24 Hours In Killarney: Everything We Did On A Weekend Trip Down South

There's no place like The Kingdom when it comes to staycations and Denise Curtin was reminded of that on a recent trip.


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As a proud Corkconian (says you, name a Corkconian who isn’t?) trips to Kerry were pretty regular when I was younger. From Sunday drives to week-long summer holidays, and long-stretch-in-the-evening-hikes up some of the most beautiful mountains in the country. The Kingdom, being an hour away, was always calling, but the further I’ve moved away from it, the more I appreciate it when I get to return.

Because unlike many places, Kerry doesn’t have just one attraction or one draw, it has countless. From the scenic 179km Ring of Kerry, to Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil, one of the country’s most famous attractions from ancient Ireland, Skellig Michael, to the unbeatable craic (and fish) in Dingle, I could go on all day and also mention the great trips I’ve had to Slea Head, The Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall, but this time I’m focusing on my latest trip to Killarney and how I’m forever surprised after all these years, there’s still new parts to explore and see.


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Last month, I checked into the The Ross Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of Killarney, and a sister hotel to the famous five star, Killarney Park Hotel. The hotel was compact (with just 29 bedrooms), homely, and exactly what we were looking for when it comes combining comfort with convenience.

Dropping our bags, we headed straight out in search of adventure (this is often short lived for us, so best strike while the iron is hot) and headed to Ross Castle for a two-hour kayak around the Lakes of Killarney. Our tour guide Chris from Wild N Happy Travel provided us with all the history and folklore of the land; which was incredible to hear as I never knew the place was so rich in tales of legends and myths!

After working up a great sweat, we went to grab some food, which is always a necessary reward. One of the things I really love about Killarney is the ever-growing choice of places to eat out. I try to always incorporate some of my favourite places to eat with some new spots to make every trip different.

Over our weekend stay we ate at J.M Reidys, The Lane and Casita Mexicana, with drinks in The Pink Lounge, O’Connors pub and coffee from Good Boy; a relatively new, small coffee roasters on New Market Lane and our favourite place for an oat flat white when in town.

In to-be-expected weather from Ireland, our trip to Kerry was also compromised by a lot of rain, hello, June? So, we also made sure to check out some fun indoor activities too, which included swimming at the Killarney Park Hotel, taking a yoga class at Navé Yoga on the grounds of Killarney Racecourse, and playing cards while having a drink in various quirky pubs around the town that all provided something different and of course, trad music which just can’t be beaten.

If the weather happened to be better, we would have definitely cycled around the grounds of Muckross House and had a picnic; something to definitely pop on your agenda if you’re blessed with sunshine on your trip. Muckross House is a 19th-century mansion set among mountains and woodlands, with a shop, cafe and working farms. It’s a must on a trip down to Kerry and minutes drive from the centre of Killarney town. For sure one of the many reasons that keeps bringing me back to The Kingdom.

The next time I head down I’ll definitely make sure to swing by Inch Beach, one of my favourite beaches in Ireland and the perfect pitstop when en route to Dingle. Again, I could go on all day about my love for Kerry and it’s abundance of things to do, but I really think it’s best you check it out for yourself!

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