Best Ring of Kerry Coach Tour Part of The Wild Atlantic Way
The Ring of Kerry Tour:The tour begins at 10:30, departing from our office at 22 Main Street in the centre ofKillarney town.The Ring of Kerry is the name for the small highway that skirts the Iveragh Peninsula.It is undoubtedly Ireland’s most popular scenic drive. Iveragh, the more southerly ofKerry’s two great peninsulas, is a natural wonderland of forest, blanket bog, river,lake, sandy beach and hill including Ireland’s highest peak Corrán Tuathail. Lappedby the warm Gulf Stream, it enjoys exceptionally mild winters and is home to sub-tropical vegetation.The first town that is passed is Killorglin, which is home to the famous Puck Fairfestival which is held in August every year. Local residents capture a wild goat andenthrone him in the town centre. For three days of the festival the goat acts the Kingand the locals act the goat!The first stop will be at The Bog Village. This little cluster of thatched-roof cottagesdemonstrate what rural life was like in Kerry in the 1800’s. The museum village (anoptional feature with an additional small charge) has a replica blacksmith’s forge +house, turf cutter’s house, labourer’s cottage, thatcher’s dwelling + tradesman’shouse. Stacks of turf are to be seen piled high by the road. There is also an old Irishpub named The Red Fox Inn where an early drink or tea/coffee and scones may beenjoyed.After departing the Bog Village we will continue through the village of Glenbeighwith a view of the beautiful Rossbeigh Beach, and a wonderful view of the hilly backof the Iveragh Peninsula.Generally from March to October (Seasonal only) we stop with Brendan Ferris at theSheepdog Show at Kells on the Ring of Kerry.If you ever wondered how sheep dogs were trained to round up sheep then a trip toKells Sheep Centre is a must. Kells Sheep Centre is run by Sheepdog trainer BrendanFerris, is located on the Ring of Kerry on the N70, halfway between Cahersiveen andGlenbeigh. Brendan trains Border Collies in the art of sheep herding and his amazingskills are clearly demonstrated when you watch him at work.Watching Brendan in action with his Border Collies is a real treat as they respond tohis every command. It takes Brendan between one to one and a half years to fullytrain these dogs and they go on to work for eight to nine years. Brendan always hasthree dogs trained and two learning at all times. Visitors can watch demonstrations ofsheep dogs rounding up sheep.How do farmers round up grazing sheep for sheering in June? To demonstrate,Brendan Ferris whistles and tweets only for Max the sheepdog to swiftly bounded upthe slope to herd the flock to the right. All it takes is for Brendan to say:"Steady, Max.Steady. Sit down," and Max drops to the ground, obediently rested on his belly."When we move sheep over long distances, we need to let the sheep dogs rest." saysFerris.Ferris truly shows mastery in skill and watching him and Max in action is truly a oncein a lifetime opportunity
Depending on the day, there will be a lunch stop in either Cahersiveen town, TheScarriff Inn or Waterville. If lunch is in Waterville we will pass through Cahersiveen.Cahersiveen – the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847), also known as ‘TheLiberator’, is widely recognised as Ireland’s greatest ever politician. His birthplacecan be seen at the eastern side of the town.Then, continuing on into Waterville, an idyllic beach resort between Lough Curraneand Ballinskelligs Bay. The area is steeped in history, and the hinterland is dottedwith archaeological monuments. For years it was a favourite retreat of CharlieChaplin and on the promenade a life-size statue can be found of him.The tour continues through the area of Derrynane, a rocky cove notorious as a port ofcall for smugglers in the 18 th century. It is the former seat of the O’Connell clan andhome to the afore mentioned Daniel O’Connell.The next stop is the village of Sneem – perhaps Ireland’s most colourful village. Itstwo squares straddle the estuary of the River Sneem, with a quaint Italianate church(1865), chequered houses and neat greens. An untypical village laid out in an English-style around a village green beneath a semi-circle of low mountains. The village wasgifted a panda sculpture by the People’s Republic of China and a goddess Isissculpture by Egypt. Sneem marks the start of the most sheltered part of the Ring ofKerry’s coast. Here you will see lush, subtropical growth – wild rhododendrons,azaleas, etc. This is evidence of the unique effect of the Gulf Stream.Leaving Sneem, we travel through the very rugged landscape and arrive at Moll’sGap, where the viewing point at the Gap offers sweeping views of MacGillycuddy’sReeks and Ireland’s highest mountain, Corrán Tuathail – 3,414 feet high.Continuing from Moll’s Gap to Killarney, we experience far-reaching views over thebroad valley of the Killarney Lakes. On her visit in the 19 th century, Queen Victoriaand her ladies-in-waiting were so enthralled by this view that is was promptly namedin their honour: “Ladies View”.Between Ladies View and Killarney, the coach will pass through the Muckross Estateand will return to Killarney between approximately 5:00 pm-5:30 pm.
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