Walking Tour of Killarney, Ireland
Killarney is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry, the most famous of Ireland’s scenic drives. Located in southwestern Ireland, it has a well-developed tourist industry, with many hotels, restaurants, etc, available all year long. The city of Killarney is also part of Killarney National Park, Ireland’s first national park, established in 1932. The primary features of the landscape in the park are its lakes, and the town of Killarney is located on the shores of one of these lakes. There are few actual tourist attractions in the city, because most of a visitor’s focus lies outside of town, but there are several places to visit which are easily accessed on foot.
My walking tour begins at the Tourist Information Office, located just off Main Street, in the City Hall, on Church Place. After picking up a map, stop first at St Mary’s Church of Ireland, across the square. It is Neo-Gothic in architectural style.
From here, walk east on East Avenue and then turn right onto Muckross Road, and then right again on Ross Road, which leads to Ross Castle, the premier attraction in town (at least, of those within walking distance). This fortress was the last to fall to Cromwell, in 1652. It sits on Lower Lake and provides wonderful views from the top of its tower.
Leave the castle and backtrack all the way to East Avenue, and then turn right. Turn right again when you reach Fair Hill to reach the Franciscan Friary, on your right. Now, turn around and walk west on Fair Hill, which soon becomes College Street and the Plunkett Street. At the end of Plunkett, turn right onto Main Street and then left onto New Street.
The intersection where New Street meets Port Road and Beech Road is known as Cathedral Place. It is the location of St Mary’s Cathedral, possibly Killarney’s most impressive edifice. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century, in Gothic Revival style. Also on this plaza is the Knockreer Estate, a turn-of-the-century mansion which offers lovely views of Lower Lake and also a walkway along the River Deenagh. Now, reverse your steps along New Street to Main Street and turn right to return to the walk’s starting point.