Take a stroll through the magical Killarney National Park which is nestled on the edge of Killarney town. It is Ireland’s largest and first National Park and there is so much to see beyond its pristine lakes, rolling green mountains and largest native woodlands in Ireland. Here are a suggested number of must do’s in the park.
- Take a guided tour of Ross Castle
This impressive castle sits proud on the edge of Lough Leane and has stories pouring out of its walls. Built in the 15th century, Ross Castle has exchanged many hands throughout its history most notably during the Irish Confederate Wars. In this epic siege the castle was amongst the last to surrender to the notorious Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell. It was finally taken in a clever strategy that played a prophecy. Interested? Then I suggest go visit to find out more.
- Muckross House and Gardens
Muckross House is a 19th century Victorian mansion set against the stunning beauty of Muckross Lake and the majestic mountains of Killarney National Park. It was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. During the 1850s, the Herbert’s undertook extensive garden works in preparation for the visit of Queen Victoria and its splendor can still be seen today.
- Visit Innisfallen Island
This is a must do for everyone. The island is located on Lough Leane; one of the three lakes in the Killarney National Park. It is home to a herd of wild deer and according to tradition the Irish High King Brian Boru received his education on the island. Today it is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey and monastery which was founded in 640 by St. Finian the Leper. It was occupied for approximately 850 years. During this period, the monks wrote the Annals of Innisfallen, which chronicle the early history of Ireland as it was known to the monks. A truly remarkable place to visit which you can do by an amazing kayak tour with Mor Active Tours.
- Muckross Abbey
Take a stroll to Muckross Abbey, a beautiful ecclesiastical ruin found in the heart of Killarney National Park. It was founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary and is today a largely roofless building but has a prominent central courtyard which contains a large beautiful yew tree. Over its history it has been reconstructed many times due to being damaged or partially destroyed by marauding groups and by Cromwellian forces under Lord Ludlow. An impressive must do on any visit to Killarney National Park.
- Boat & Bike Tour of the Lakes of Killarney
Highly recommended way to get a bird’s eye view of the Killarney National Park. It is a full day tour departing at 10am and returning to Killarney by 3pm. You can bring your rented bike on the boat trip across the lakes before cycling through the Gap of Dunloe. You can stop off at the traditional Irish pub of Kate Kearney’s for lunch before returning by road to Killarney. This can be organised by Mor Active Tours.