Europe

Trying our luck on the Ring of Kerry

We loved our trip around the Dingle Peninsula so much that we were really pumped for our Ring of Kerry day. I’ve heard of the Ring of Kerry much more than the Dingle Peninsula. So in my mind, it should have been the more scenic, beautiful drive. However, I much preferred the Dingle Peninsula (and I think most of my family agreed).

Our  day of the Ring of Kerry was lackluster for several reasons:

  • The weather was drizzly and gray most of the day. So, many really beautiful views were obscured by clouds and fog.
  • My mom had listed the Ring of Kerry as one of her wishes to visit on our trip. We had all agreed we should definitely do this. But even with research, there wasn’t a specific place on the peninsula anyone felt they had to see. Without a destination to look forward to, it felt like a day of aimless wandering. Sometimes this is a great thing, but we didn’t stumble on anything that made us glad we didn’t have a plan.
  • We drove back through the Gap of Dunloe. This was very long and very bumpy. It was very cool scenery, but not much else. There was absolutely nowhere to get out along the way, and I thought I was going to be carsick. 

So, what did we do and see? My ambivalence about this day means that I took zero notes. It’s almost like I didn’t want to remember too much. But from the pictures I was able to cobble together the day. I can’t promise it’s the the correct order, though!

Cahergall Stone Fort

We stumbled upon this fort on our drive and decided to stop. It was free and self-timed, so no real reason not to. I’m glad we found it. It looked old and Irish and gave me something to concretely say we saw on the Ring of Kerry. Totally worth a stop. Seriously, though, it was pretty neat to explore. There was a small castle nearby-we didn’t get any closer than our view from the stone ring, but it was also cool to see.

Whitestrand

When we get close to open water, my husband starts to turn his head rapidly from the road to the waves. He gets very excited and we usually stop so that he can take some pictures. This is what happened at White Strand. It was a long day in the car, so any stop was welcome.

Sneem

We stopped in Sneem for lunch and shopping. It was a very cute little village? town? and although I don’t really remember what I ordered, I remember enjoying it. We took some time to stop in some of the small shops and the girls bought some souvenirs.

Dunloe Gap

This was the longest and most arduous part of the day. I’m glad it was near the end or I would have been done for the entire Ring. Even on a gray day, it had a unique quality to it that was very beautiful.

We ended up back at our bed and breakfast and decided to hit the local pub the end of the inn’s drive. It was more of a restaurant than a true pub, which was across the street. But the food was good and it was so nice to have a 1 minute drive back to our beds.

Looking back on the pictures, I suppose we did have a nice, if not amazing, day. Would I try the Ring of Kerry again? Maybe. I’d want to know the weather was on our side. I realize this is uncontrollable, and it was no one’s fault it was so dreary. I’d also want a few things I was excited about seeing. Having something to look forward to helps to frame the day and it’s simply more fun. Since our research didn’t turn up anything, I might turn to local suggestions for help.

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