We call this area 'Over The Water' because you have to cross a bridge to get there from Caherciveen. If you do the Ring of Kerry this is definitely a tour you shouldn't miss. The landscape and views are stunning! The castle ruins and ring forts are an impressive testament of Irish history. They are really well preserved and are easily accessible. Entrance to these attractions is all free and you can enter anytime.
You can do this tour by car, bike or on foot. You can also just do some parts on foot. Plan at least a full afternoon for this trip. If you have more time and the weather is nice I would suggest you bring a lunch with you. Both White Strand or Cooscrome are great places to spend a few leisurely hours and enjoy a picnic!
Start your trip in Caherciveen at the Community Centre (Point A on the map). Coming from Killorglin on the Ring of Kerry take a right turn into Bridge Street and follow the road over the bridge. Turn left at the next crossroads and follow the signs for Ballycarbery Castle (Point B on the map). You will reach the car park for the castle within a few minutes. From there it is only a short walk up to the ruin. Take the time to explore the ruin and enjoy the nice views. You can climb in there and up the partly destroyed stairs. Just be careful!
Second Stop: Cahergal and Leacanabuaile Stone Fort
These two well-preserved ring forts are very near Ballycarbery. You can park your car near Cahergal stone fort which is well visible from the road. From there it is only a five-minute walk up to the fort. It is well worth climbing up the steps on the inside. You will be rewarded with a fantastic view from the top!
The second fort called Leacanabuaile, is a bit more hidden but maybe
even more interesting than the first one. I think it gets missed by
visitors often which is a shame. From the car park, you will get there
within 15 minutes on foot. Just follow the signs! The view from up there
is even more impressive.
If you feel up to it, you can walk to
Cooscrome Pier (Point E) and beach from there. This shouldn't take you
more than 15 minutes. Otherwise walk back to the car and follow the
route to next stop.
White Strand (Point D) is a Blue Flag Beach overlooking Valentia and Beginis Island. This is a great place in the summer for sunbathing and swimming. Life Guards are on duty during the summer. The rocks on either side of the beach are great for investigating the marine wildlife. You can observe all sorts of sea creatures in rock pools left behind by the tide. This is great fun with kids!
Cooscrome (Point E) is the place where all the locals go for a swim in the summer time because it is so sheltered. Walk out onto the pier and admire the Atlantic waves. You can see the Dingle Peninsula from there.
To get to Coonana Harbour (Point F) the tour will bring you back towards Caherciveen. Instead of turning for the bridge keep going straight for about 1.5 km. Keep left on the fork and follow the valley till you reach Coonana Harbour. Depending on the weather this place can wild with high waves or just calm and peaceful. Kerry magic......
Hope you will enjoy this trip!
If you would like to learn more about the history of these places check here.
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