Ireland is a beautiful island that I highly recommend you to visit! Beautiful coastal routes with breathtaking scenery, rugged cliffs, clean beaches, colourful towns, picturesque castle or abbey ruins, countryside covered with lush green hilly fields and cute sheep or relaxed cows… these are some of the things I associate with Ireland and love about it! Not to mention friendly locals and delicious baked goods.
I regularly spend holidays in Ireland to visit family and relatives but for the past few years I’ve been trying to spend at least a few days per trip visiting a place in Ireland I’ve never been to before. That’s how I came to visit Killarney with my best friend in March 2013: since we only had a few days for travelling and didn’t want to rent a car, we were looking for a place within a few hours of Dublin. I had been to Galway, Connemara and the Cliffs of Moher on a previous trip so we decided to head off to Killarney, as a base to visit the Ring of Kerry. (Practical information: Killarney is only 3h35 away from Dublin by train, however it takes about 6h by bus).
Round the Ring of Kerry
Upon arrival in Killarney, we immediately went on a bus day trip around the Ring of Kerry that took us along the banks of the River Laune to Killorglin, via Glenbeigh, Kells, Caherciveen, the southern shores of Dingle Bay, Waterville then along the coast to Coomakista Pass, Derrynane and on to Sneem. From Sneem we went up to Molls Gap and Ladies’ View then back to Killarney. The Ring of Kerry is a 175km scenic circuit around the Iveragh Peninsula in the South West of Ireland, with beautiful ocean and mountain views. I enjoyed it very much!
Such bus trips are really practical, but they tend to be frustrating: there were many places I wish I could have stopped to take a few pictures or for a little walk!
If you would like to avoid the embarrassment I faced at the end of the day tour, here’s a tip: although the people getting off the bus before you all seem to be giving the driver a simple handshake, they are actually tipping the driver! This may seem like a stupid piece of information, but I only realised this while giving the driver a handshake myself… We had a good laugh about this afterwards! 🙂
A nice walk through Killarney National Park
We had not expected to feel SOO cold on our trip to Ireland, but humidity certainly played a major role in making us feel that way! We experienced Irish whimsical weather while visiting the National Park… wind, rain, fog, sun and snow, one after the other!
Killarney National Park became Ireland’s first national park in 1932: it covers around 103 km2 of mountain, moorland, woodland, lakes, parks and gardens. We thoroughly enjoyed our long walk though parts of it. The sun peaking through thick grey clouds contributed to giving the landscape a beautiful dramatic look.
How I got hooked to Murphy’s handmade ice cream
After a day out and about around Killarney where my friend and I got repeatedly cooled down by the wind, soaked by the rain, dried and gently kissed by the sun, frozen by the snowy rain, then confused by the fog, the idea of eating ice cream was not on the top of our minds… Not until we were offered a sample of delicious Murphy’s ice cream! That was all it took to attract us into their shop (and make us feel better!) And that’s when I got hooked to their ice cream!
As they say it themselves, Murphy’s makes real ice cream: they don’t use colourings, or flavourings, they use fresh farm milk and local cream. Some of the current flavours they offer are: caramel honeycomb, Dingle sea salt, caramelised brown bread, Dingle gin & Irish coffee ice cream, as well as baked banana rainwater sorbet. I’m a big fan of their brown bread ice cream! I loved their sea salt ice cream and I’m pretty sure I tried their Guinness ice cream and chocolate sorbet.
Murphy’s Ice Cream shops:
– 27 Wicklow street, Dublin 2, Ireland
– 37 Main street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
– The Pier, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
– Strand street, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
– 12 High street, Galway, Ireland
Short break in Dublin
You can be sure that I will do my utmost to go to any of Murphy’s ice cream shops if I’m anywhere near one! I spent some time in Dublin just before travelling to Killarney, but I wasn’t back until 2 years after my discovery of Murphy’s. I only had an afternoon in Dublin, but making my way to Murphy’s ice cream shop was my top priority! 😉
Some of the things I enjoy doing in Dublin: exploring the city centre with its quays, parks, historical buildings and churches by foot, shopping along Grafton street while enjoying listening to buskers. In the evening, it’s easy to find a nice pub with live music.