Explore the Lakes of Killarney
They have inspired songs and paintings and formed the backdrop to many a spectacular photo, but the Lakes of Killarney are also wonderful to explore. Even better, they are right on the doorstep of Coolclogher House. Get off dry land and onto the water for one of the most memorable ways to immerse yourself in the magic of Killarney. Here are our recommendations for exploring the lakes:
Hire a Boat at Ross Castle
Ross Castle (5.2km from Coolclogher House) is perched protectively right at the edge of Loch Lein (Lower Lake), Killarney’s biggest lake, and it’s at the heart of much of the watery action in Killarney. Head down to the pier, and one of the experienced boatmen will take you out in an open boat across the lake to Inisfallen, where you can explore the monastic ruins.
If you go in the morning, you can take in all three of the Lakes of Killarney, starting at Ross Castle and winding your way through vast expanses of spectacular national parkland and majestic mountain scenery to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. You can even bring your bicycle or a hired one and cycle through the Gap of Dunloe, or hike through the stunning mountain pass (11km) to Kate Kearney’s cottage, from where you can get a shuttle bus back to Killarney.
Take a Trip on the Waterbus
Take in the entire of the Lower Lake—whatever the weather—on a covered waterbus. The Lily of Killarney and the Pride of the Lakes both depart from the pier directly in front of Ross Castle. The waterbuses depart at regular intervals throughout the day during the summer season, and they can accommodate buggies and small children safely. You will also get an entertaining and informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the lake.
Paddle Your Own Canoe (or Kayak)
Prefer to travel under your own steam? Kayaking is a beautiful way to explore the lakes at your own pace. Mingle among the swans and ducks while exploring the limestone caves along the lake shore and seeing the ancient forests and monastic ruins up close. Don’t worry if you have never kayaked before: You will receive full training and safety equipment before you set off. You have a range of companies to choose from, including Mor Active Tours, Cappanalea Outdoor Centre, and Outdoors Ireland.
Take the boat from Muckross House to Dinis Cottage
It’s not all about Loch Léin: Directly in front of Muckross House (6.7km from Coolclogher House), you’ll find Muckross Lake, or the Middle Lake. Admire a different view of the mountains as you cut through the water on your way to Dinis Cottage, a picturesque hunting lodge that now serves as a charming tea house. The boats leave regularly during the summer from the Old Boathouse, and you’ll have plenty of time for refreshments at Dinis Cottage before heading back to Muckross Gardens.
Looking for some more information about exploring the Lakes of Killarney? Ask your hosts at Coolclogher House — they’d be delighted to help.