Points of Interest

Points of interest within the Kerry Way trail

Features and Folklore

Lord Brandons

stage image Take a break at Lord Brandons Cottage cafe, an old hunting lodge. From here continue on the Kerry Way or by boat to Ross Castle.

Black Valley Post Box

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Black Valley Hostel

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The Gap of Dunloe

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This narrow, heavily glaciated pass, runs north south between mountains of Old Red Sandstone; Purple Mountain on the east and the MacGillycuddy Reeks to the west. The spectacular scenery and rugged landscape has ensured that 'the Gap' has long been a popular tourist attraction.
It measures c. 11k (6.8 miles) from north to south and nestled within it are five lakes, connected by the River Loe.
Visitors usually ride or walk north from Kate Kearneys Cottage to the head of "The gap" before decending into the Black Valley. 

Killarney Upper Lake

stage image Surrounded by high mountainous terrain, the Upper Lake is one of the three world-famous Lakes of Killarney. Located within Killarney National Park, the Upper Lake is linked to the Muckross (middle) Lake by the river known as the Long Range.

Black Valley

stage image This unique and remote location is located on the south-eastern side of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, which rises to over 1,000 meters ( 3414ft). The Black Valley links the Gap of Dunloe on the north with Moll’s Gap on the south. It also forms part of the walking trail known as the Kerry Way, one of the most popular and longest of Ireland’s walking trails.

Cummenduff Glen & Lough

stage image Enjoy a peaceful walk in the scenic and remote Cummenduff Glen away from all the noise of the day to day life.

Lough Reagh & Bunabinia Waterfall

stage image At the end of Cummenduff you can take a short side trip from the Kerryway to visit the picturesque lough Reagh

Cillín (prounced Kill een)

stage image Irish: (Children's Burial Ground) A cíllín an area of ground once used for the burial of the unconsecrated dead, usually still born babies or babies who were not baptised. However, these burial grounds were also often the final resting place of criminals, suicides and strangers whose faith remains unknown.There are many unrecorded and long forgotten  Cílliní (Irish :plural) scattered throughout the countryside.

Curraghmore Standing Stone Alignment

stage image Curraghmore  stone row stands on the saddle ridge that extends north from Broaghnabinna mountain to Curraghmore Lake. It consists of three stones the highest of which, at the east end, stands to 1.95m. Overall, the row measures 2.70m in length and is aligned east-south-east to west-north-west. Stone rows of this type are a feature of the Cork and Kerry region and they are generally believed to date to the Bronze age (c. 2500BC- 500BC ). The function of stone rows is uncertain. However, their alignment may be astronomically significant.

The Bridia Valley

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The Bridia Valley is located on the south-western side of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain range, which rises to over 1,000 metres (c. 3414ft).
Located between Cummenduff Glen on the east and Glencar on the west, there are only a few houses in this isolated but beautiful valley.
Sheep farming is the main occupation engaged in by the people of this heavily glaciated, rugged landscape.

The Lack Road

stage image The Lack Road is an ancient path over a mountain pass which has probably been in use for over 5,000 years.

Derrynafeana (Oak Wood of the Fianna)

stage image A network of pre-bog walls occupies the peat covered ground that runs north from the Kilduff River to the slopes of Slievanore. The walls are heavily concentrated in two roughly rectangular areas south-east of Lough Accouse and are probably prehistoric in date. The first area extends c.240m north-south and c.100m east-west and includes circular hut sites and enclosures. The second area lies c. 100m to the east and extends c. 70m north-south and c. 190m east-west. A fulacht fiadh (cooking site) consisting of a semi-circular mound of burnt stone lies c.230m  south of the first area.

Ancient Field System

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One of the oldest field systems in the world, over 4,000 years old, has finds suggesting a large group of people lived here. Ancient field systems are made up of stone alignments, abandoned famine villages, old mining villages and ruins.

Lough Accouse

stage image Lough Acoose (Loch an Chuais meaning Lake of the Recess) is located between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Glencar in the Derrynafeana Valley which has been inhabited for over 5,000 years and is also full of Irish Mythology and Legend of Na Fianna. 

Standing Stone Alignment of Lough Accouse and Rock Art

stage image Rock art is the term used to describe carvings that are found on boulders or rock outcrops and they are believed to be prehistoric in date. The most common design consists of a cupmark or circular depression, surrounded by a number of rings, often cut by a groove. The designs were formed by hammering stone or metal points onto the surface. Rock art has been found in various parts of Ireland including Counties Donegal and Louth. In Kerry the greatest concentrations occur on the Iveragh and Dingle Peninsulas. Similar rock art has been found in Scotland, northern England and north-western Iberia.

The Tunnels

stage image Unusual feature with a tunnel type entrance at the North.  Slight in curving of the walls and massive stones used in construction might suggest it is a Clochán or early Medieval hut site reused as a sheepfold.  Date 400 - 1000 AD.

Famine Village

stage image Between 1845 and 1851 Ireland was devastated by famine as the potato crop, on which the majority of the population depended, was attacked by potato blight. During those years up to one million people died from hunger and disease, while up to another million emigrated. The impact of the Famine upon Irish social life was enormous. The landless labourers who formed the poorest social class were almost wiped out, while many landlords suffered financial ruin. The Irish language suffered a sharp decline. The tradition of marrying early ceased and the birth rate fell sharply.

Mass Rock

stage image Carrig an Aifrinn. (Irish: mass rock). Various laws were passed during the 16th and 17th centuries, which made the practice of the Roman Catholic religion unlawful in Ireland. Catholic priests suffered severe penalties, including death, for ministering that faith. However, mass was often celebrated secretly, in isolated, open-air locations such as this. The large flat-topped rock visible at this site would have served as a ready made altar. The Penal Laws were largely revoked in 1791and 1829.

Mining Village

stage image The Abandoned Mining Village is located in the Derrynafeana Valley, near Glencar, Co. Kerry. The copper mines dating back to the Bronze age.

The School

stage image In the late 18th and early 19th centuries a network of fee paying schools and charity schools provided basic education for a small portion of the Irish population. In 1831 the British government established the National Board of Education, which grant aided school buildings and the payment of teachers. Originally it was intended that children of different religious faiths would be educated together, but this policy failed. In 1891 it became compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14 to attend school. The Gap of Dunloe National School is believed to have been built at this site in 1869. Surrounded by Nature, the National School in the Black Valley is very isolated. Many small, old schools like this one are now closed.


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What life was like

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Kate Kearney's Cottage

stage image A trip through the spectacular Gap of Dunloe was as popular with visitors to Killarney during the 19th century as it is today. At that time, many of the Gap inhabitants supplemented their income by supplying refreshments for the visitors. These refreshments included goats' milk and illegally stilled whiskey, known in Irish as poitín. According to legend, Kate Kearney was amongst those who distilled poitín and supplied visitors with refreshments in her cottage.

Introduction - Black Valley

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Introduction at Pier

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Life in the Valley

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First phone in the Black Valley

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