Kenmare has it all, whether you are interested in mountain walks, golf, fishing, scuba diving, sailing or horseback riding. You can visit historical sites such as the town’s stone circle or Cromwell’s bridge.
At night choose from one of our many restaurants in Ireland’s gourmet capital and enjoy some good local live music.
Built in the 17th century, Kenmare was Ireland’s first planned town. That is not to say there were no earlier denizens – the pre-historic stone circle proves the place is ancient. Old Kenmare has evolved organically into the present.
Old pubs, fine craft shops, restaurants, touring, fishing and golf: all these things make Neidin (The little nest) delightful to visit. Situated at the crossroads of the Ring of Kerry and the Beara Way, Kenmare is the ideal basis for your touring expeditions.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic tour that starts in Kenmare and travels anti-clockwise around the Iveragh peninsula. The length of the route is 175 km and takes you through the most picturesque villages in South West Ireland.
Immediately after leaving Kenmare the Ring of Kerry route takes you over Molls Gap and Ladies View along a winding mountain road.
From there the route leads you through Killarney National Park to Killarney, Torc Waterfall and Ross Castle and up to Killorgin. Driving south to Glenbeigh, home of the famous Dooks golf course and further to Cahersiveen, Waterville and back through Caherdaniel and the picturesque village of Sneem.
Along the way you have many opportunities to visit historical landmarks such as rock art, Ballycarberry Castle, Derrynane house and Abbey and Staigue Fort.
There are also many beaches such as Rossbeigh, Kells and Derrynane.
Ring of Beara
The Ring of Beara lies just to the South of Kenmare. The Beara peninsula has a rugged and wild beauty abounding with archaeological and historical sites from wedge tombs to church sites of more recent origins. There are of course spectacular views along the way. There are numerous loop routes throughout the peninsula to enable you do a longer or shorter route.
The Healy Pass, the passage over the Caha Mountains between Lauragh and Adrigole, shows Ireland’s rugged nature at it best. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while herds of sheep block traffic.
In Glengarriff take the ferry to Garnish Island. The ‘Garden Island’ owes its existence to the creative partnership of Annan Bryce, the owner of the island, and Harald Peto, an architect and garden designer.
Garnish Island is renowned for its richness of plant form and colour, changing continuously with the seasons.
The Abbey Court luxury Kenmare B&B is located at the gateway to the Ring of Beara.
A beautiful local nature park right next to the town. You can see it from our back garden too. Accessible from Kenmare Golf Club, Park Hotel, or the entrance across the turnoff to the Kenmare Pier. Definitely worth a visit.
Muckross House and Gardens
Driving north over the N70 (Kenmare to Killarney road), you will be amazed at some breathtaking scenery as you pass Molls Gap, Ladies View, the Upper lake and Torc Waterfall.
Parking is available at each of these locations. As you travel further you will approach the world renowned 25,000 acre National Park (a gift to the Irish state in the last century).
Beautifully situated on the shores of the Middle lake is Muckross house, gardens, farms and craft shops. These all provide a fascinating insight into Victorian life and the life of Irish people over a hundred years ago.
Killarney’s red and sika deer herds roam freely through the National Park. These magnificent animals are survivors of Ireland’s last ice age. Although the main herd inhabit the mountain areas of Torc and Mangerton, they can frequently be seen in Muckross, especially in early morning.
Abbey Court is your ideal Kenmare accommodation base for touring Kerry and Killarney.