If you’re looking to get out into nature in Ireland, then there’s no better way to do it than by visiting Ireland’s first national park, Killarney National Park. A designated UNESCO biosphere reserve, this rugged, mountainous country is home to some of Ireland’s most beautiful and important landscapes, including the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland.
What can I do at Killarney National Park?
Made up of over 26,000 acres, Killarney National Park is more than just stunning mountain ranges, you’ll find the world famous lakes of Killarney, woodlands, waterfalls and more which together create a unique, picturesque environment. There’s plenty to explore, from blissful walking trails, historical houses and gardens, prehistoric sites and an abundance of nature and wildlife.
Muckross House and Gardens are the focal point for many visitors – dating back to the 17th century, this mansion still houses furniture and artefacts going back hundreds of years and it’s location offers spectacular views of the park. The gardens are also recognised around the world for their plant collections, including flora and unique species of plants which may only thrive in Ireland’s mild climate. On top of that, you enjoy a tour of the the historic rooms in Killarney House & Gardens, where you can take in the beauty of the gardens, also making for a fantastic gateway to discover more of the park.
Enjoy one of their many scenic walking routes – take the Knockreer Circular Walk, starting from Killarney House and Gardens, alongside the beautiful banks of River Deenagh, and through the stunning vistas of Lough Leane and the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Take a quiet walk through oak woodlands in the Upper Lake and Killegy Woods route, keeping an eye out for ancient ruins, mountain views and the White Tailed Sea Eagle, the largest bird of prey in the UK.
History and wildlife lovers too will be in their element! There are fascinating historical sites across the park, with prehistoric settlements dating back 4000 years, and mines that are recognised as the oldest in north western Europe. There are a rich variety of species and habitats too, with more than 140 species of birds being recorded, as well as red deer, otters and badgers among other mammals.
If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, then head over to Killarney National Park to connect with Ireland’s nature and enjoy a fantastic day out!
- Killarney House & Gardens Visitor Centre:
Open 7 days a week
Summer: 08:00 to 18:00, Winter: 09:00 to 17:30.
- Click here for opening times and admission prices of Muckross House and Gardens.
- Check this page for walking and hiking routes.