Going on holidays is expensive, so it’s good to know that there are plenty of free things to do in Killarney that will keep all the family happy. Here are some of the activities we prefer when we don’t want to spend money:
Cycle in the National Park
When you book a holiday home in Killarney’s Holiday Village, you have plenty of room to store your bikes. Then it’s just a question of crossing the road, turning left, and following the car-free path to Killarney National Park. The first entrance is just a few minutes away. The path leads you through lush parkland with spectacular views of Muckross Lake and the serene mountain backdrop. The ancient ruins of Muckross Abbey are to your left, and the extensive gardens of Muckross House are just beyond that. Dismount and enjoy!
Stroll Through Muckross Gardens
Whether you get here by bike, on foot, or by car, Muckross Gardens are just minutes from Killarney’s Holiday Village. Kids will love the acres of space to run free, a rambling rockery that was tailor-made for hide and seek, and the delicious buns in the café. Step back to a more genteel era and imagine you are a privileged guest of Muckross House, with manicured lawns and arboretums for your enjoyment and Muckross Lake as your garden pond.
Before you start worrying about altitude sickness and rope skills, Torc is one of the most accessible mountains anywhere on the planet. Scalable in an hour, with a series of mesh-covered railway sleepers as steps to make the job even easier, Torc rewards your efforts with truly breathtaking views over Killarney National Park and the surrounding mountains.
Feed the Ducks at Ross Castle
The great thing about self-catering accommodation in Killarney and elsewhere is that you can make your own breakfast at a time that suits you and eat it in your pyjamas. Left with lots of toast crusts? Take them with you down to Ross Castle, 4.5km from Killarney’s Holiday Village in the direction of the town. There they will be gratefully received by the motley crew of ducks and swans that gather by the bridge over Loch Lein, which laps the shore by the castle.
Listen to Traditional Music
After a busy day out and about in Killarney National Park, you might want to relax in the evening and take in a traditional music session. Tourist towns can be notorious for serving up “Oirish” music for their visitors, but several pubs in Killarney are known for the standard of their traditional sessions. They include Buckleys and Murphys on College Street and the late-night bar at the Grand Hotel on Main Street. Have a wander some evening and follow your ears: All it will cost you is the price of a drink.