Heading North in West Cork

Gougane Barra

A short drive from Bantry lies the tranquil beauty of Gougane Barra, a dramatic glacial valley set in the Shehy Mountains and with a long, shining lake in its hollow into which run silvery, tumbling streams. This is the source of the River Lee and in the lake is a small island, approached by a causeway, where Saint Finbarr set up his oratory in the 6th century. There are also walks through the forestry land at the head of the lake.


As well as being the perfect base from which to explore the delights of West Cork, Ballylickey is ideally placed for guests to experience the celebrated scenic beauty of County Kerry, the border of which is only a few miles away from the Manor House.

The Healy Pass

There is no better way to enter Kerry than through the dramatic Healy Pass in the Caha Mountains. With its zigzag approach road and magnificent views from each side of the cleft in the mountains this is one place where you must not forget to bring your camera!


Derreen Garden

Derreen Garden was planted 120 years ago and provides unrivalled views of Kilmakilloge Bay and the Caha Mountains. The warming effects of the Gulf Stream on this part of the world create a climate that is almost sub-tropical allowing many exotic plants from different parts of the world to flourish here. Tree ferns from Australia grow beside huge clumps of bamboo, contrasting with the towering conifers and banks of brilliantly coloured rhododendrons.


Molly Gallivan's Cottage and Traditional Farm

Molly Gallivan's Cottage is over 200 years old. On the farm itself can be seen animals, fowl and traditional farm machinery as well as the ruins of a family dwelling from the era of the Great Famine of the 1840's. Nearby is a Neolithic stone row that is said to form part of a very ancient sun calendar. The history of the area is introduced to visitors by a short audio-visual presentation.


Killarney National Park

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Ireland's premier National Park consists of 10,000 hectares situated to the South and West of the town of Killarney.

The Park includes the three world-famous Lakes of Killarney and the mountains and woodland which surround them.

If you  are willing to walk in the mountains away from the well-worn tracks you will find that the luxuriant green of the woodland, the soft air, the vivid blue of the lakes and the craggy mountains still have the same charm that countless travellers have discovered since the 18th century.

You can see the three Lakes of Killarney by boat, the trip takes a whole day and is idyllic in fine weather, or else tour the sights by pony and trap, the famous 'jaunting car', complete with its driver or 'jarvey', who will regale you with local stories as you go.


Muckross House

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This magnificent Victorian country house was completed in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert who entertained many important visitors at the house including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

 

In 1899 the house and estate was purchased by Lord Ardilaun of the Guinness brewing family who subsequently sold it in 1911 to Mr William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy American, who bought it as a wedding gift for his daughter, Maud.

Following her unexpected death in 1929 her husband, Arthur Rose Vincent, presented the house and the 4,000 hectare estate to the Irish Nation in 1932 and thereby created Ireland's first National Park.

You may tour the house, including Queen Victoria's bedroom, which is furnished throughout in period style and with many original features and pieces of furniture. There are also exhibitions and displays illustrating the lifestyles and crafts of the people of Kerry in years past as well as on the woodlands of the national Park itself.


Muckross Traditional Farms

Muckross Traditional Farms invite you to step back in time and visit Ireland in the 1940's and 1950's, a period before the widespread use of electricity, when all work was carried out using traditional methods. You can visit three separate working farms each complete with animals, poultry and horse drawn farm machinery, and also a labourer's cottage, a carpenter's workshop, a harness maker and a blacksmith's forge. The interiors of the houses are furnished in the traditional manner, and include everyday furniture of the time such as dressers, settle beds and meal bins.

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