Are you looking for a laidback vacation in Ireland? If so, you’ll surely have a lot of fun exploring the small town of Kenmare. What it lacks in size, it makes up in diverse attractions, beautiful sceneries, rich culture, and historical sites. It is located in County Kerry, along the Kenmare Bay, where its name came from. The name in Irish is Ceann Mara, meaning “head of the sea.” Many of the attractions you’ll find here include nature parks, golf courses, hiking trails, and unspoiled natural terrains. In case you’re still looking for more reasons to visit this beautiful town, read on and discover our list of the best things to do in Kenmare, Ireland to use as your guide. Have the best holiday ahead!
1. Explore Reenagross Park Kenmare
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Located along the banks of the Roughty River, Reenagross Park is a wooded little park with 3 km (1.86 mi) of walking trails and features some spectacular nature views. It is a perfect place to stroll and have a picnic with the family. Also, the area is home to many plants, animals, archeological sites, and more. Additionally, you’ll find an old Victorian house that is known as Kenmare House or Kenmare Lodge.
Reenagross Park Kenmare
Address: Killowen, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. See the famous Kenmare Stone Circle
One of the famous attractions in the city, Kenmare Stone Circle - also known as the Shrubberies - is a pre-historic monument dating back to the Bronze Age. Unlike other stone circles in Ireland, the one here is egg-shaped and composed of 15 boulders, and in the center is a Boulder-Dolmen that is said to be the burial place of someone important. The stone circle is believed to be a place for rituals or ceremonies because the stones are oriented to lunar and solar events. On another note, the monument doesn’t look like a prehistoric attraction because the lawn is well-maintained and surrounded by pine trees.
Kenmare Stone Circle
Address: 52 Market St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
3. View beautiful landscape paintings at the Purcell Gallery
The Gallery is now only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the winter months. Hope to see ye all over the festive season....Posted by The Purcell Gallery on Thursday, 19 November 2015
If you are an art enthusiast, then you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit one of the best galleries here: Purcell Gallery. This place has exhibits that focus on contemporary fine arts, all made by local artists. In the paintings, you’ll see the beautiful landscapes of the area as well as abstract representations of the subject. The artworks also show how this scenic town charmed the artists into staying and making it their muse as well as their home.
The Purcell Gallery
Address: 28 Main St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 FXT8, Ireland
Website: The Purcell Gallery
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10:30am - 5:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 5:30pm
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4. Marvel at the scenic view over Cromwell's Bridge
Cromwell’s Bridge is a scenic attraction in Kenmare. It is an old bridge that was built on AD 500 to link the monks to their sacred well. A lot of people said that it is named after military leader Oliver Cromwell, but later on, people found out that Cromwell’s troops didn’t even make it this far. Make sure to stroll this part of the city and have your photos taken - or it didn’t happen, just like Cromwell.
Address: Bridge Street, Kenmare, Ireland
5. Shop for souvenirs and buy fresh produce at Kenmare Farmer's Market
If you want to know more about the city, you should experience Kenmare Farmer’s Market. It happens every Wednesday, from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. This local fair will give you a taste of what Kenmare has to offer in terms of produce and crafts. You’ll find here numerous vendors selling a variety of items from fresh produce to local handicrafts, plants, and more. The vendors set up early, so you’ll have lots of time to shop and choose items that will come home with you.
Kenmare Farmer's Market
Address: An Cro Bridge Street Kenmare, Kerry, Republic of Ireland
Opening hours: Wed: 10am - 4pm (closed from Thu - Tue)
6. Pray for healing at Our Lady's Well
If you’re a Catholic, you should visit Our Lady’s Well, which is found across Cromwell’s Bridge. You’ll surely miss this site if you don’t know what to look for, so make sure you ask around for its whereabouts or join a history tour of the town. On the site, you’ll find a statue of the Virgin Mary, a well, and a plaque with a description of its history. You can sit on one of the benches, relax, and pray for healing. A lot of people go here to ask for healing.
Our Lady's Well
Address: Cromwell Ct, Gortamullin, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
7. Hang out with friends at PF McCarthy's
If you’re wondering where the locals go after a tiring day or to cool off, then you have to visit PF McCarthy’s. It is an Irish pub with neatly dressed staff and features delectable bar food and a selection of beer and spirits. It is also where you’ll find a proper Guinness. Apart from good food, an excellent variety of drinks, and great ambiance, this place also has live music to entertain you all throughout the night. So what are you waiting for? Come and hang out with friends over a pint of authentic Guinness.
