THE RING OF KERRY
OVERNIGHT IN KILLARNEY
We begin our day with a visit to
Muckross House, a splendid 20-room Victorian
mansion built in 1843. The house, overlooking the shores of Muckross Lake,
is adorned with elaborate architecture, form mullioned and stepped windows
to 62 chimneys. Rooms are decorated with locally-made period furniture
and needlework, as well as imported treasures.
This 65-room Tudor-style mansion was designed by William Burn, a Scottish architect. It was built on an 11,000-acre estate in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife,
the artist Mary Balfour Herbert.
The Herberts made extensive improvements to the mansion in the 1850s in preparation for a visit by Queen Victoria in 1861. The cost of the renovations
caused financial difficulties for the Herberts, forcing them to sell the estate. It was bought in 1899 by brewing magnate Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun.
The Ring of Kerry, the long established route around the Iveragh Peninsula,
is one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world. The total distance
is 180 kilometers, or 112 miles.
The Ring starts with the glistening waters of the Lakes of Killarney
and continues past boglands and beaches to the splashing surf of the Atlantic.
It also includes the profiles of Ireland's four highest mountains -
Carrantuohill (3,414 feet),
Beenkeragh (3,314 feet), Caher (3,200 feet) and
an unnamed peak (3,141 feet).
The village of
Sneem, on the estuary of the Ardsheelaun River, is one
of the prettiest in Ireland.
Brightly colored cottages line the streets
of this charming town, which also has a quaint village green.
Cutting through bleak bogland and high mountainous terrain, Moll's Gap offers
some stunning views.
Stone Ringfort (lower right) Near Waterville on the Ring of Kerry
March 12, 2014
©2014 Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel