Kerry & Cork Guided Walking Holiday

Ireland-Kerry&Cork-Kenmare-AdobeStock_59586780.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Centre Based
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £1,299pp with flights

Walk on the famous Kerry Way and the Beara Peninsula, with spectacular views of colourful villages and the coast. Explore the Killarney National Park and the majestic lakes amidst the surrounds of the abbey castle and magnificent Victorian mansion of Muckross House. Take a boat to Garnish Island via Seal Island and then walk around this fabulous garden flourishing in its own micro-climate.  Whether you’re fascinated by the ancient relics and their accompanying legends of fairies and leprechauns, looking to uncover the past and discover the adversity faced by your ancestors, or simply want to enjoy great walking in this lush green land, Ireland has it all. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe after Great Britain and Iceland. The neighbouring counties of Kerry and Cork make up Ireland’s wild southwest tip. Kerry is probably most famous for the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula and its circular tourist trail known as the ‘Ring of Kerry’. However, this is only the tip of this county’s offering and the abundance of lakes, mountains and beautiful peninsulas creates a varied landscape just waiting to be explored. To the east of Kerry lies County Cork, the largest Irish county, which features the sandstone Caha mountain range and part of the Beara Peninsula, which overlooks Bantry Bay. Our holiday is ideally situated in the beautiful harbour town of Kenmare which nestles between the Kerry Way and the Beara Peninsula. Just 5 minutes’ stroll from our hotel takes you to the heart of the friendly town where colourful shops and pubs can be enjoyed. The town is peppered with a variety of cultural interests making it worth exploring.

Holiday Highlights

  • Kerry & Cork – everyone’s romantic dreams of Ireland come true
  • Relax in the picturesque little town of Kenmare brimming with Irish character
  • Join an Irish homecoming evening and boat to magical Garnish Island
  • Spectacular views of the Killarney National Park from Ladies View
  • Travel the Ring of Kerry or enjoy a seal-watching cruise on your free day

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Kenmare Bay Hotel. Unpack and settle in.


The beautiful village of Sneem on the Ring of Kerry is a wonderful introduction to our week. Nestled between mountains and wild rugged coast it offers some of the best views of the country. Both walks explore the historical and geographical features in the area.

Option 1 - The Lomanagh Loop

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In summary: Starting from Sneem we follow the Lomanagh Loop walking on minor roads, forest tracks and across fields until we join the Kerry Way to make our descent into Sneem where we can sample some Irish hospitality. 

Highlight: The views of the Kerry Mountains and the Beara Peninsula.

 

Option 2 - Blackwater Bridge to Sneem

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (210m)

In summary: This walk starts from Sneem too but follows the Fermoyle Loop which covers a distance of 14km on minor roads, farm tracks and way marked paths across hillsides and through farmland. We pass features such as a Standing Stone, turf cutting and a cillin (unconsecrated graveyard). This walk also provides spectacular views of the mountains and the sea. We make our way into Sneem to meet up with the easier group.

Highlight: Spotting the Macgillycuddy's Reeks - Ireland's highest mountains.

 


Today’s walks will take us through the rolling hills of the Gleninchaquinn Park, offering great views over the Kenmare River. Along the way we will discover one of the many stone circles scattered around this area as we follow part of the famous long distance path, the Beara Way, back towards Kenmare

Option 1 - Gleninchaquin to Dunkerron

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In summary: We start our walk near Red Trout Lake and, after climbing onto the Beara Way, we walk just below Knocknagorraveela Mountain enjoying views towards Dromoghty Lake and Kenmare River.

Highlight: Discover a neolithic stone circle overlooking Lough Inchiquin.

 

Option 2 - Drombohilly Upper to Dunkerron

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,600 feet (480m)

In summary: This walk takes in the Beara Way but rises gently towards a gap on the northern side of Knockagarrane and an open valley with views back to the Kenmare River. Our route runs parallel with the river offering great views of the Cloonee Loughs, Lough Inchiquin and Gleninchiquin Park.

Highlight: The idyllic shores of the Cloonee Loughs make a wonderful sandwich stop.

 


Today both walks start at the tip of the Beara Peninsula, a stone’s throw away from Dursey Island. It’s mostly coastal walking, finishing at the old copper mining town of Allihies for a drink.

Option 1 - Garnish Pier to Allihies

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m) 

In summary: This walk leaves the active fishing harbour of Garnish and goes along the shoreline of Ballydonegan Bay. We traverse below Lackacroghan where we can enjoy fabulous views back to Dursey before dropping back down towards Allihies and its beautiful beach ending in Allihies itself. The landscape has scattered remains of the once thriving copper mining industry.

Highlight: Taking in the scattered remains of the copper mining industry around Allihies.

 

Option 2 - Dursey to Allihies

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m)

In summary: Starting near the Dursey cable car station, we ascend Ballaghboy and straddle the ridge with fine views across the north and south of the peninsulas. We soon view lofty sea cliffs before we finally descend back to the Garnish Pier and finish with the easier walkers.

Highlight: On a clear day you can see out to the World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael.

 


Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. Some options for your free day may include:

Kenmare: Spend the morning visiting in the colourful town of Kenmare. Walk the Heritage Trail and visit the Lace & Design Centre. For the afternoon, relax in the hotel’s swimming pool, sauna and spa facilities.

Seal watching: Join a seafari from the pier at Kenmare to view seals and sea eagles. Times vary according to the tides. Refreshments are served and included in the price.

Car hire: Local car hire is available to explore the surrounding areas including:

Derreen Gardens: Derreen Garden (60 acres) lies on a promontory in Kilmakilloge Harbour on the Beara Peninsula and is well worth a visit. There are a number of marked walks within this large area.

Killarney: Visit the interesting town of Killarney, located in the Killarney National Park. The town boasts many fine churches and art galleries.

Lakes of Killarney: Enjoy a boat trip from Ross Castle across the lakes to Lord Brandon’s Cottage, lunch in the café there and take a short walk to Galway Bridge. Please consult your leaders who can pre-book transport to pick you up at this bridge to take you back to the hotel.

Local information website: For information on Ireland please visit www.discoverireland.com

Quaint cottages in the popular town of Kenmare in County Kerry, southwest Ireland


Today we walk in the Glengarriff Nature Reserve.

Option 1 - Glengarriff Nature Reserve & Garnish Island

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In summary: Today this group walks within the protected area of Glengariff Nature Reserve, home to a multitude of wildlife, flora, fauna and ancient tales. We walk a short loop following the river and view some ancient oaks on the way. After crossing meadows, we ascend to “Lady Bantry’s Look Out” point. After enjoying lunch in Glengarriff, we take a boat to Garnish Island via Seal Island and then walk around this fabulous garden flourishing in its own microclimate. We return to Glengarriff harbour by the same boat.

Highlight: Keep your eyes peeled for seals on the boat ride to Garnish Island.

 

Option 2 - Holy Well to Glengarriff

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m) 

Total descent: 2,000ft (600m) 

In summary: From the little town of Adrigole, the harder walk follows the Beara Way and heads up the north side of the lofty Sugar Loaf Mountain to 500m with great views of Bantry Bay and Sheeps Head peninsula. Our path then descends towards Glengarriff Nature Reserve before heading down into Glengarriff.

Highlight: Catch a glimpse of Ireland's highest waterfall, the Mare's Tail, as it tumbles down Hungry Hill.

 


North of Kenmare takes us to the Killarney National Park and the majestic lakes amidst the surrounds of the abbey, castle and magnificent Victorian mansion of Muckross House.

Option 1 - Galway Bridge to Muckross

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m) 

In summary: We walk from Galway Bridge along the Kerry Way passing through Esknamucky Glen and Cores Cascade to follow the Old Kenmare Road to Torc Waterfall and Muckross Estate. Here we will have time to explore the gardens and visit the café.

