You may have noticed that Killarney is rather suitable for walking. Not sure it could pass you by really;with our large collection of deciduous trees, three lakes and a range of peaks, some might call Killarney God’s footpath. Well I would anyway. But where should you walk I’m sure you’re asking. Good question and a lot of it depends on what you’re after.
So maybe you’re more Paula Abdul than Paula Radcliffe when it comes to walking. Maybe your idea of a good walk is a brisk stroll through a cosy, leafy path, not too far from town. If so, Killarney can cater to your needs as well. I’d recommend either Muckross House and Gardens or Knockreer Gardens then. Well, I’d lean more towards Knockreer to tell the truth because telling a visitor to Killarney to visit Muckross House is like telling a visitor to Paris to visit the Eiffel Tower. Knockreer Gardens is perfect for a calm, relaxing Summer stroll close to town. It starts at the entrance to the Desmene (Across the road from the Cathedral) and ends whenever you want it to. Just walk in the gate, take the right just before Knockreer Cottage (Don’t worry, you can’t miss it) and Bob’s your uncle, Killarney is your oyster.
Okay, so that short stroll malarky is just a load of bullhonky to you; you want a challenge but Jesus, you don’t want to kill yourself. I’ve got your number. You’ll almost certainly visit Ross Castle on your trip to Killarney but ever think of walking there? It’s (relatively) easy. First, instead of driving to the Castle, walk to down the Ross Road, one of Killarney’s most loveliest roads, to reach the medieval fortress. It’s a 3 mile walk from town (That is a very rough estimate but it ain’t too long). Then enjoy the castle. It’s lovely, innit? If you’re feeling a tad more adventurous you could even make your way down to the Copper Mines. When you’re ready to leave, take the National Park trail back to town. It’s well signposted so it’s hard to miss but if you get lost just ask one of the lovely jarvees for directions. Then politely reject their offer to cart you back there and be on your way. Overall the walk should take an hour or so, depending how quick you are.
Well good afternoon there Bear Grylls, didn’t know you’d be dropping by today. So you fancy yourself as a bit of a hardcore walker, eh? Good, ‘cos Killarney will whet your appetite like a nice plate of nachos. There are of course many walks that will push you to your very limits and what not but the one I’d most recommend, nay implore, you to test is the fabled Gap of Dunloe walk. This is an all day thing. You gotta commit. I wouldn’t recommend going it alone though, http://www.gapofdunloetours.com/ will sort you out for bus and boats to actually get to the Gap.
After taking a bus to Ross Castle and after a stunningly scenic boat-ride from there, you will arrive at Lord Kenmare’s Cottage. There you can mentally and physically prepare yourself with a nice bowl of soup or summink before you embark on an epic 7 mile trek over hill after hill after hill. 7 miles doesn’t sound that long. It is when the first half of the is mostly uphill. You can talk a jaunting cart for €20 but if you wanted to do that you wouldn’t be reading this section.
At the end of this trek you’ll arrive at Kate Kearney’s cottage and recharge your batteries before your bus back into town. Again, this is an all-day dealio, from 10.30am – 5.30pm but my God it’s worth it for the dazzling scenery and sense of accomplishment.