Killarney National Park

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A jaunting car ride and boat tour through Killarney National Park – a gorgeous, calm but entertaining day perfect for touring with all age groups on Ireland’s west coast! 

Boats by bridge, Killarney National Park Ireland

Our second day in Ireland, we headed out to Killarney National Park for a nice jaunting car ride and boat trip around Loch Lein as a nice way to fight the jetlag (which is not super fun with kids), and get out and see the gorgeous park were staying near.

Killarney National Park is gorgeous- winding through Ireland’s highest mountains, along the picturesque loch, and through beautiful marshlands. It’s a perfect afternoon, rain or shine (we had a bit of both!)

As we walked into the park (we parked at the Ross Castle parking lot), we were greeted with a beautifully bucolic scene of colorful rowboats lined up in front of a pretty, ivy covered bridge.

Killarney National Park, Ireland
Horse carriage through Killarney National Park, Ireland

As we rode through the park, we saw tons of tiny deer (which we were told are the small Japanese import, not majestic red deer you see in Ireland’s mountains which are much more skittish around visitors).

Small deer, Killarney National Park, Ireland

We walked on to find our jaunting car driver, and his beautiful (and quite comedic) horse, Tommy.

We laughed so hard with our driver – who regaled us with the history of the park and Killarney, as well as lots of funny stories and jokes.

Killarney Cathedral, through the national park
Killarney House, Ireland
Loch Lein, Killarney National Park
Loch Lein, Ireland
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park

After our jaunting ride, we explored Ross Castle and went on a quick boat ride around Loch Lein. The tour guide showed us past the monastery ruins of Innisfallin, around the gorgeous shoreline, and past some notable islands.

Ross Castle and Lady of the Lake Boat tour, Killarney National Park

It was a beautiful, relaxing ride!

Innisfallen ruins, Killarney National Park Ireland
Innisfallen monastery ruins, Ireland
Loch Lein boat tour, Killarney
Honeymoon Island, Loch Lein Ireland

We particularly loved the tiny “honeymoon island” – which our boat tour driver regaled with stories of local lore that the isle was only big enough for honeymooners – no room for a mother in law!

Ross Castle Tea House, Killarney
Fishing boats, Loch Lein Ireland
Boats on Loch Lein, Killarney Ireland
Pride of the Lakes boat tour, Killarney National Park
View from Ross Castle, Killarney
Killarney National Park, Ireland
Ross castle turret, Killarney
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park Ireland

If you find yourself in Killarney, a nice, long jaunting ride through the park is a must-try- especially with kids. If you’re looking for something more active, there are bike rentals, tons of walking paths, or even rowboats for hire.

And of course, if you’re looking for somewhere great to stay with all the comforts of home (including a fully stocked kitchen!!!), I suggest Killarney’s Holiday Village.

Ross Castle, Killarney Ireland
Jaunting car ride, Killarney Ireland

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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