Culture and Heritage

Killarney is the backdrop for most visits to Kerry. Since its foundation in 1754, it has attracted more visitors than any part of Ireland and has inspired many generations of poets and painters.

While there are many popular attractions around Kerry and, of course, Killarney, there is also a huge array of ancient hidden gems dotted around the county, examples of these include:

 - Caves, just off the Muckross Dinis walk, just a 10-minute drive from the hotel.
 - Eightercua stone row in Waterville.
 - There are also many historical Ogham Stones located around Kerry and Killarney. The marks on the edges of the pillar stone are characters from an alphabet that was used in fifth-century Ireland. Known as Ogham, the 25-letter alphabet was supposedly inspired by Ogma, god of eloquence.

Another beautiful site to see in Killarney is its famous Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Saint Mary’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral. Only a 5-minute walk from the hotel, this is a beautiful Gothic-style building that serves as the cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Kerry. English architect Augustus Pugin, who worked on the iconic Palace of Westminster, designed St Mary’s with a rugged exterior and smooth, light-filled interior. The cathedral was consecrated in 1855 and renovated in the 1970s.

Your Irish Heritage

Do you believe you are from an Irish descent? At some point in everyone's life, they consider where did I inevitably come from?
Over 50 million people in the world believe they are of Irish descent. Some of your ancestors may have struggled to escape Ireland on ships in the famine, others keen to explore brave new worlds. Have you descended from one of these people? Why not click the link below If a site can help you trace your roots in Ireland. Discover your coat of arms and much more...

Irish Dance

Irish dancing is a very traditional form of dance that is believed to have originated in the 12th century. Irish dancing is noted for its rapid leg and foot movements while the body and arms remain relatively stationary.

The dresses worn by Irish dancers today honour the clothing of the past. Each individual school of dancing has its own distinct dancing costume. Dresses are based on the Irish peasant dress worn approximately two hundred years ago. Many of the dresses have hand-embroidered Celtic designs, and copies of the Tara brooch are often worn on the shoulder. The brooch holds a cape which falls over the back. Male and female dancers today wear hornpipe shoes, and for reels and jigs, soft shoes similar to ballet pumps are worn.

The Irish word céili originally referred to a gathering of neighbours in a house to have an enjoyable time, dancing, playing music and storytelling. Today it now refers to an informal evening of dancing. Céili’s are held in large towns and country districts where both young and old enjoy group dances. The céili can actually be traced back to pre-famine times when dancing at the crossroads was a popular rural pastime. These dances were usually held on Sunday evenings in summer when young people would gather at the crossroads.

Killarney is the ideal location for your stay in Kerry and the Southwest of Ireland, so why not make it your home while you explore the surrounds and delights of the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula. Killarney is the home of tourism in Ireland developed by the landed gentry, particularly the Herbert family whose former residence is now the main built heritage attraction of Killarney National Park. The natural scenery and hospitable reputation of Killarney and its people were bolstered by the arrival of the Great Southern Railway to the town in 1853. Less than a decade later Queen Victoria graced our shores in 1861 visiting the same sites then as you will during your stay here in the Kingdom of Kerry.

Killarney's Medieval and early Christian history is reflected in monastic sites such as Inisfallen and Aghadoe with their foundations dating from as early as the seventh and eighth centuries. Ross Castle an iconic landmark of Kerry dates from the fifteenth century and reflects the complex relationship between Ireland and Britain as it was once home to Gaelic clans and later a British garrison. Consider a relaxing boat trip across the Lakes of Killarney while visiting this impressive structure and enjoy the natural heritage that Killarney has to offer.

Kerry is home to some of the finest scenery in Ireland. The town of Killarney and its surrounding hinterland is thoroughly enjoyed by hill walkers and mountain climbers of all levels of experience. While Ireland's highest peak Carrauntoughil may be a challenge for some, so why not explore Torc Mountain and experience the panoramic views of Kerry.

The National Park is a wonderful setting for a jaunting cart excursion or a leisurely cycle through the home of Killarney's herd of Irish Red Deer, Sitka Deer and the White-tailed Sea Eagles. After your day's activities make your way to the local public house for food, refreshment and traditional and folk music session (Seisun). Traditional music of the southwest of Ireland is distinct in its own right and is very lively in character. These tunes have been handed down through generations over the centuries and are a key aspect of Irish heritage.

Golf and Fishing are also popular pursuits for guests in Killarney, the Irish Open has been held here twice in successive years as recently as 2011. The town is blessed with fantastic scenery and activities that allow our visitors to enjoy their pastime in the spectacular natural environs of the McGillicuddy Reeks mountain range and the tranquil three lakes of Killarney. For those who want to venture further west along the North Atlantic coast, we suggest that you should travel to the small fishing town of Dingle in the Gaeltacht region. Here the ancient Gaelic Irish language is still alive. Travelling around the Atlantic fringe of the Dingle Peninsula offers an equally spectacular alternative to the Ring of Kerry.

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