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Touring Kerry (North)

See also County Kerry (South)

Dingle peninsula view by Barbara Ballard Tralee restored Georgian house by Charles W Glynn courtesy Geograph Ireland Tralee, gateway to the Dingle peninsula, is the main commercial centre for Kerry north. It’s a port in an attractive setting at the head of Tralee bay. Most of the town dates from the 18th century and its Georgian houses make an elegant main street.

Tralee town park roses by Colin Park courtesy Geograph Ireland Tralee town square by Ian Taylor courtesy Geograph Ireland Tralee’s name is well known from the song, “Rose of Tralee”, and in August the town hosts the “Rose of Tralee” festival. The National Folk Theatre of Ireland offers performances based on the Gaelic traditions of the area. The town’s early history can be experienced at Kerry the Kingdom where the 14th century town and streets are reconstructed and presented in a time car ride.

Blennerville station and windmill by Adrian Platt courtesy Geograph Ireland A narrow gauge light railway runs to the still functioning 1770s Blennerville windmill. Here is an exhibition on emigration, craft workshops, and a restaurant. Fenit, the birthplace of St Brendan, is the harbour on Tralee Bay.

A Day in the Bog Centre by Raymond Norris courtesy Geograph Ireland Halfway between Tralee and Listowel on the N69 is ‘A Day in the Bog’, a thatched cottage where you can learn about the flora and fauna of blanket bogs in an AV presentation. They also offer local crafts, a garden, tea, an open fire, and traditional music nights.

Listowel castle by Philip Halling courtesy Geograph Ireland Listowel town square by Colin Park courtesy Geograph Ireland Listowel puts on a Writers Week festival in May and a horse racing festival in September. It’s home to a 15th century castle and the Kerry Literary and Cultural Centre where you can find out all about local writers. For its railway heritage go to the old North Kerry broad gauge station near the town centre.

Ardfert friary ruins by Adrian Platt courtesy Geograph Ireland Ardfert cathedral west door by Nick MacNeill courtesy Geograph Ireland Kerry north offers a coastal drive of 120 miles. Stop at Ardfert to visit the extensive ruins of a 6th century cathedral and abbey founded by Saint Brendan. There are three medieval churches at the site and an exhibition.

Banna Strand dunes by Nigel Cox courtesy Geograph Ireland Ballybunion beach by Warren Buckley courtesy Geograph Ireland Banna Strand has a five-mile long sandy beach, and at Ballyheique is a local maritime centre. Ballybunion offers beaches and a golf course, seaside arcades, and the ruins of Ballybunion castle.

Castleisland viewpoint on the N21 by Mike Searle courtesy Geograph Ireland Castleisland, named after its castle ruins, is a market town with nearby showcave, Crag cave. The limestone caverns are thought to date back a million years. The tunnels, chambers, and showcaves are reached by 62 steps down. The Crystal Gallery shows off the cave stalactites.

Carrigafoyle castle by Colin Park courtesy Geograph Ireland At Ballylongford are the remains of a 15th century Franciscan friary. Carrigafoyle Castle, in a marsh on shore of Shannon estuary, is a large 15th century tower. There are views from the top. Near Ballyduff is Rattoo round tower. The Rattoo Heritage complex is a village museum and visitor centre.

Tarbert is home to Tarbet House, a Queen Anne Georgian building of 1690. The heritage house contains furniture and pictures of interest. Also of interest is Tarbert Bridewell Courthouse and Jail where the Tourist Information Centre is located. There’s a small museum and coffee shop. From Tarbet you can catch a car ferry to Killimer in Clare. It runs across the Shannon estuary in 20 minute trips every half hour.

Kerry North Attractions

Ardfert Cathedral, Friary, and St Brendan’s Church
On R551 Tralee to Ballyheigue road
Tel. 0 66 713 4711

Blennerville windmill
Two miles south of Tralee
Tel. 0 66 712 1064 or 353 66 712 7777

Carrigafoyle Castle
Carrigafoyle, in marsh on shore of Shannon estuary

Crag Cave
Tel: 0 66 714 1244
Day in the Bog
Halfway between Listowel and Tralee on N69
Tel. 0 66 713 2555

Dingle Steam Railway
Ballyard Station on Dingle Rd
Tel. 0 66 712 1064

Kerry Literary and Cultural Centre
24 the Square, Listowel, Kerry (north)
Tel. 0 68 22212
Web: Kerry Literary and Cultural Centre

Kerry the Kingdom
Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny Street, in town centre
Tel. 0 66 712 7777

Listowel Castle
The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry North
Tel. 0 1 647 2453

National Folk Theatre of Ireland
Town Park, Tralee
Web: National Folk Theatre of Ireland

Rattoo Heritage Centre
Rattoo, Ballyduff
Tel. 0 66 713 1000

Tarbet Bridewell Courthouse and Jail
Tarbet
Tel. 0 68 36500
Web: Tarbet Bridewell Courthouse and Jail

Tarbet House
Tarbet
Tel. 0 68 36 198

Tourist Information Centres

Listowel Tourist Office
St. John's Church, Listowel, Kerry (north)
Tel. 0 68 22590

Tralee Tourist Office
Ashe Memorial Hall
Tralee, Kerry (north)
Tel. 0 66 712 1288

Photo of Dingle peninsula beach © by Barbara Ballard
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Tralee restored Georgian house by Charles W Glynn; Tralee town park, Listowel town square, Carrigafoyle castle by Colin Park; Tralee town square by Ian Taylor; Blennerville station and windmill, Ardfert cathedral ruins by Adrian Platt; A Day in the Bog Centre by Raymond Norris; Listowel castle by Philip Halling; Ardfert cathedral west door by Nick MacNeill; Banna Strand dunes by Nigel Cox; Ballybunion beach by Warren Buckley; Castleisland viewpoint on the N21 by Mike Searle

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