After a few busy days traveling I was ready for a relaxing day exploring Killarney, Ireland. Killarney is a small town in the southwest of Ireland and is one of the stops on the Ring of Kerry, which is a scenic driving route.
To start my relaxing day I went for a hike around Killarney National park to relax and enjoy some time in nature. For those of you who are short on time, or aren’t into hiking, you can park your car (or have a taxi drop you off) right at the entrance of the Torc Waterfall parking lot. From the parking lot, there is a 5 minute flat walk to the waterfall.
The 70 foot waterfall is beautiful, and a great photo spot. If you feel like exploring further there are plenty of walking paths that will take you around the loch or surrounding forests.
If you are lucky while exploring the Killarney National Park you might come across the many deer in the park, which includes Ireland’s only remaining wild herd of native deer. After a bit of searching, I ended up finding some directly across the road from Muckross House. It was absolutely spectacular to see so many deer at once!
Muckross House has a rich history, the 60 room Tudor style home originally owned by Arthur Herbert and Mary Balfour, was stayed at by Queen Victoria when she visited in 1850. Unfortunately, the preparations for Queen Victoria’s visit led to Herbert’s family having financial difficulties, which let the house being sold in 1899 to Lord Ardilaun (a member of the Guinness family), and later in 1910, it was told to Bowers Bourn.
Unfortunately, inside Muckross House, you are unable to take photographs, but the interior looks like a wealthy hunting lodge with many Taxidermy heads on the wall and lush furnishings. Similar to the popular TV show, Downton Abbey, when touring Muckross House you’ll have the opportunity to see where the rooms used by the wealthy people who lived at Muckross House, the room Queen Victoria stayed in, and in sharp contrast the servants quarters and kitchen in the basement.
Ladies View & Ring Of Kerry
Above is a photograph of the narrow, windy roads that you get to zoom past at 100 km/h or 62 m/h on the Ring of Kerry. I wouldn’t suggest driving a car on these roads unless you have become driving in Ireland, and on the left-hand side of the roads around the National park and Killarney often have sharp turns with little viewability. That being said, after spending several days driving in Ireland I have to say that I found the road exhilarating, and the views spectacular. It is the type of road where you want a motorcycle or fast car and marvel at the rugged landscape viewable on one of the most beautiful roads in Ireland. For those who don’t wish to drive, around Muckross House, Torc Waterfalls and in town you can hire a horse carriage to bring you around to see the views instead.
Along the road, you’ll a bright yellow sign that says Leprechaun Crossing, and it makes the perfect spot to park your car in one of the parking spots and cross the street to see Ladies View. Ladies View is a lookout point on the Ring of Kerry that was named by Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting during their visit. The beautiful lookout point will give you the perfect view of Killarney National Park.
Close to the town of Killarney is Ross Castle, a 15th century tower that was built on the edge of Lough Leanne. Prior to heading back to Killarney to get dinner after spending the entire day exploring sights on the Ring of Kerry I briefly stopped to see the exterior of the castle. For those interested in a unique place to stay in Killarney, Ross Castle also is a B&B.
ESPA AT The Europe
If you have been reading my blog for a few months now you might have come to realize I have a deep love of hot tubs and large bath tubs as I find soaking in hot water to be ultra relaxing. So if you are like myself, and enjoy soaking your muscles as a way to pamper yourself and ease sore muscles, I strongly suggest ending your day by visiting the ESPA spa at The Europe Hotel. The ESPA spa is my favorite place in Killarney as you can soak in the hot tubs with the perfect view of Loch Leane and Killarney National Park.