We were ecstatic to finally be in Ireland, a place we had both wanted to visit for years. The countryside was just as beautiful and green as we had imagined. Our timing didn’t work out to do a tour of the Ring Of Kerry, so we decided to at least do a day trip to Killarney. Upon arrival Jack thought it appropriate to drive me crazy by repeatedly singing “Christmas In Killarney.”
From the town center it’s a short and pleasant walk to Ross Castle. A good part of the walk is on a trail along the river and through an enchanting forest full of moss covered trees.
The castle sits in a peaceful and serene setting at the shore of Lough Leane, the largest of the three lakes in Killarney. We practically had the whole place to ourselves, but this wasn’t surprising considering it was late fall.
You can only enter the castle as part of a small tour group. We had no problems, but in the summer months you may find yourself having to wait to get in. The tour guide talked about the history and usage of castles, giving us a picture of what life was like in medieval times. The castle has been beautifully restored, it’s well worth a visit.
If you have time you can easily spend a day in Killarney National Park. It’s over 10,000 hectares of woodland, moorland and lakes and gardens back dropped by mountain scenery. If the weather permits take a picnic lunch. You can walk or drive to various areas in the park, rent bicycles, book a horse-drawn carriage tour or a boat trip on the lake. Some of the other popular attractions are Muckcross Abbey and Torc waterfall.
After your visit to Ross Castle and the park head back into town and check out the colorful and quaint shops, wander around looking at historic buildings and churches or grab a bite to eat in one of the many cafes.