If you like to lace up your shoes and head out in the fresh air, you know that Killarney’s Holiday Village is the perfect place to stay. Book a holiday home here and you’re just a few minutes’ walk from the delights of Killarney National Park, one of the world’s most beautiful natural playgrounds. You might have heard of popular walks like Torc Mountain and the circular walks in Killarney Demesne, but you might not be as familiar with these hidden delights on your doorway:
Blue Pool Walk
This is a trail that even many locals don’t know about it. It starts just off the main road on the N71 Killarney to Kenmare Road. Pass the Blue Pool Gallery and take the left turn directly after the Muckross Park Hotel. You’ll see an area for parking beside the entrance to a forest. The Blue Pool has two different trails you can follow. Each is well signposted, and neither is more than about a kilometre long. There is also a trail for the visually impaired. For the official Blue Pool trail, head left over the stream crossing and make for the forest. You might need heavy duty shoes if there has been recent rain. The blue pool that gives its name to the trail is just off the main route, but, again, it is well signed. This is an ideal spot for a picnic.
The Old Boathouse Trail
You can walk, cycle, or drive to Muckross House from your holiday home at Killarney’s Holiday Village. From there, it’s just a 300-metre stroll to the start of the Old Boathouse Trail at the edge of Muckross Lake. It starts at the 19th-centry stone boathouse in front of Muckross House and is about 1km long. Take your time and enjoy the lovely oak, yew, arbutus (Killarney strawberry tree), and scented bog myrtle all around you, as well as the sweeping views of the lake with its scattering of islands and Torc Mountain beyond it.
Arthur Young Nature Trail
This trail also starts and finishes at Muckross House. Named after a renowned 18th-century English agriculturalist and writer who visited the estate in 1776, it is about 7.5kms long so give yourself a good two or three hours to enjoy it. It delves into the woods along the Muckross Peninsula between the Lower and Middle (Muckross) Lake, bringing you through some of the most remarkable natural yew woods in Europe and offering wonderful glimpses of the adjacent lakes and mountains. As well as yew trees, other fine plants you will encounter include oak, arbutus, holly, lichens, and ferns. The route also takes in some old disused copper mines. You can combine the Arthur Young Nature Trail with a section of the Muckross Estate and Torc Waterfall to extend your trek to a 13km tour of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
What’s your favourite walk in Killarney?
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