Listowel & North Kerry

The North Kerry region is a region full of culture and heritage, with a multitude of ancient sites, churches and field monuments.. A true hidden gem, the region offers golden beaches, renowned links golf courses, literary festivals, historical churches and more. Long, sandy, Blue Flag beaches draw families to Ballybunion year after year. They are safe for walking, swimming and surfing – plus there are caves and a medieval castle ruin to explore! A most dramatic stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way traces its way all along the Shannon Estuary Way as it winds upwards towards the Cliff Coast.

Listowel offers plenty to explore. Listowel Castle is thought to have been built in the 15th century and overlooks the Feale River. And the Kerry Writers Museum provides visitors with a unique audio-visual experience of North Kerry’s famous writers. St. John’s Theatre and Art Centre is located in the heart of Listowel town and has an event calendar worth checking out. Staying with historical activities, a trip to the Lartigue Monorail is a must for any rail enthusiast! Invented by Frenchman Charles Lartique, the Lartigue Monorail system operated from Listowel to Ballybunion. At its invention, the Monorailt was the first of its kind in the world and indeed the Lartigue Line remains the only one of its kind. From 1888 until 1924, the monorail operated by distributing passengers and freight equally on either side.

For history lovers, Kerry County Museum's displays nearby in Tralee bring the heritage of Kerry to life through reconstructions of some of Kerry's most impressive monuments and castles including Carrigafoyle Castle, a defensive fortress on the Shannon Estuary with an impressive architecture and history.

The golden beaches of Ballybunion are Blue Flag beaches and are ideal for walking, swimming, surfing and other water sports. There is a beach to the North and South; however if you are standing at Ballybunion Castle, to the left is known as the ‘Men’s Beach’ and the right is known as ‘Ladies Beach’. There was a time when women and children were only allowed on Ladies Beach. On Ladies Beach now, there is a seaweed bath, small cafe and ice cream shop. 
There is also a Cliff Walk along the coastal cliffs. The route offers views of sea stacks, wildlife and a small no-access beach known as ‘Nun’s Beach’ that is overlooked by an old convent.

Ballybunion has two link golf courses with views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. These world-class golf courses are the ‘Old Course’ and the ‘Trent Jones Cashen Course’. The playground in Ballybunion is located a short distance from the beach, and parking is available nearby. 

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Stories from Kerry

Grounded in heritage yet open to ideas, Kerry is a place to gain and share perspective. Keep exploring the county with our latest blogs.

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The Local's Guide to Kerry

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