The village of Ballylongford (Beal Atha Longphuirt) gets its name from the ford (Ath) which led to the ancient Longphuirt or Ship – haven of the Ui Conchuir. (The O’Connor Kerry). This was situated at Carrigafoyle, two miles to the north. The present castle at Carrigafoyle was built (1490-1500) by Conchuir Liath O Connor; it is 90 feet high, 60 feet long, and 30 feet wide. Its most interesting feature is the dock surrounding the castle, which allowed boats to tie up in safety at its very door. Brendan Kennelly Festival this festival takes place every August in Brendan’s home village of Ballylongford. Poetry, workshops, historical walks, theatre, music, dance, exhibitions, street spectacle, literary and children’s events all feature in this annual festive feast of local, national and international culture.

Cahersiveen  was founded on the estuary of the river Fertha which flows into the beautiful sheltered Valentia harbour which was a busy fishing and farming town in the 1800’s. In turn Valentia harbour connects a number of islands namely Church Island, Beginish and Valentia Island (location of the first telephone communication between US and Europe). The town of Cahersiveen is surrounded by hills and inlets from the sea which makes up some of the most panoramic scenery in Ireland. There are a number of small but beautiful and sheltered blue flag beaches within a short drive from Cahersiveen and the town itself has a new Marine Centre and Marina. Both Inshore and Deep Sea angling are very popular as well as many other marine activities such as Amphibious Boat Tours, Harbour Tours, Skellig Tours, Rib Thrill Rides, Power Boat Training. Cahersiveen is the perfect location to maximise tours on both land and sea. There are many local hidden spots just off The Ring of Kerry where one can explore the magnificent natural beauty of the mountains, rivers, lakes as well as the seascapes and beaches. Walk or drive to the top of Geokaun Mountain on Valentia Island and enjoy 360 degree views at the summit. Visit historic Valentia Island which has a long established Slate Quarry where slate has been exported to many Countries. Alternatively visit Kells Gardens near Kells Bay approx. 14km on the Glenbeigh side of Cahersiveen. Cahersiveen has a rich legacy of archaeological heritage and is located close to many sites of prehistoric date (Neolithic-Bronze age c2,400-2,000BC). These include rock art, megalithic wedge type tombs, standing stones and stone rows as well as the presence of an ancient field system. Artefacts from both the Bronze & Iron age have been found near Cahersiveen. Other notable pre-historic monuments such as the ringforts can be seen at Cahergal near Cahersiveen, Staigue near Castlecove and Cathair Donall near Caherdaniel. There are numerous early Christian monastic sites in the area e.g. Church Island in Valentia Harbour, Kildreelig near Ballinaskelligs, Church Island on Lough Currane near Waterville, Oilean Lochain, a small island just off the village of Portmagee, as well as the most famous of all at the top of Skellig Michael located 12 km out in the Atlantic. Cahersiveen has a number of excellent restaurants and as it is right on the seafront, seafood is a speciality. However local restaurants cater for a wide range of tastes and there is something for everybody! Visit the beautiful Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church and also The Old Barricks in Cahersiveen town.

The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting antiquities, historic sites, and varied mountain scenery than any other part of Ireland. The Dingle Peninsula is renowned for its stunning scenery  and was the setting for the films Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away.


Listowel – Ireland’s Literary Capital
Nestled in the northern half of the County of Kerry, along the beautiful coastal N69 route, known the world over for lush green countryside and peaceful meandering rivers, is located the lively market town of Listowel, situated on the banks of the River Feale. Described as the Literary capital of Ireland, Listowel, and indeed North Kerry has produced an abundance of world famous writers, giving it a uniqueness not to be found in any other part of Ireland. This is reflected in the writings of the late Dr. John B. Keane, one of it’s most famous sons :

Beautiful Listowel, serenaded night and day by the gentle waters of the River Feale.
Listowel where it is easier to write than not to write,
Where first love never dies, and the tall streets hide the loveliness,
the heartbreak and the moods, great and small,
of all the gentle souls of a great and good community.
Sweet, incomparable hometown that shaped and made me.

