Our day started with a travel let down and ended with a whiskey in a castle. What more could you want from a day on the emerald isle?
As ever with travel there are circumstances and places that you go to where you think what on earth were people thinking when they recommend this place. We felt that way about Kinsale. Perhaps a bit harshly but I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.
Kinsale is well known for being a colourful small town with photogenic houses and a pretty harbour. The harbour was indeed pretty and there were colourful houses but I didn’t get that feeling I get when I go somewhere I love.
Kinsale was just not for me.
The beginning of our outdoor adventures was in the Killarney National Park. 90 minutes or so by car from Kinsale it was pretty easy to get there, we parked in the car park for Torc Waterfall and headed out for an afternoon walk.
We learnt in Canada that with most of these nature attractions and swarmed by tourists for the 10 minutes it takes to walk there and then pretty quiet after that. This attraction, Torc Waterfall, followed the same pattern.
A short 10 minute walk along a wide path leads you to the waterfall.
It’s a pretty waterfall in a nice surroundings but nothing spectacular. A few idiotic tourists were climbing over the rocks and up to the waterfall itself which spoiled our ability to take photos more than anything! Typical travel blogger not wanting other tourists to get in the way! 🙂
We continued the walk following a path which had a 60-90 minute route which took us up and over the waterfall and through some forest and back down to the path that leads to Muckross Abbey. It was a nice walk, despite the initial 15 minutes of steep uphill and groups of excitable scouts.
When we made it down to the lakeside we walked along towards Muckross Abbey for half an hour or so. The weather was wonderful and there were plenty of people around. Next time I’d hire a bike in Killarney and cycle down to the abbey.
After a few hours of constant walking it was time to head to our accommodation for the night. Ballyseede Castle!
It was everything you expect from an Irish castle hotel, slightly old fashioned, slightly feels like you’re in someone’s house but pretty cool at the same time. Our room was round and had a four poster bed.
The evening we were there coincided with England playing in the semi finals of the world cup, we spent our evening in the hotel bar reading, playing hive and listening to all the Americans wishing we would lose. Which we did and to be honest I couldn’t care less. We were more interested in the bar dog who could count stones.
Queue the whole bar taking it in turns to throw the stones in different corners of the room and the dog running around collecting them in his mouth. If you try and trick him by only throwing 5 he will know. Brilliantly entertaining and with a glass of wine and an Irish whiskey, a great end to the day.