From County Wicklow we drove 3.5 hours across to Killarney in County Kerry where we spent the next 4 days. We stayed at the self-catering apartments of the The Malton Hotel, but had free use of the all the facilities of the hotel. The Malton was a lovely option as we were smack bang in the town centre of Killarney which gave us close access to The Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park. It was lovely to walk into town every day and night for shopping or a glass of wine and not have to worry about driving home.
We relaxed at our apartment on the first day and explored Killarney town.
On our second day we explored the Gap of Dunloe which is is a narrow mountain pass. When I say narrow I really mean it. There is literally only space for one car to pass at once and very little space to pull off. The Gap is generally explored on trap and pony (horse and cart) which is what we were going to do. But I’m an early bird and had dragged everyone out of bed at the crack of dawn so I could get started on the day. We arrived there super early and being out of season there were no one around. So we decided we would drive the Gap ourselves. The scenery was magnificent and I’m glad we managed to drive it ourselves which meant we could stop for photos whenever we wanted!
The second part of our day was spent in exploring Muckross House which is based in the Killarney National Park. This time we did take a trap and pony! Katie the Cobb was a great tour guide, although a bit unfit (it wasn’t in-season so she wasn’t used to hauling people through the park yet!)
On our third day in Kerry we decided to take a drive to the coastal peninsula of Portmagee, which is where Skellig Michael is located. Skellig Michael served as a filming location for the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will also be used in the next Star Wars film. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a boat to the island as it was out of season. Below are some pictures of Portmagee itself as well as the Kerry Cliffs.
On our fourth and final day in County Kerry we visited the famous Blarney Castle. When travelling I usually try and avoid very touristy areas because one usually gets a better feel for a country by heading off the beaten path, but in this case Blarney Castle is well worth it! The grounds are just magnificent and one can really spend a whole day exploring the vast gardens (which even has a Poison Garden containing specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy!), the castle itself and the Blarney House which also sits in the grounds of the Blarney Castle.
Next time I’m in Ireland I’ll definitely spend more time exploring County Kerry as I hear that the coastal parts of this County are truly spectacular! Next stop: County Galway and Connemara National Park!