Muckross House & gardens is a "must see" when visiting Killarney. The house itself has many beautiful paintings and antiques, there are guided tours of the house available. The gardens are expertly maintained year round, my favourite time is in May when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. There is a good restaurant there if you feel hungry! Boat trips can be organised and there is also a small beach "Dundag" where you can chill out or even take a swim.
The Muckross estate is not far outside of Killarney and really a nice place to visit.
The Muckross House is in excellent shape and you can walk through it to get a glimpse of what a grand life Henry Arthur Herbert must have lived.
It's easy to understand why it took five years to build this mansion. It was completed in 1843.
On the estate there are numerous walking trails and jaunting cars to show you around.
There are several small beaches along the middle lake, most popular is Dundag. Walk from Muckross house to Torc waterfall through the national park for about 1km. The picture below is taken from the pier at Dinis in mid November, swimming not advisable at that time of year!!!
First built around 1445/48 by Donal McCarthy a franciscan monk as a place of retreat and prayer for his brotherhood, the Observance. It is superbly situated in Killarney N.P. and is a stone's throw from Lough Leane. Although having been the object of many a pillage and of course the inevitable Oliver Cromwell burned the place and got rid of the monks, it is still in a fine condition with many of its sculptures still to be seen. It has free entrance and is visitable the year-round.
Can be reached by hiring a jaunty cart at the Park entrances or parking up at the first parking area opposite the entrance on the N71 and following the trail to the right along the lough-side until you spot the abbey through the trees. About a 20 minute walk. It is quicker but not as nice to follow the tarmac road round.
There's a stark difference between the glorious Muckross House and the ramshackled Muckross Abbey. Still, it's worth paying a visit and the walk from the house to the abbey is quite pleasant. You can even get a jaunting car for an extra bit of fun.
The friary is based around a lovely cloister that is still standing, although in need of renovation. In its centre is a twisted yew tree, said to be as old as the abbey itself, taken as a sapling from the abbey on Inishfallan island.
Muckross House and gardens are interesting but the house's only claim to fame is that Queen Victoria stayed there for a night or two and the house was completely redecorated before her visit. €5 entry. Here's a photo of the house.
This is the only Irish Abbey of this period with Tower structure. Also the Yew tree in the Cloister is a branch of the tree which was at the Abbey on Innisfallen Island. When the Franciscans built their Church in Killarney town the tree in that Cloister is a slip from the Abbey in Muckross. This Abbey contains the graves of four famous Kerry Poets.
Muckross house is a beautiful mansion surrounded by lush vegetation on the edge of Killarney national park. It's definitely worth a short visit!
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