Highlight: We'll have plenty of time to explore the house, its fantastic gardens and - of course - the cafe!

 

Option 2 - Torc Mountain

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (600m)

In summary: We walk along the Kerry Way from Galway Bridge passing through Esknamucky Glen and Cores Cascade on good tracks to Torc mountain. The ascent is rewarding with panoramic views across the lakes and up the Black Valley and beyond. We make our descent and follow the Old Kenmare Road to Torc Waterfall and Muckross Estate to join the easier group.

Highlight: Walk along the beautiful Kerry way.

 


We hope to see you again soon.


Ireland Itinerary Map

Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort - Kerry & Cork

The 3-star Kenmare Bay Hotel sits on the edge of the pretty little town of Kenmare, facing the hills of the Kerry Way. The hotel has a pleasant restaurant, cosy bar with outside seating, and a large indoor swimming pool with sauna and spa pool.

Rooms

The hotel has 127 bright and spacious en-suite bedrooms, all with:

  • Direct dial telephone
  • Flat screen TV
  • Hairdryer

Facilities

The hotel has a range of facilities including the Courtyard Bar, which has a cosy atmosphere. The courtyard terrace is a decked area off the bar where you can relax with a drink. 

There is also the Bay Health Club, which includes a spa pool and swimming pool, gymnasium and extensive selection of beauty and holistic treatments available (payable locally).

Food & Drink

Our holidays at Kenmare are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and your evening meal. Two of your evening meals will be taken in local restaurants.

Breakfast

The hotel offers a self-service buffet breakfast each morning with tea, coffee and toast served at the table.

A typical Irish breakfast includes sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, black & white pudding and soda bread. Should you prefer something a little lighter, you can choose from a selection of fresh fruit, croissants, cereal, and fruit juice. 

Lunch (payable locally)

You can buy packed lunches from the hotel (order the night before). Alternatively ingredients for your picnic lunch can be bought from local shops; your leaders will advise you of the options.

Evening meal

Dinner is served in the Bay Restaurant, which focuses on local Kerry produce combined with fine wines and attentive service whilst enjoying views of the Kerry Mountains. For vegetarian option and any other special dietary requirements we recommend that you spend a few minutes discussing these with the hotel staff. 

On two evenings, meals will be taken in local restaurants. One entertains our guests with storytelling and traditional Irish dancing and the other serves sumptuous dishes. 

Drinks

The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

Each evening your leaders will tell you about the next day's activities and answer any questions you may have.

During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised activity, such as a quiz.

Pictured at the Kenmare Bay Wedding on Sunday were from left,
Picture by Don MacMonagle



free pic from kenmare bay hotel

Getting to Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort - Kerry & Cork

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra.
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Camera.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2019
22 Sep - 29 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Unavailable
2020
07 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
14 Jun - 21 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
21 Jun - 28 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
28 Jun - 05 Jul 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
05 Jul - 12 Jul 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Unavailable
06 Sep - 13 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
13 Sep - 20 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
20 Sep - 27 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
27 Sep - 04 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,349 Available Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2019
22 Sep - 29 Sep 2019 Itinerary £999 Unavailable
2020
07 Jun - 14 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
14 Jun - 21 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
21 Jun - 28 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
28 Jun - 05 Jul 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
05 Jul - 12 Jul 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Unavailable
06 Sep - 13 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
13 Sep - 20 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
20 Sep - 27 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
27 Sep - 04 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Double room for sole occupancy: £21 per night 
  • With flight holidays include flights from London Heathrow. Flight supplement from Manchester & Birmingham: £80
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort. Price per taxi: from Cork, £140 single; from Kerry, £75 single; from Shannon, £184 single.
  • Independant travellers can join our transfer from Cork airport: £25 single.
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European Centre Based
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £1,299pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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