Sandwiched between the bustling city of Limerick and the world renowned tourist haven of Killarney, one could be forgiven for dismissing Listowel as another one of the seemingly endless rural towns in Ireland catering more for the strong local farming community, than to the visitor. Home to Kerry Group, one of the worlds largest food producing companies, Listowel is indeed a traditional agricultural centre, however, in recent years the town has recognised the need to look beyond this traditional industry, and develop its strong cultural identity for the economic benefit of the town. Central to this has been the development of a number of major tourist attractions in the town including the Seanchaí – Kerry Literary & Cultural Centre & the Lartigue Monorailway, and the designation of Listowel as a Heritage Town in 2000, one of only 26 Heritage Towns in Ireland.

Listowel is acclaimed nationally and internationally as a place of literary excellence. Its writers, poets and playwrights have captured the essence of rural Ireland – to make us laugh or weep, or simply wonder. To honour this great literary talent, The Seanchaí Centre opened in 2001 and encompasses an audio-visual interpretative museum on the great North Kerry writers including John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Brendan Kennelly, Maurice Walsh & George Fitzmaurice. Located in a magnificently restored 19th century Georgian residence in Listowel’s Town Square, Seanchaí is a museum of words & spirit where the imaginative worlds of the great Kerry writers are evoked.

The Seanchaí Room entices the visitor to sit and listen to the history of storytelling in Ireland and how it was the precursor to the written word. This is exemplified in Ireland’s most famous storyteller, Eamon Kelly, himself a Kerryman. ‘Storytelling’, he claims, ‘is the oldest form of entertainment. It was practised before the written word. The stories were handed down from generation to generation, and in ancient Ireland the seanchai was held in such high esteem that he sat at the same table as the king.’

Take a journey with the Kerry writers through historical and scenic North Kerry in a stunning audio-visual presentation in the Landscapes Room. Learn about the places, people, traditions and customs that influenced the writers in their works – from the harshness of the Atlantic waves crashing against Ballybunion’s rugged cliffs to the magnificent spectacle of the Wren Boys as they perform through the streets of Listowel.

Travelling through the Centre pause and read from the many writers of Kerry; from the experiences of the Great Blasket Islanders – Peig Sayers, Thomas O’Criomhthain and Muiris O’Suilleabhain – to the humorous verse of Robert Leslie Boland.

When a Listowel man takes a drink from any tap in this lovely town
‘Tis not only water thats going down, but the purified secrets of the dead
Flowing into his belly and through his head
No town here or in any land will do this for your body and mind
Inspiration flows through the graveyard sod
Turn a tap in Listowel, out flows God!
Brendan Kennelly

Listowel’s unique railway, the Lartigue Monorailway will open to the public in May 2003. Approved on the 16th April, 1886, under the Listowel and Ballybunion Railway Act, the Lartigue Monorailway was reputed to be the only one of its type in the world and was characterised by an engine and carriages which ran along a single rail which stood approximately 3 feet off the ground and ran through the centre of the train. Designed by French engineer Charles Lartigue, the idea of a monorail was conceived by him after viewing camels carrying goods across the Sahara Dessert.

The Lartigue Monorailway was the first stage of travel for many of North Kerry’s emigrants. The railway was disbanded in 1924 as the damage caused to it during the War of Independence was irreparable, and the company became bankrupt and went into liquidation.

A reconstructed passenger model of the Lartigue Monorail will run along a 1 km track in Listowel at the site of the old Great Southern Railway. Visitors will get the chance to go back in time and experience this unique mode of transport, not to be witnessed anywhere else in the world.

A Lartigue Story

To catch the Lartigue between Listowel & Ballybunion, one did not have to go to the nearest station as the train would stop anywhere on request. About two miles from Listowel the line passed close to a thatched cottage from which the lady of the house – Mamie – often took the train to town. One day when the train was passing the house Mamie was outside tackling her little donkey to his cart. The driver of the LARTIGUE – Jackie Riedy haled her : “Aren’t you coming with us today Mamie”? to which she replied : “Yerra no Jackie, I’m in a bit of a hurry today”!

This does not necessarily mean that the donkey would travel faster than the train but probably to the fact that when her business in Listowel was completed that she would have to wait for the next train to Ballybunion.

Listowel has a long history dating back to 1303 where it first appears in the Plea Roll. Fortress to the Fitzmaurice family the town developed around Listowel Castle, and its magnificent Square is one of its many distinguishing features.

