Killarney, the Town by the Park
Killarney is a town on the shores of Lough Leane in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. It’s a stop on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive, and the start and finishing point of the 200-km Kerry Way walking trail. The town’s 19th-century buildings include St. Mary’s Cathedral. Across the bridge from the cathedral is Killarney National Park. Victorian mansion Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms sits in the park.
Muckross House is the quintessential Victorian mansion, built in a Tudor Style. Wreathed in ivy, the house rises from superbly designed gardens, the light from nearby Muckross Lake glinting off hundreds of diamond-paned windows. Muckross House is situated in the heart of Killarney National Park, on a small peninsula between Muckross Lake and Lough Leane, just ten minutes’ drive from The Killarney Park.
Muckross Traditional Farms
They may be just a stone’s throw from each other, but Muckross House and Muckross Traditional Farms showcase two very different ways of life from Irish history. Whereas the grand mansion is an elegant introduction to how the gentry passed their days in Victorian Ireland, the working farms offer a very realistic view of the hard work involved in maintaining a rural homestead in the 1930s and 1940.
The Gap of Dunloe
If you are looking for majestic scenery within easy reach of The Killarney Park, you have countless options. One of our favourites The Gap of Dunloe. Carved between the mountains 2 million years ago by slow-moving masses of ice, the Gap of Dunloe is the most impressive glaciated valley in Western Europe.
The Lakes of Killarney
They may be celebrated in music, poetry, and art, but nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of these three natural beauties. Lough Leane (the Lower Lake), Muckross Lake (the Middle Lake) and the Upper Lake are threaded together across a quarter of Killarney National Park’s 25,000 acres. They support a rich variety of wildlife, from the trout and salmon that flourish in their waters and the swans and multitudes of other water birds that feed on them, to the deer that swim across their surfaces at night.
Ross Castle is located just 2km from the Town, it is a striking example of a restored Medieval stronghold. Set against the backdrop of Killarney National Park, with the waters of Lough Leane lapping just outside, this is a magnificent example of an Irish chieftain’s stronghold during the Middle Ages. Its exact date of construction is unknown, but it was probably constructed toward the end of the 15th century by a Chieftain of the O’Donoghue Ross clan. Shielded by a fortified bawn, the castle had a protective ring of circular flanking tower, two of which are still standing.
Just 8km from The Killarney Town, you will find Torc Waterfall – a glorious testimony to the beauty of cascading water descending from a tall slope. Located along the extremely picturesque tree-lined N71 Kenmare Road.
Killarney House & Gardens
Recently restored, Killarney House and Gardens brings the Killarney National Park right into the heart of our town and has created the largest urban park in the world. The restoration of the house and formal gardens has resurrected in part the style of 18th century French chateaux and a 20th century Edwardian property. The restoration work to the landscaped gardens continues.
Innisfallen island can be seen in the distance from Ross Castle out in the heart of Lough Leane, which translates as the “Lake of Learning”. A monastery was founded on Innisfallen in the 7th century and it became a seat of learning; hence Lough Leane. It is said that King Brian Boru studied there along with many from the noble houses of Europe, as Ireland was seen during the so called “Dark Ages” as a beacon of learning and education.