Address: 14 Main St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 11:30pm; Sat: 10:30am - 12:30am; Sun: 12:30am - 12:30am
8. Watch a show at Carnegie Arts Center
A venue for creatives in Kenmare, Carnegie Arts Center is a multi-purpose event space that caters to movies, theater performances, and other local and cultural events in town. This place also offers an arts program that focuses on local and international culture. Additionally, it is licensed to officiate weddings and civil ceremonies.
Carnegie Arts Centre
Address: 2 Shelbourne St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 ER23, Ireland
Website: Carnegie Arts Centre
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
9. Play a friendly game of golf at Kenmare Golf Club
Established in 1903, Kenmare Golf Club is an old golf course in town that features 18-hole courses. It is one of the best works of Mr. Eddie Hackett, a well-known golf course architect. It also boasts scenic views and various traps, making it perfect for golfers of all levels. Another highlight of the property is the colonial-style clubhouse that features an on-site restaurant where guests can dine and get refreshments after a day of playing.
Kenmare Golf Club
Address: Killowen Road Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Website: Kenmare Golf Club
Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)
10. Learn about the city's history at Kenmare Public Library
Are you a bookworm and the type to always look for a library when visiting a new place? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Kenmare Public Library. It has an impressive collection of books in different genres and subjects, but what you should focus on are the books and journals about Kenmare. This is a chance to learn more about the town’s culture, art, and history. Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance, as the friendly librarians are willing to help. Also, make sure to bring everything back to its proper place before leaving the premises.
Kenmare Public Library
Address: Shelbourne St., Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Website: Kenmare Public Library
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 1:30pm, 2:30pm - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
11. Have a relaxing time at Magic Touch Kenmare
After a day of sightseeing and walking around the city, it is only fair to treat yourself to a massage to loosen up all those muscles. The best place for that is Magic Touch Kenmare. Here, you can choose different kinds of massages depending on what suits you best. They have a holistic massage, which helps relieve tension, a deep-tissue massage for inflammation, hot stone massage, which is good for stiff muscles, and a lot more. Apart from massage services, they also offer facials.
Magic Touch Kenmare
Address: Market House, The Square, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 EC8D, Ireland
Website: Magic Touch Kenmare
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
12. Go picnicking at Gleninchaquin Park
A family-owned park in Ireland, Gleninchaquin Park is a must-visit nature attraction for the whole family. This valley features majestic scenery and beautiful landscapes. Here, you’ll come across waterfalls, streams with log bridges, mountain trails, rock passageways, lakes, and more. It also has six trails to accommodate hikers at all levels. Apart from the nature activities, the park also allows you to have a picnic or a barbecue. You can even bring your furry friend with you, just make sure that he or she is leashed.
Address: Gleninchaquin, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Website: Gleninchaquin Park
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
13. Dine with your family at No. 35 Kenmare Restaurant
An award-winning restaurant and one of the top local eateries in the city, No.35 Kenmare Restaurant is a beautiful establishment with a rustic-style setting that has a cozy and intimate ambiance. This place is known to serve mouthwatering dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, most of which come from the owner’s farm that is located near the restaurant. Apart from the dishes, they also have craft beers, ciders, and wines. Be sure to dine with your family or loved ones here to find out why the locals love eating here so much.
No. 35 Kenmare Restaurant
Address: 35 Main St, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 Y038, Ireland
Website: No. 35 Kenmare Restaurant
Opening hours: Sun - Tue, Fri: 5:30pm - 9pm; Sat: 5:30pm - 10pm (closed on Wed & Thu)
Enjoy an interesting tour of the Kenmare tidal shore with an oceanographer as your guide. This activity is perfect for nature lovers who want to learn, sightsee, and have fun. Here, you’ll learn about the biodiversity of plants and animals in the area. Apart from the shoreline, you’ll also examine rockpools and mudflats, where you’ll see worms, mollusks, indigenous birds, and crabs. Another great thing about this is that it is an intimate tour of no more than 15 people, giving you a chance to ask as many questions as you like.
Kenmare Tidal Shore Eco-Tour PayAsYouFeel
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Hello, laidback Kenmare
There’s nothing more relaxing than visiting a small town and being far away from the problems of a big city. The little town of Kenmare will help you fulfill this kind of holiday. With its breathtaking sceneries, your mind will surely be at ease here. Apart from nature, it has some of the best restaurants that serve healthy and delicious meals. And for other activities, refer back to this list of the best things to do in Kenmare, Ireland, to know what awaits you here.
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