As you walk around the Square you will see a number of buildings of historical and architectural significance. Listowel Castle dating back to the 12th century, was built as a fortress by the Anglo Norman Earls of Kerry. It ceased to be a significant defence in 1559. All that remains of this national monument is a fine twin tower façade. Dúchas, The Heritage Service are currently undertaking conservation work on the Castle which will make it accessible to the public.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, built in 1829, is situated in the corner of the Square, and renovation work over the years included the addition of the spire and porch in 1865 and the side aisles in 1910. According to local folklore, Lord Listowel prevailed upon the clergy to ring the Angelus bell at 7.00 p.m. so that he could get an extra hours work from his men.

A distinctive feature of the streets of Listowel is the colour and variety of its shop front designs. Most notable are The Maid of Erin in The Square, The Harp & Lion and The Emporium in Church Street. These unique items of plasterwork are the work of local craftsman Pat McAuliffe (1846-1921). The Maid of Erin depicts a Romantic image of Mother Ireland surrounded by a harp, a wolfhound and other symbols of Eire.

There are two walking trails around the town. The Riverside Path (4 km) takes you along the River Feale and traverses many distinctive features of the town including Listowel Bridge, the Dandy Lodge, Childers Town Park and The Garden of Europe.

Winner of the 2000 Tidy Towns National Landscapes Award, the Garden of Europe is a place of beauty and peace where one may relax amid representative shrubbery from any European countries. It also contains a public monument to the memory of the millions who died in the Holocaust.

The Old Railway Trail (11 km) commences at the old railway station, on the Ballybunion road, and takes the walker into the countryside through wild bogland where turf cutting takes place.

Entertainment & Activities

Summer in Listowel offers a feast of activities & entertainment beginning in May with the town’s world famous Literary Festival, Writers’ Week. This four day festival brings together the cream of Irish & International literary talent offering workshops, readings & lectures on a vast array of topics. For the non-literary visitor Writers’ Week offers a extensive programme of cultural activities including theatre, film, art exhibitions, historical tours, pub trails and children’s entertainment.

St. John’s Theatre & Arts Centre is the centre-piece of Listowel’s magnificent Square. Located in a Church of Ireland Gothic style church, the Centre features an annual programme of performances including theatre, music & dance, exhibitions, educational programmes and annual summer school.

Pub Theatre entertainment can be found in some of Listowel’s finest hostelries during July & August. Tuesday & Thursday nights the place to be is John B. Keane’s Bar featuring the inimitable Billy Keane presenting is distinctive one-man comedy show & Lartigue Theatre Company presenting the works of the great playwright including the famous “Letters” series – Letters of a Matchmaker, Letters of a Successful T.D.

Monday & Wednesday nights the ‘Melting Pot Players’ presents the best of local and other writers with a mixed bag performance including music, song & dance at Lynch’s Bar, The Square & The Mermaids Bar. Shows commence at 9.30 pm and admission is free!!!

If traditional Irish music is your pleasure, ‘Seisiún’ at the Seanchaí Literary & Cultural Centre every Thursday nights is not to be missed. This show features a blend of traditional Irish music, song, dance & storytelling performed by local world class musicians. Show commences at 9 pm sharp. Traditional music can also be heard throughout the week in some of the many pubs including ‘The Harp & Lion’ and ‘The Pure Drop’ both on Church Street.

The Listowel Heritage Trail leaves the Square at 6 pm each evening during July and August.
A Tour Guide will bring you to the many historical sites of the town and explain the history attached. A Visitors Guide is available.

Other acitivities include a visit to the Kerry Writers’ Museum in the Seanchaí Centre, a drive on the Lartigue Monorailway, radio-controlled model car racing, horse riding, fishing, golfing, crossroads dancing in Finuge, fine dining in Listowel’s top quality restaurants and daily showings in Listowel’s modern three theatre cinema complex.

Each September thousands travel to Listowel for the annual week long horse racing festival, one of the premier events in Ireland’s sporting calendar. The meeting is run on the Island Course located on the opposite side of the River Feale from the Town. The Harvest Festival of Ireland is run in conjunction with the September race meeting and hosts the All Ireland Wren Boys Competition. Both festivals have been part of Listowel’s folk tradition since 1858.


Kenmare, “The Jewel on the Ring of Kerry” nestles on the sea-shore, at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains.

The town, founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty, has preserved many original features. Development has been sympathetic to the tradition of an Irish town. It now bustles with over 30 restaurants, bars, craft shops, hotels, guest houses, and a host of activities for your enjoyment. Kenmare’s hotels and restaurants are among some of the world’s finest establishments.

