Killarney's 10 Best Gems
~ Seductive Scenery and Stunning Heritage ~
Killarney House & Gardens
Killarney House and Gardens is a treasure of the Killarney National Park that is located on the doorstep of Killarney town centre. The House and Gardens offer a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the town. Its weaving pathways through carefully manicured gardens provide an oasis of calm. Much more than that, Killarney House is an ideal starting point for a journey exploring the wonders of Killarney National Park. The ‘Golden Gates’ that stand guard at the main entrance form a hub entry point to the majestic beauty and splendour of Killarney National Park.
In recent decades, the splendour of Killarney House & Gardens lay hidden behind high walls in one of the lesser visited parts of Killarney National Park. Although the grounds were always accessible, the house itself lay neglected and the surrounding gardens had long surrendered to the wild. The much loved Cherry Walk was a popular local pathway to the Knockreer area of the National Park. Yet few veered far from the cherry blossom lined avenue to explore the environs of the vast estate.
The relevant obscurity that befell the House and Gardens was hard to comprehend given its proximity to Killarney town. Following the completion of extensive restoration and reconstruction work in 2016, both Killarney House and Gardens have been restored to their rightful place as the gateway to the award winning Killarney National Park.
Torc Waterfall & Cardiac Hill
Torc Waterfall (Irish: Easach Toirc) is a waterfall at the base of Torc Mountain, about 5 miles (8.0 km) from Killarney. The falls are one of the landmarks on the 200 kilometre Kerry Way Walking Tour and are encompassed in the Killarney National Park. Red Deer are to be frequently seen and heard in the area. Easy access and parking make the site very popular with walkers and Tour Groups by Coach who often visit as part of the Ring of Kerry Tour. It can get quite busy for parking, so please be aware.
A public hiking trail and "Cardiac Hill" stretches from the Waterfall to the top of Torc Mountain with marvellous views of the Lakes and the greater Killarney area.
Muckross House & Gardens
Muckross House is a mansion designed by the British architect, William Burn, built in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist Mary Balfour Herbert.
Composed of sixty-five rooms, it was built in the Tudor style. Extensive improvements were undertaken in the 1850s in preparation for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861. It is said that these renovations undertaken were a contributory factor in the financial difficulties suffered by the Herbert family which resulted in the sale of the estate. In 1899 it was bought by Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun who wanted to preserve the dramatic landscape. He did not live in the house himself, but rented it out to wealthy groups as a hunting lodge.
In 1932 Arthur Vincent decided to present Muckross House and its 11,000 acre estate to the Irish nation. Being called the ″Bourne-Vincent Memorial Park″, it thus became the first National Park in the Republic of Ireland and formed the basis of present-day Killarney National Park. In later years the Park was substantially expanded by the acquisition of land from the former Earl of Kenmare's estate.
The nearby Muckross Abbey is a good place to also to visit at dusk and hear some spooky stories!
Ross Castle was built in the late 15th century by local ruling clan the O'Donoghues Mor (Ross), though ownership changed hands during the Second Desmond Rebellion of the 1580s to the MacCarthy Mór Clan. He then leased the castle and the lands to Sir Valentine Browne, ancestor of the Earls of Kenmare. The castle was amongst the last to surrender to Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads during the Irish Confederate Wars,d was only taken when artillery was brought by boat via the River Laune.
At the end of the wars, Ross Castle became a military barracks, which remained so until early in the 19th century. Daily Tours of the spendidly restored Castle are available.
St. Mary's Cathedral (1842-1855) was designed by the renowned English Architect Augustus Welby Pugin and is considered to be one of the most important and best Gothic Revival churches of the nineteenth century in Ireland. The spire and nave were completed by the Irish Architects Ashlin and Coleman of Dublin. Interior decorations were designed by J. J.McCarthy.
The stonework used is an attractive mixture of brown and grey stone. The siting of the church is more like the siting of a priory than the siting of a cathedral, as the building stands in a large green field area instead of the original settlement of Killarney.
The Lane Bar at The Ross Hotel
A funky, vibrant Lane Bar & Restaurant is but a two minute walk from Killarney Park Hotel. If you are looking for the chic and happening place to be in Killarney for night life, cocktails, Champagne and Gin, The Ross , a four star Town Centre Boutique Hotel is the place for you. The 29 bedroomed hotel is much ingrained in local history and has been part of the Treacy family since 1938. Join locals for the best Cocktails in town and enjoy some tasty tapas.
Killarney Brewing Company
Killarney Brewing Company is an independent brewery located just a 5 minute walk from our Hotel. The Tour is very interesting to the discerning visitor and includes a beer tasting with a local guide. Advance bookings are strongly advised.
Killarney Golf and Fishing Club
Killarney Golf and Fishing Club is nestled within Irelands largest National Park on the shores of Lough Leane with stunning vistas of the highest mountain range in the country – the McGillicuddy Reeks. The three golf courses offer a unique challenge to every standard of golfer, from the local society to the world’s greatest tour players. The courses are in better condition than ever. Home of The Irish Open 4 times.
For Fishing please contact our Concierge team and we can arrange excursions for you.
Carrauntouhil and The Reeks
The views from the highest mountain in Ireland is simply breath taking, with many different routes to the summit. Our Concierge team will be delighted to assist with organising an informative guide for you. At 1,039 metres (3,414 feet), Carrauntouhil is a walkers haven, and with views from the summit extending up to 160km in sunny weather, it’s well worth the endeavour.
The Celtic Steps Show
Ireland's top traditional Irish Music, Song & Irish Dance Show features seventeen World Irish Dancing Championship titles between the current cast of dancers and All-Ireland Champion singers and musicians. All of these performances are totally live on stage. This has been the top cultural experience since its foundation and always ranks as the must thing to do with TripAdvisor when one is visiting Killarney.
Catch a Local GAA Match
Witness the blood, sweat and tears as 15 players (plus substitutes) take on each other in a Gaelic Football Game where the pride of the County or Parish is at stake. The GAA is the administrative body of our National Game.