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Kenmare - Activities and Environs

Kenmare is magnificently situated at the point where the River Roughty opens into the estuary of the Kenmare Bay. Kenmare nestles among the mountains of Cork and Kerry, hence its Irish name "Neidín" meaning " Little Nest" or "Little Cradle".The town was founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty on land assigned to him by the English Government . A prehistoric stone ring indicates settlement here thousands of years ago. The charming picturesque town is a good example of one of Ireland's planned towns. The town is the first Heritage town in County Kerry. The Heritage Centre is located in the Courthouse where Kenmare's history is displayed.The old Kenmare seems to have evolved comfortably into the present. Old pubs, shops selling fine local craftwork, accommodation from hostels to top grade hotels, restaurants to suit every taste and pocket, touring, golf, fishing, and boating - all these have grown organically in The Little Nest, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Kerry mountains, the great bay, and the wooded Roughty Valley. Quite apart from the splendour of its own setting, Kenmare is also an ideal centre for exploring the beauties of the south west of Ireland.



Kenmare Golf Club

Founded in 1903 in a magnificent sylvan setting at a superb location where the cascading water of the Sheen and Roughty Rivers join the Atlantic waters of Kenmare Bay.


Ring of Kerry Golf Club

The panoramic views of the nearby Caha Mountains and Kenmare Bay to the south, combined with the MacGillycuddy Reeks to the north, provide a wonderful golfing experience amidst the tranquility and beauty of Ireland's most imposing landscapes.

Walking and Treking


Walking For the rambler, Kenmare's enviable position allows easy access to both the Beara and Iveragh peninsulas with Ireland's two premier long-distance walking routes, the Kerry Way and the Beara Way, converging in the town. Get lost in thousands of acres of rolling hills and rugged mountains. Our annual Walking Festivals which take place at Easter and May/June offer walkers of all standards, guided walks of various lengths.



Salmon and trout fishing in the rivers and lakes around Kenmare and Deep Sea Fishing Trips are also available from Kenmare Pier.

Nature and Seal Watching Cruises


Boat cruises allow you to explore the natural wonders of Kenmare Bay on one of its fully equipped passenger vessels. Their friendly, courteous and informative guides are waiting to share their interest and knowledge with you.

Wild Atlantic Way


Ireland's Wild Atantic Way is possibly the wildest, most captivating, coastal driving route in the world. Tucked away in little villages and towns that snuggle into the coastline are delightful cafes and restaurants, where you can indulge in your passion for good food and great wine. Maybe you will hear a few words of Irish spoken along the way in Ireland’s Gaeltacht (Irish speaking regions) or you might take time to reflect on times past with a visit to the ruins of a sixth century monastic settlement on the stunning Skellig Michael in South Kerry. Wherever you go along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will encounter moments of magic, moments to treasure and experiences that you will want to return to again and again. This breath – taking coastal route will intrigue and remain in your heart and mind long after you have returned home to the everyday world.  Click here for further details or watch the short video on the left.

Equestrian and Horse Riding


All classes of horse are available for the novice and experienced at local stables. It gives an opportunity to explore the mountains and beaches of this scenic area.



Watersports are in abundance - canoeing, windsurfing, sailing and water-skiing all available within a short distance of town. You can also charter a motor yacht for a day to tour the peaceful waters and discover the many inlets and coves in the coastline all around the bay.

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