Where the Bright Blue Sea meets Ireland's Green
"Here, Where The Rainbow Ends"
When you enter in to Kenmare for the first time, you might just very well feel as if you have found the end of the rainbow and the gold at its end lies in the open, friendliness of the local people. The colors of the rainbow have come to rest in the walls and doors of the town's buildings. Throughout Ireland, you will encounter brightly painted doorways and window sills, as well as buildings, to be sure. Kenmare is the town which, in my mind, stands out for their color. Even on a "soft" grey day, their vibrancy makes you feel warm and welcome.
Kenmare, one of the first towns in Kerry to be labeled as a Heritage Town, celebrates it history & breathes life into its heritage on a daily basis. Though modern in its development, the architects and developers have kept the designs of old so that old blends with new and becomes seamless.
Kenmare is known for its angling, its food and its tranquility. Not being much of a fisherman, I am all for good food & tranquility! Of course, tranquility is a relative thing, as there i slittle to be found during summer's High season.
"The Rings at your doorstep"
Kenmare is an excellent base for anyone wishing to explore either the Ring of Kerry or the Ring of Beara.
The Ring of Beara, with its indescribale ruggedness is, hands down, my favorite. Less travelled, it is a good choice in the high season when the tour buses seem to overrun the Ring of Kerry. Whilst traveling the Ring of Beara, a stop in Castletownbere & a ferry ride to Bere Island is a wonderful way to slip the "noose" of modern living. There are numerous historical sites to view, such as the wedge Tomb and a standing stone. The Ardnakinna Lighthouse was constructed in 1850 and capped in 1863. The island is 7 miles long and 3 miles wide and you will find numerous remains, including two six inch guns, of the vast, late Victorian military fortifications which Britain built to protect its naval base at Berehaven which they held until 1938. Most can be readily inspected but should be approached with caution. For the energetic, there are two Martello Towers, well worth the hill climb, with stunning views over the harbour and bay as does the climb to the Holy Year Cross, erected by the people of Bere Island in 1950 to celebrate the Marion Year. Another spectacular feature of the Beara is the tunnel linking Kenmare & Glengarriff, cut through the mountain during the 19th century.
The Ring of Kerry is stunning in its own right, its beaches are some of the finest in Europe. The bounty of Iron Age forts, stone circles, ruins and rugged coasts and the many cultural museums and centres make it a must see for anyone visiting in the area. The Blue Pool Nature Reserve is a hidden gem. The Gap of Dunloe is a once in a lifetime experience, take a jaunting cart. Skellig Michael is a tripp that can be life altering, if you are there on the first boat over and have a quiet time to absorb all of its offerings.