On The QT

The Gap of Dunloe – a treasured gem!

OnTheQT recently decided to check out the Gap of Dunloe, just outside Killarney. As locals we sometimes forget to check out the gems on our doorstep so that’s exactly what we did. It is a little off the beaten track but that’s what we loved about it. As we drove up to the parking area we met a local man with his horse & cart. Now this was a man full of local knowledge. You would get to know the real local tips about the Gap of Dunloe after a horse & cart ride with him. The horse & carts are very popular with tourists and are guided by men from families that live in and around the Gap. So if you are visiting, this might be a great way to get the local knowledge. We decided we would drive up closer and go for a walk ourselves after getting some amazing tips of this local treasure of a man.

The road through the gap is narrow and winding. We drove a certain amount of the way and walked the rest. I would recommend giving yourself the time to walk through the gap and back. Be sure you have enough daylight hours for the journey.

Sometimes as locals we think all these places are typical tourist spots but this was different. It was so peaceful, calm and really had a local feel to the spot. A treasure gem on our doorstep. The Gap of Dunloe is much more then we expected. The beauty that surrounds it is just breath taking. It is the perfect adventure for a Sunday and with the longer evenings approaching and the sunshine it is even more appealing.  The Gap of Dunloe is the perfect spot for a walk with picturesque views throughout. It is also a popular route to cycle and I honestly couldn’t think of a nicer route. Complete Perfection.

In case you dont feel like walking or cycling the full thing and you feel like mixing it up a little on the day, we love these two tours offered. They are more like an adventure than a tour and you can do it at your own pace so that’s why we love them.

  1. Bus & Boat: Combination of a bus to Kate Keaney’s Cottage, then a journey of miles ahead of you to be taken by horse & cart or if you want to walk(7 miles, approx 2 hour 30 mins walk) through the famous gap, a glaciated valley to Lord Brandons Cottage. After lunch then a traditional style boat takes you through the three Lakes of Killarney to Ross Castle.
  2. Bike on Bus: You cycle to Lord Brandon’s Cottage or Ross Castle and join the boat tour there and take in the breathtaking Lakes of Killarney, Old Weir Bridge and the long range.

Check out their website for more information on tours.

Top Tips:

  • Bring a packed lunch and plenty of water for the trip.
  • Give yourself enough time(daylight hours) for your adventure.
  • You will be tired afterwards so be sure to have accommodation sorted. We recommend Dunloe View Hostel – a home away from home.
  • If you are thinking of biking the trail, be sure to either bring your own bike and equipment or rent a bike in Killarney.
  • Be prepared for the Irish weather – bring a raincoat, something warm, a hat and possibly even suncream (you never know with our Irish weather!!)

Don’t forget to explore what’s on your doorstep, like us you could be surprised with the beauty and local gems you find. Have you found any gem on your doorstep that took your breath away. Have you walked the Gap of Dunloe? We love hearing from you so be sure to share your stories with us.

Happy Exploring from Stephanie & Lauren 🙂

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