Touring the surrounding area is a pleasure not to be missed. The famed Ring of Kerry, with 110 miles of breathtaking views is known all over the world, follows the coastline of the Iveragh peninsula. It is one of the most dramatic scenic drives in the country and makes a most exciting day tour. Along the 175km route are picturesque villages, an abundance of historical landmarks, sandy coves and beaches.

To the north of Kenmare is the Killarney National Park, 10,000 hectares of woodland and magical mountains, with spectacular views of the lakes of Killarney.

The unspoiled Ring of Beara lies to the south of Kenmare. Its rugged beauty is beyond compare, traffic is minimal and it abounds with archeological sites and spectacular views.

 Short enchanting drives to places like Blackwater, Rossdohan Pier, Gleninchaquin, Clonee Lakes, or beaches at Allihies or Castlecove will give lifelong memories.

For the slightly more energetic, you have a choice of numerous activities. The surrounding countryside offers a host of marked walking trails. The annual Walking Festivals which take place at Easter and May/June, offer walkers of all standards guided walks of various lengths.

Watersports are in abundance with pleasure trips of Kenmare Bay to see the seals and other stunning wildlife. Canoeing, windsurfing, sailing and water-skiing are all available within short walking distance of town. You can also charter a motor yacht for the day to tour the coastline.

Back on the mainland, there are a number of horse riding stables waiting to bring you up the mountains, along the coast or through the many woods. All classes of horses are available for the novice or experienced rider. Both the Kenmare Golf Club and the Ring of Kerry Golf and Country Club offer a challenging game over their 18 holes, and for those not so fond of the long tree lined fairways, we have a very enjoyable pitch and putt.

For quiet, peaceful days with the rod, there are many lakes and rivers to tackle available locally.

Whether it is walking on the mountains, cruising on the bay, horse riding, golfing, fishing, touring or soaking up the best of music you will not be disappointed in Kenmare


With its three famous lakes and great mountain ranges, Killarney in County Kerry Ireland has been the inspiration of poets and painters over many centuries. The Killarney National Park is internationally renowned both for its scenic beauty and scientific interest. Added to the beauty of the three main lakes are many other lakes in the folds of the mountains, numerous picturesque cascades and, rising to the west of the valley, the peaks of MacGillicuddy’s Reeks. There are many walks and trails around Killarney ranging from a two hour tourist trail around the town itself to the 215km (135 miles) long distance walking route (“The Kerry Way”) from Killarney around the Ring of Kerry.
Visitors can enjoy various day trips around the area. The Gap of Dunloe Tour is highly recommended and discovers Killarney at its mystical best, Torc Waterfall is one of the finest waterfalls in Ireland and Ladies View offers some of the most spectacular views of the Killarney valley. Visitors without their own transport can travel in the traditional jaunting-cars, water buses or in modern coaches around the area.

With cars having access only to Muckross House car park, the Muckross and Dinis Tour is best done by jaunting-car, bicycle or on foot. The 21km (13 miles) round trip has some of the finest and most beautiful scenery in the country and affords magnificent views of the Lake District.
There are many places of interest and of historical importance to visit in Killarney, such as waterfalls, churches and monuments; the town is an excellent centre for shops and cinema and for the sporting enthusiast there is angling and water sports, golf, riding, orienteering and canoeing and much more’ for the evenings there are singing pubs, banqueting, cabarets, dancing and drama.



Killorglin the gateway  to  The Ring of Kerry has many fine restaurants, pubs and accommodation to offer the visitor.
Killorglin is the venue for one of Ireland’s most unusual street festivals – Puck Fair. The fair is one of Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated and is held without fail on 10th, 11th and 12th August every year with 12 hours of free family street entertainment.


TRALEE is Ireland’s newest visitor destination. Situated at the Gateway to the Dingle Peninsula and within 30 minutes drive from Killarney it is the ideal base for exploring the world famous Kingdom of Kerry.

During the Middle Ages Tralee served as the capital of the powerful Munster Geraldines.

 Today it has all the facilities of a capital town: historic buildings, spacious parks, good hotels and restaurants, excellent shopping and nightlife.

Tralee boasts some of Irelands top heritage and leisure facilities. a must see is the award winning “Kerry the Kingdom” Museum at the Ashe Memorial Hall where among the many surprises is a trip by time car back in time to the middle ages.

Tralee is also home to Siamsa Tire – The National Folk Theatre of Ireland. Blennerville Village near Tralee is the location of Ireland newest and most unique maritime experience – the building of a tall ship Jeanie Johnston