Adare is one of my favorite places in Ireland, and you will pass through this lovely village, when going from the north or the east of Ireland to Dingle peninsula. A short stop-over certainly makes sense, although Adare became quite touristy lately. In Adare you may still see plenty of straw-thatched houses and also the ruins of 4 medieval friaries ( one of them is inside the park and golf-court of the castle-Hotel).
Adare is certainly no more a cheap place to spend the night, in fact the hotels are quite expensive there, BUT it certainly makes a great day-trip from Dingle !
Not far from Dingle peninsula you may see one of the most interesting islands of Ireland : Skellig Michael , off the Irish Coast, west of the famous "Ring of kerry" - It was inhabited by monks for hundreds of years and you may still see the remains of several "Beehive-huts" , small stone-houses built by the monks without any kind of cement.
You cannot stay on the island over night, but you may go there by one-day-cruises - mostly from Waterville or other small villages in the Ring of Kerry.
This picture was taken ON the island Skellig Michael and you may see Little Skellig, a bird-rock, in front and the mainland of Ireland in the background.
Please click here for many more infos and pics about the GREAT SKELLIGS!
Tralee is a town of 17.000 inhabitants, not far from the north-east-end of Dingle-peninsula. Every year thousands of visitors will go there end of august to see the festival "Rose of Tralee" and vote for the new Rose...
The Kerry County Museum is another good reason to visit Tralee. The exhibits include archeoligical details and a audio-visual journey through the anglo-norman settlements of Tralee, including medieval smells.
The Siamsa Tire-Folk Theatre is another attraction of Tralee offering traditional music & dance-performances during the summer.
Kerry County Museum (Tel: 066 27777) is open daily march-december
(BUT closed at december 25+26th)
Siam Tire (Tel:066 23055) is open may-sept,not every day !
every THURSDAY is the market-day in Tralee
Adare Manor is another good daytrip from Dingle ! Adare Maror is one of the most famous luxury hotels in Ireland and it was built inside an old manor-house dating back to the year 1720. A large park is surrounding the hotel and during the summer guards will watch the entrance of that park - in winter you may enter freely and without restrictions and take a walk around :
There is a river flowing through the park and the golf-course of the hotel was built around an old friary - see my pictures.
Blennerville windmill dates back to the year 1800 and it is the biggest windmill in Ireland, still able to work like 200 years ago. recently it was restored and includes a big visitors-centre, a cafe and a museum. In front of the windmill you will find a large car-park.
Another great way to get to the windmill is to go by the narrow-gauge steam-railway from Tralee to Blennerville
The windmill (tel: 066 21064) is open daily May-Sep.
The steam-train (Tel: 066 28888 also daily May-Sep.
The windmill & the train are adapted also for wheelchairs !
These are to be found mainly in front of the main entrance to the church except the alphabet stone which is inside.
The three sites at Reask, Gallarus and Kilmalkedar are quite close together and could be done in an afternoon from Dingle.
This is a fine medieval site with a Romanesque church sitting in the middle of the cemetery, dating from the 12th c. Said to have been modelled on the Cormac's chapel at Cashel it has a number of similar features, such as the blind arcading and the winged stones above the gables. The main doorway and the chancel arch are lovely examples of round-headed archways. Close to the chancel arch is an alphabet stone that has been brought in from the cemetery and put here after falling and breaking a part off the top. Around the church is also an early sundial; an Ogham stone with a pierced top, and a huge stone cross, some 2.5 metres high. After excavation there is another 1.8 metres below ground. Close by is a building known as St. Brendans house and a holy well but cannot be visited as they are on private land.
The site is still on the R559 about a 1.5 kms from the Gallarus oratory. Ask the man in the visitors centre for directions, as it is not easy to find.
A few kms from Dingle on the Slea Head drive, on a wide promontory sits the prehistoric Dunbeg fort. An impressive ringfort it dates from around 500BC. Quite well preserved it has incredibly thick walls (up to 5 metres) but was mainly used as an observatory over Dingle Bay.
