Ring of Kerry or Ring of Beara?

Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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Ring of Kerry or Ring of Beara?

Hi,
I will be going to ireland with my travel partner in Sept. and after reading about both peninsulas am trying to decide which one visit. We have a rental and will be driving. Starting in Dublin (2 days). Then on to Cobh briefly and into Kinsale. After this I am unsure.
I always hear about the Ring of Kerry and spectacular views but that much of it is inland and it long. If we drove Ring of Beara, we would vist Bantry, Glengariff, drive Beara Peninsula and into Kenmare. Otherwise, would visit Glengariff, tour Ring of Kerry. and end in Kenmare. Also, what are your opinions of Bantry and Glengariff? Should we skip one or the other?
Many thanks for the help!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Whatever you choose, it will be a long day. I like both the Ring of Kerry and Beara Peninsula but in your case I think I would opt for a stop in Bantry -- unremarkable town but beautiful bay. Bantry House and Gardens are worth a tour. Be sure to go up the stairs in the garden for spectacular views of Bantry Bay. If you have good weather you might take a boat ride from Glengarriff to Illnacullin Gardens on Garinish Island. After that see how much time you have left. You could always do just part of Beara and cut through at Healy Pass.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 12:55 AM
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I've done both and prefer the Beara. The Ring of Kerry is just a queue of tourist traffic with faily ordinary views in the main. Dingle/Slea Head are better, and if approached via the Conor Pass they are spectacular. And the Beara and Bantry Bay approached via Turner's Rock Tunnel has a mood of its own. Glengariff is a pleasant town with some good Irish-music pubs.

Coming up from Glengariff after leaving there in the early morning to continue toward Cork or Blarney, a short detour to Gouganne Barra is a sight that will stay in your memory forever. Possibly weather-dependent, but on a good day it's worth the detour even if your ultimate destination is southeast toSkibbereen rather than northeast to Cork.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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You've received good advice here. Bantry Bay is beautiful. I was sorry not to make the boat ride out to the island garden. The pass near Glengariff was spectacular.

We drove from Kenmare to Sneem then turned around. We also drove Kenmare to Killarney to Dingle. I don't think we missed a lot in not going completely around the Ring of Kerry.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Hi we did Ireland August 2004. For us ROK was awesome with detour onto the Skellig Ring.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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The Beara was incredible. The ROK was very busy and yes, it was beautiful but I was more impressed with the Beara. Very little traffic and the roads keep getting smaller and smaller. I second the vote for Gougane Barra- it is lush and wet and wonderful. Plus there is an award winning thatched toilet there. How could you pass that up?
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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Thank you all so much for the great advice. We are traveling from Dubin on morning day 3 to see Rock of Cashel and cahir castle and then down to Kinsale. day4 We were going to spend a few hours Kinsale and then to Cobh for couple of hours. Would we be able to able to fit Gouganne Barra in to this day. Also, once in kenmare, how long does it take to see Lakes of Kilarney and Ntl. Park. I've been told by a friend who traveled the area last year that they didn't see much driving it as too much white-knuckling during drive and wondered if we'd be better off rentng bicyles.
I think I am leaning toward Beara Peninsula. Thank you all again for the helpful advice.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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We spent 2 days in Kinsale last year, and I could have stayed longer! We never made it to Cobh, were told it was missable.

Driving is a little scary, but let me suggest that you upgrade to a good automatic car. We upgraded to a BMW 5 series, and not only had lots of room but also had a substantial car around us! (especially the day we ran into a ditch on Valencia Island!)
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 02:55 AM
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We did both ROK and Beara last year. If I could only do one, I'd choose Beara for the same reasons mentioned by previous posters.
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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To Leona
I am with you on automatic! I can drive manual so orig. considered renting a stick but the thought of shifting lefty while trying to manage narrow roads and staying on left seemed too much to manage. We rented an economy car--Nissan Micra, it's supposed to be pretty roomy inside for it's class. I figured smaller the better so I have less of a possibility of grinding the left-side door to nothing.
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