Out and about around Killarney & Dublin (IE)

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!

Waterville, Ring of Kerry
Waterville, Ring of Kerry
Sheep by the ocean, along the Ring of Kerry
Sheep by the ocean, along the Ring of Kerry

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.

View from Killarney National Park over to the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range
View from Killarney National Park over to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range
View of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range from a different spot
View of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range from a different spot
The well-preserved ruins of Muckross Abbey at Killarney National Park
Muckross Abbey was founded around 1448. Its well-preserved ruins at Killarney National Park are open to the public.
Beautiful landscape in Killarney National Park.
Beautiful landscape in Killarney National Park. Was that just before or just after it rained?!

Useful links:

Killarney National Park website: www.killarneynationalpark.ie
Official holiday website of Tourism Ireland: www.ireland.com
Discover Ireland website: www.discoverireland.ie

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!

Murphy's ice cream,
Murphy’s ice cream – “Ice cream that knows where it comes from”

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.

A few scoops of Murphy's ice cream. That's brown bread ice cream on the left
A few scoops of delicious Murphy’s ice cream: that’s brown bread ice cream on the left
Some of the flavours on offer upon my first visit to Murphy's ice cream shop
Some of the flavours on offer upon my first visit
murphys-irish-icecream
Very cool napkin from Murphy’s shop in Dublin! I only kept a photo of it as a souvenir!

Murphy’s Ice Cream shops:
– 37 Main Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
– 27 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
– Strand Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
– Cliffs of Moher (Visitor Centre), Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
– Calle de la Fábrica 13, 07013 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Website: www.murphysicecream.ie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MurphysIceCream

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! 😉

Murphy's ice cream shop in Dublin
Murphy’s ice cream shop in Dublin

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.

Medieval Dublin Castle, built in 1171
Medieval Dublin Castle, built in 1171
Colourful street in Dublin
Colourful street in Dublin (photo from 2006)

Dublin city centre

Dublin centre

Band stand in St Stephen's Green Park
Band stand in St Stephen’s Green Park

Useful links:

Dublin’s official travel and tourism guide: www.visitdublin.com
Visit Dublin Facebook page: www.facebook.com/visitdublin

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. distancewide says:

    Your pictures are great !! and I love ice cream ! This is a great post. We are planing to visit Ireland in 2017.

    Like

    1. Denise says:

      Thanks! Great, I hope you enjoy Ireland! There are many beautiful places to visit. On my last trip to Ireland we drove along part of the Wild Atlantic Way & really enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. distancewide says:

        That’s exactly where we want to drive along. A great spot for taking pictures.

        Like

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