Cost for entrance was 3€
This is also the area for "Clochàns" or beehive huts, mainly in the nearby village of Fahan. These lie on private land and there is a charge of 2€
A real step back in time when you walk into and around these cottages. It's hard to believe that there were people living here until 1950!!! Well laid out, although the mannekins are a bit weird, but the furniture, plates etc are all genuine 1800's. The main cottage dates from 1845 and was inhabited by the Kavanagh family. The other dwellings from 1880 were mainly for the farm animals but also for the farm labourers who didn't have their own hovel. The smallest cabin on the left and known as "Tigh Pait" was inhabited by a local peasant that had been evicted, and actually managed to raise a family in this 3 metres by 3 hut. One of the original people who lived here had the misfortune to have his 6 children die from hunger and malnutrition. They are buried a little higher up the hill, as not having been baptized the Catholic church would not allow them to be buried in the churchyard. Just to the rear of the cottages is a beehive hut, said to date back 800 years. Mr. Kavanagh kept his pig in there.
There are a few farm animals around the farm to see and also some Irish red deer, but these disappeared into a corner of the field when we approached.
Just behind the entrance kiosk, there is a dolmen in the field.
Entrance is 3€.
This monastic site is home to some fabulous ruins that have been dated as far back as the 6th c. Excavations in the 70's have revealed that the site contains a stone oratory, several clochans, and a couple of pillar stones engraved with latin crosses and initials. Close to the oratory is a cemetery where over 40 graves were found. The most impressive of the pillar stones is the Reask stone, standing some 1.65 metres high, inscribed with a Greek cross and pendant spirals, and on the left of the spirals is inscribed the letters DNE, latin for Domine or "Lord". On what is known as pillar stone D (photo 2) is a latin cross with the letters DNS, for Dominus and the on the other side the same cross with letters DNO for Domino.
Not easy to find this site. After Ballyferriter village there is a sign pointing to the right after about 2 kms. Down this lane you'll find the site, but don't miss the sign. Just before (100 metres) there is a pub and a small barn/garage. There may be kegs of beer outside this barn. This is where I asked for directions.
Probably the best preserved example of an oratory from the 6th/7th c in Ireland. Using local stone only and built without mortar, it looks like an inverted hull of a boat and is still perfectly waterproof. Used by early Christian farmers, until the sttlements around it were sacked and the inhabitants driven away, it retains a very proud but austere look in the middle of the fields around. At the side is a bed of stones, with a cross inscribed on a slab and an inscription that reads "COLUM MAC DINET".(This taken from www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland)
Entrance is 3€ passing through a visitors centre, but apparently going round by another path it is free, like all megalithic sites in Ireland on public land.
Not very far from the Reask site, follow the R559 about another km and you'll a sign pointing left.
I spent one day in Dingle, and most of it in the Dingle Medical Centre, due to an emergency.
It was an interesting experience. The Centre houses all doctors and medical services for Dingle and the surrounding area.
I was very satisfied with the treatment. The waiting room was nice as well, as I found myself surrounded by native speakers of Gaelic.
I had my E111 and E128 forms with me, which meant that I did not have to pay for the treatment. So if you ever need a doctor in or around Dingle - fear not!
If you dare! lol is what everyone was telling us before we decided to take the drive down Slea head Drive. One lady told us that people go in with there car in one piece and come out with broken mirrors, no hubcaps, broken windows. Hmm It wasn't that bad. If you are someone with a driving problem and you cannot manage to stay in your lane then I would highly suggest you NOT going. But, We took the drive with no problem. There were a few spots where we would have to stop and move over to let someone by going the opposite way by but, that was the worst of it. The views are absolutely worth the drive! It is not a very long drive and it will take you to the most western spot in Ireland. AGAIN... IT IS WORTH IT!
If you take the short drive down Slea Head you will come to the most western point in Ireland! But you do have to get out of your car and walk! The hike was about 10 min and totally worth it. You will come to this point where you will have to pinch yourself to believe it is real. On a sunny day you can maybe see some whales if you look hard enough.
When driving around Ventry/Ballyferriter, you might see some of these old dwellings by the roadside, abandoned during the famine
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