Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kerry. RING OF KERRY, Converted churches, Ireland


There are several western-reaching peninsulas in south-western Ireland:  The Dingle Peninsula, The Inveragh Peninsula with its Ring of Kerry route; and the Beara Peninsula, West Cork.  We focus here on Kerry. These areas are touched by the Gulf Stream, with all the varieties of plants, animals, that allows.

1.  The Dingle, the northern peninsula, is less traveled, and we think, the loveliest. Start at Tralee, and go all the way out past the town of Dingle, and see views of Great Blasket Island and the Atlantic.

2.   Beara Peninsula, the southern one, boasts Mizen Head, the farthest Irish point tip south, out in the Atlantic . We went through Bantry, visited Mizen Head, then back to Skibbereen at its southern access route on the mainland.

3. The Ring of Kerry is a 125 mile route around the Inveragh Peninsula, on a road most use that is now also a well-traveled N70.  Start at Killarney, through Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Kells. Caherviceen, with Valentia and Portmagee out a peninsula there at the end; around to another nice diversion to Ballinskelligs castle and views of the Skellig islands; Waterville, Caherdaniel (Daniel? See speculations about Tribe of Dan, Tuatha de Danaan, etc), Castlecove, Sneem, and Kenmare.  See videos at

Start early - before 10, if you plan to stop and enjoy.  We misjudged the time we would want and got back through a mountainous area at dusk.  Not a good idea. If you are late starting, then do the mountain area first, with the flatland at dusk.


On the way there, see signs of changing times. Repurposed churches without congregations but with new uses. These were near the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, but still on the mainland.

One repurposed church is now a fitness, exercise center.
Templenoe, Kenmare, Ring of Kerry, Ireland. Repurposed church: pub and fitness center.

Another, at Templenoe, Kenmare, is a restaurant and bar - a pub called "The Vestry,"  "Open Daily Till Late." The restaurant advertises at


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