Breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures on Ireland’s beautiful west coast 

With its dramatic mountain backdrop and charming village feel, Kenmare in County Kerry is an ideal spot for discovering authentic Ireland. Explore ancient historic sites, soak up some of the country’s most spectacular countryside in nearby Killarney – then kick back with a pint in one of the area’s many lively traditional pubs. 

Things to Do

Killarney National Park is a treasure trove of biking and hiking trails, many of which link up to the Beara and Kerry Ways. If you’d rather get out on the water, kayak in the park’s clear lakes, or even paddle out to remote Innisfallen Island. Little ones will love spotting the resident seals playing in the still waters of Kenmare Bay. 

With an impressive roll call of places steeped in Celtic myths and Anglo-Irish culture, history buffs are spoilt for choice here. Don’t miss the crumbling (yet imposing) Ross Castle, which towers over the lake. There’s also Kenmare Stone Circle, thought to date from the Bronze Age. For a taste of life before cars, take a horse-drawn carriage through Killarney National Park. 

After testing your legs on a windy mountaintop, there’s nothing better than arriving in one of Kenmare or Killarney’s atmospheric pubs. Order a pint of Guinness at the bar. Then do as the locals do and wait for a traditional music “session” to get going. Generally, they start later in the evening – you’ll know one has begun when a fiddle strikes up, or you hear the stirring beat of a bodhrán (Irish drum).

Top Tip from SLH

Take in some of the region’s most celebrated panoramas on a drive of the Ring of Kerry – and make sure to stop for photos at Ladies View and Moll’s Gap.