The Dingle Peninsula and The 19th Green

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October 18th 2013
Published: October 21st 2013
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If we were to travel directly to our next accommodation just outside Killarney we could be there in less than an hour. That would obviously be too easy and all we would be sightseeing would be farmland. So our plan for the day is to travel to the end of the Dingle Peninsula and back again and then onto our hotel, The 19thGreen.

It would have been great to have been able to pull the curtains back this morning and seen the sun shining brightly but.................

The reasonable day of weather we had yesterday has deserted us and there was rain hitting the bedroom window.

We had given a breakfast time of 9am so we could enjoy a lie in and by delaying our departure as long as we could perhaps the rain would clear away.

The Irish breakfast was delicious and very filling with just the black pudding missing. We had seen a comment on a review for the B&B which had lamented the fact that there had been no black pudding included. I wasn’t cheeky enough to mention to Noreen that the back pudding was missing.

We took the N21 towards Castleisland and then switched to the N23 passing the small Killarney airport before changing the GPS to take us to the interestingly named town of Inch which was part way along the lower side of the Dingle peninsula and at the start of the appropriately named Wild Atlantic Way.

We took a stop at the beach at Inch and braved the light misty rain being blown in from the Atlantic by a strong wind to join other people on the beach to experience the wide, flat beach. At Inch there is a promontory of land, mostly low sandhills that stretches out across Dingle Bay to create a very large shallow harbour behind it and protect the waters from the wind that whips in on days like this from the Atlantic Ocean.

The road follows the beach line for a few more kilometres before moving inland away from the steep cliffs until it reaches the main town on the peninsula of Dingle.

The town of Dingle is tucked behind a couple of headlands guarding its harbour and was fairly well protected from the wind we had experienced at Inch. As it was lunch time and the misty rain had stopped we took a walk to see the town and also find a cafe for lunch.

Finding cafes serving quick food was not that easy but we eventually noticed a sandwich board advertising Deirdre’s Cafe where Gretchen had what she described as the best Seafood Chowder she had ever had with chunks of fish and mussels while I had a warm, freshly made large scone with butter, jam and cream with a coffee, all very satisfying.

As we walked back to the car to continue the drive to the end of the peninsula the rain cleared away which would hopefully mean the views we got as we went on further would be clearer than we had had earlier in the drive.

One thing was clear as we left Dingle and that was the number of B&B’s there were on the road along the waterfront. Every second property seemed to have a B&B sign at the street entry.

The road hugged the coastline with some grand scenery of the Atlantic swells crashing up against the rocky cliffs while the right of us were steep hillsides with stone walls for fences.

At Slea Head we came across a dramatic view to the Blasket Islands just offshore. It was here that the Academy Award winning 1970 movie Ryan’s Daughter was set and where a number of scenes were filmed. The wild surf crashing onto the rocks and the long, curved stretch of sandy beach make a photogenic contrast to the sharply rising green hills.

The coastal road is a loop back to just outside Dingle where we switched to the R560 and climbed up to the Connor Pass from where had the weather been clear we would have had expansive views of the end of the peninsula and Dingle and its protected harbour. However, although it wasn’t raining the cloud level was low and you couldn’t see anything except the other side of the road from the car park at the top of the pass.

The scenery was quite different on the other side of the pass or top side of the peninsula with the farmland being flatter and the sea calm as it was protected from the south wind that blew direct onto the shores of the other side of the peninsula.

We finished our drive on the peninsula near Tralee and drove south towards Killarney and our overnight accommodation at the 19th Green Guesthouse which was located opposite the golf course a few kilometres outside the city.

The drive out to and around the Dingle Peninsula had been an enjoyable one with many memorable views of the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the rocky shore,the quaint colourful towns and villages,the green lush hills and the narrow road making it all well worth the journey.

The guesthouse wasn’t quite as good as it looked on the website but the room was clean and would do us for the night.

The closest pub for dinner was a kilometre walk along the road and as the weather was still dry and we needed the exercise after most of the day in the car, we walked.

By the time we had finished dinner the weather had turned on us again and it was hosing down leaving us no option to hoof it back to the guesthouse at the fastest clip we could manage and try and not get too wet.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow brings back a clearance in the weather as we have a day of ancestry investigating while we get on the trail of my great, great grandfather who lived in the nearby Millstreet area.

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