A beautiful part of Ireland that recently played host to the TBEX Europe event, keeping the kids entertained is a breeze in beautiful Killarney.
Killarney is located in County Kerry, and is an ideal destination to keep boredom at bay when it comes to travelling with kids.
This very green city in the south west of Ireland is brimming with plenty of holiday inspiration. With plenty of travel ideas to keep the whole family happy, here are some of the top activities that’ll put a smile on everyone’s face.
You can reach Killarney by flying to Kerry International Airport. The country’s second largest airport is Cork, where you can rent a car to get to Killarney, or take a taxi.
Everyone speaks English in Ireland, so there shouldn’t be any language problems, unless English isn’t your native language!
Killarney activities for the whole family
Killarney National Park
With over 25,000 acres of land, there’s more than enough space to do a little running around. The scenery here is spectacular, and seemingly ever-changing the more you venture into the park’s grounds.
Kids are sure to love looking at the Lakes of Killarney, as well as the woodlands and mountain peaks. What’s more, Killarney National Park is home to the country’s only population of red deer herd, so keep an eye out for them.
The park’s free to enter, and there are many places to stop and eat such as Deenah Lodge and Muckross Garden and Restaurant if the brood get peckish.
Muckross Traditional Farms
Children are sure to enjoy a visit to Muckross Traditional Farms that are located in the national park. Take a peak around the workings of 3 traditional farms, and the machinery they use.
There’s a petting zoo if any of the kids want to get closer to the animals, plus a playground if the animals don’t hold their attention! Last admission to the zoo is 1 hour before closing.
Take a jaunting car tour
An age-old tradition that’s still upheld today in Killarney is the jaunting car. Essentially, it’s a 2-wheel carriage led by a single horse, and is ideal for seeing the sights of the town.
Treat the entire family to a ride in the cart which will take you through the city centre, and into Killarney National Park.
Rent a bike
If you prefer to get a bit more active, take advantage of the bike companies in town. If you’re lucky and the weather’s great, it’s a fun way to see Killarney.
Bike hire is also reasonably priced, starting from €15 for the day, and around €80 for the week. There are a few reputable choices in town such as Killarney Rent-a-bike and David O’Sullivan.
Ross Castle and Innisfallen Abbey
Whether by bike or by jaunting car, seeing Ross Castle is a must. A restored 15th century castle overlooking one of Killarney lakes, kids will enjoy a step back in time exploring this ancient site.
Once you’ve finished exploring, jump on board one of the boat tours that take you to Innisfallen Island. Here you’ll find a monastery, along with the ruins of an 11th century Romanesque church.
The island’s also where the annals of Ireland, a major source of early Irish history, were written.
Visit one of Killarney’s remote beaches
The family will be spoilt for choice for beaches in County Kerry. It’s home to 13 Blue Flag Beaches, meaning stretches of clean water, protected areas free from algae and vegetation for swimming, and gorgeous landscapes as a backdrop.
If you like your beaches remote, you’ll go gaga for the ones in Kerry. Hardly ever crowded, even in peak season, these beaches have sandy or rocky surfaces to please everyone. The list below (in alphabetical order) gives a rundown on the beaches you should look out for.
Beaches in Kerry that are close to Killarney
Ballybunion Beach – There are north and south beaches, surrounded by rocky headlands, cliffs, caves and sand dunes! The 2 beaches are divided by a cliff where stands a ruined castle. To the left of the beach is the ‘Men’s beach’, and to the right is the ‘Ladies beach’. The names originate from the times when men and women would bathe separately — it’s no longer relevant!
Ballyheigue Beach – This sandy stretch is 3km in length, with over 10km of sandy dunes. The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers, and views include overlooking Tralee Bay and the Dingle peninsula.
Banna Beach – This walkers’ paradise stretches for miles, with views of Kerry Head and the Maulin Mountain to the northwest. The sand dunes are a special conservation area as it’s filled with rare plants and animals. The sandy beach is perfect for children wanting to build sandcastles or collect seashells.
Fenit Beach – Calm waters and a sheltered location makes this a popular beach for swimmers and surfers. It was also in 1922 that Free State soldiers in the Irish civil war landed on Fenit Beach, as part of an offensive to take Kerry.
Inch Beach – This beach is on the stunning Dingle peninsula on Ireland’s west coast. It’s 5km in length, with plenty of activities, like fishing and kayaking, to entertain the whole family.
Kells Beach – Close to Kells Bay House and Gardens is Kells Beach. It’s on the northern coastline of the Iveragh peninsula, with a quaint small yet sandy beach. Kells Garden is home to almost 18 hectares of sub-tropical plants and forest, adding another reason to visit the beach.
Rossbeigh Beach – Nothing beats a horse ride on the beach, and at Rossbeigh, it’s a must. The beach is 2km from the village of Glenbeigh, and the kids have more than enough space here to run and explore.
White Strand Beach – For a stretch of sandy beach, that is of course, white in colour, head to White Strand Beach. It’s Ireland’s smallest and most intimate beach, with views of Valentia and Begnis Islands. To make a real day out of it, Ballycarbery Castle and Carhegal Fort is nearby.
Bikes photo courtesy of Lisa Rivera