King Puck statue in Killorglin on the Ring of Kerry.
It was day four on our trip to Kerry, and today was earmarked for The Ring Of Kerry. I probably don’t need to explain the circular route round the Iveragh Peninsula as it is one of Ireland’s most well known attractions. It really deserves a long trip in itself, but as it normally includes Killarney and the surrounding region, which we had visited separately, we decided to try and squeeze it in in one day. This inevitably meant a rushed journey, and missing many of its charms, with no time to explore anything off the main route. I would love to go back and give it the attention it deserves. I would also hope for better weather. The day started off sunny, but got progressively worse. As a result, knowing we weren’t seeing the landscape at its best, we ended up just driving by many spots in the rain.
Our first stop was the town of Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, where a goat as chosen as King Puck every year. There is a statue of King Puck in the town, the first thing we wanted to see.
River Laune in Killorglin.
In the town itself.
We were driving around the ring in an anti-clockwise direction as recommended, so we headed out along the north coast of the peninsula from Killorglin. Unfortunately for us, the weather we had in Killorglin was as good as it would get, and it was rain and grey skies for the rest of the day. Even so, there were a few spots along the north coast where the views enticed us to stop.
The rain forced us to drive past and through many places without stopping, and by the time it eased up, we were well round the peninsula, at Ballinskelligs beach.
From there, it was a short drive round to the town of Waterville, where thankfully the rain still held off, although it remained grey and overcast.
Waterville was a favourite destination for Charlie Chaplin who was a regular visitor, and there is a statue of him near the waterfront.
Even more well known and revered in Kerry is Waterville native Mick O’Dwyer, who played for the county Gaelic Footbal team, and went on to manange them to eight All Ireland titles, a record which still stands. The legend broke my heart as a child, as one of his management victories was the 1986 final against Tyrone. I was in Croke Park to watch Kerry beat us in our first All Ireland senior final. The only comfort was that there was no shame in getting beaten by Kerry, and their team at the time was one of the greatest in the history of the game.
Just outside Waterville.
Next stop was a viewpoint carpark, overlooking the harbour of Derrymane.
Deenish and Scariff Islands.
Round the coast a little, and again, the rain stopped long enough for us to pause at O’Carroll’s Cove, Caherdaniel, and have a short walk on the beach.
We were by-passing many places we had intended to stop at, due to the weather, one them being Kenmare. We had stopped there briefly on a previous trip, so I’ll include a handful of shots here, taken on that earlier visit.
Nearing the end of the trip, and one of the most famous spots on the Ring, is Ladies View. The weather meant that we would definitely not be seeing the view at its best, but we stopped anyway. Even in the gloom and rain it was stunning, but it was difficult to capture in a photograph in those conditions.
Just befoe stopping at Ladies View, we also got an unexpected treat, spotting a group of sika deer by the roadside. They didn’t seem to bothered by our presence, even when we got out of the car, and stayed close enough to get a few shots off.
It was a nice bonus to see them and get so close, as the rest of the day had been a casualty of the Irish weather. The Ring of Kerry is one of those places we’ll just have to revisit, which I don’t feel will be any hardship!