens will be of interest to us also. We usually seem to take longer to do things than other people, we like to linger and explore.

If I want to do both Dingle and Killarney area, maybe I could shave a day off by staying in Killarney instead of "commuting" from Kenmare?

Killarney town is not of particular interest to us, but would be the most convienent to Muckross, the drives and the National Park.

Will Killarney be quieter in early October on week days?
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Old Jan 5th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I see no problem with doing Muckross House & Gardens and even Ross Castle (if open) on the drive from Dingle to Kenmare. If you wanted to do other things in the vicinity of Killarney (like the Gap of Dunloe tour) perhaps you should consider staying in Killarney instead of Kenmare (although Kenmare is delightful).

A weekday in Oct will most likely be very quiet in Killarney unless there is a special event on (most of them are on weekends anyway).

Ideally I would spend two nights in Dingle and three in Killarney or Kenmare. Are you playing with your itinerary at this point?

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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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Yes I am still playing with the itinerary..........over and over again!

We should have 6 days for Dingle and Killarney or Kenmare.

I'm leaning towards 3 nights in Dingle and 3 nights in Killarney with a trip down to Kenmare and maybe around the ROK, or at least a partial drive of the ROK.

How long would the whole drive take around the ROK from Killarney?
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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It can take the whole day, easily, especially if you like stopping at beautiful spots. I've done it twice, and each time it took longer than I thought. The last time we were unfortunately behind hundreds of bikers in a marathon race, and passing them over and over and over again was quite harrowing.

I would highly recommend doing the ROK while staying nearby. The first time was driving a couple hours to and from Kilkenny, and we were completely bushed when we got back (near midnight)
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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I think we may stay in a self catering cottage in Killarney. That way we can get an early start without having to sit at a breakfast until 9 or so, and maybe drive some of the ROK if we have the time and weather.

Is either the southern part of the ROK ( down to Kenmare and then clockwise) or the northern part (up to Kilorgin and then counterclockwise) more scenic?
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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I think most people recommend going in a counter clockwise direction, both for scenic and traffic reasons. That is what we have done twice. It certainly was scenic and there certainly was traffic, once in July and once in early May.
 
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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Sorry, I didn't explain myself very well ~ if we only have time to do part of it, which way is the most scenic, the northern part or the southern part?
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I thought you might have meant that but guessed wrong. I prefer the northern route but that is very subjective. We enjoyed looking across at the Dingle peninsula.
 
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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Kenmare is considered to be on the ROK so you could go there and back to Killarney. Are you thinking of doing more of it like to either Caherciveen or Waterville? If you are going to do that were you then planning on turning around and driving back the way you came? Have you looked at a map? Once you get halfway around you either turn around and cover the same road again or contine right around the loop. There is also a very small road through the center but that would involve a whole lot more time and much getting lost.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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My thought was if we got up early and did the southern route, we would have the option from Kenmare of heading towards Sneem and Waterville or to the Beara Peninsula?

The northern route ~ viamichelin says it is 70 km or 1 hr from Beaufort ( outside Killarney) to Waterville. So say 2 hrs. I thought an option from that area might be to see the Skellig Islands (IF the weather was good!)

So turning around might be an option, if we didn't make it all the way around. Wouldn't bother us as I know it's possible it might be raining one way and sunny the other!

And Lord knows, if it is a nice day with good weather my husband will see the R568 road from Sneem to Moll's Gap and want to drive back that way! He loves driving along back roads ( I drive, he sight sees!)
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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I find it very interesting how the advice from this board seeps into one's brain.........

So many people have talked about Kenmare, that I have finally decided we'll stay in Kenmare! We can drive through Killarney from Dingle as suggested, and then go back if we like, or do the ROK or Beara Peninsula or Skellig Islands.

I think we'll do self catering, Lime Tree Restaurant
O’Donnabhain’s have been recomended on another thread as places to eat.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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We opted to drive the Dingle Peninsula rather than the ROK, although we did stay in Kenmare for a night before driving to Dingle town. The drive is spectacular, and we were glad we zipped right by Killarney rather than stopping. The Dingle peninsula is so much fun to drive and we ended up staying 3 nights in Dingle town at the Tower View B & B, which we loved. By the way, this was last April, and there was very little traffic on the Dingle peninsula, as opposed to the ROK.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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When you say "see" the Skelligs do you mean take a boat trip out to them and climb to the top? Or do you mean to see them from shore of the peninsula you are driving on? If you actually want to land on Skellig Michael and see it that will take most of the day. Boats do not go if the sea is too choppy or if it is too windy. Very iffy to do unless you have more time available.

I prefer Beara and Healy Pass to ROK. It is a perfect day trip from Kenmare.

Most self catering is for a week: Sat to Sat. Some places have weekend or mid-week availabilities but usually not in high season.

If you like Italian Prego in Kenmare is good for pasta and pizza. Jam for lunch.

P.S. If you do the ROK there is no use turning around and taking the same road back. It will take just as long as continuing to complete the loop. Either do the whole thing or do Beara.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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Skellig is just a possibility. I realize the weather would have to be exceptional, especially since it will be early October. And I am not convinced I want to climb 670 steps or whatever it is!

I have actually found that several self catering are amenable to a 3 or 4 day stay at that time of year. Since we will be in Ireland 3 weeks, I really want a washer and dryer so I can make good on my promise to my husband to "pack light"

Beara is becoming high on my list. Maybe when we finish Beara we go over the pass of Keimaneigh towards Cork and stay at Ballymaloe just east of Cork? We want to go to Fota Arboretum. Is this do able in a day?

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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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wrenwood wrote: "Maybe when we finish Beara we go over the pass of Keimaneigh towards Cork and stay at Ballymaloe just east of Cork? We want to go to Fota Arboretum. Is this do able in a day?"

You can't go through Keinaneigh and not visit Gougane Barra -- it's just not right!
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