Ireland Guide

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Valentia Island, Co. Kerry

Valentia Island (Dairbhre in Irish), is one of Europe's westernmost inhabited locations, lying off the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of County Kerry. It is linked to the mainland by a bridge at Portmagee, as well as by a ferry which sails from Reenard Point to Knightstown, the island's main settlement. The island is approximately 11 km long by 3 km wide.

Valentia was the eastern terminal of the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The first attempt in 1857 ended in disappointment. Subsequent failures in 1858 and 1865 finally resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications in 1866 that operated for one hundred years until Western Union International terminated cable operations in 1966.

On the northwest of the island stands modest Glanleam House amid its famous sub-tropical gardens; protected by shelterbelts from Atlantic gales and never touched by frost, these gardens provide the mildest microclimate in Ireland. Starting in the 1830s, Sir Peter George Fitzgerald, the 19th Knight of Kerry (1808 – 1880), planted these gardens and stocked them with a unique collection of rare and tender plants from the southern hemisphere, normally grown under glass in the British Isles. The gardens are laid out in a naturalistic style as a series of walks. There are plants from South America, Australia, New Zealand (the tallest tree ferns in Europe) Chile and Japan. The gardens are memorialized in a selected golden-variegated Luma apiculata "Glanleam Gold" that originated as a sport in the garden. The gardens are open to the public.

The island has many walks and scenic wonders such as the Pre-Historic Terapod Tracks, as well as boat trips to the Skellig rock or sea angling and scuba diving.

Gardens

Glanleam House & Subtropical Garden - Valentia Island County Kerry ireland
Glanleam House & Subtropical Garden
Valentia Island, Co. Kerry
Experiencing this garden is like straying into a benign jungle where the most exotic of plants rule in wild profusion. And if ever there was a place to give a sense of other worldliness it is Glanleam. The 40 acre site on an east facing bay on Va ...
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Golf

Skellig Bay golf Club - Waterville County Kerry Ireland
Skellig Bay Golf Club
Waterville, Co. Kerry
Course Type: Links
Although a relative newcomer to the Irish golfing scene (opening in Spring 2006), the links at Skellig Bay Golf Club has quickly made a lasting impression already making it into the "Top 50" in Ireland list. The Ron Kirby designed links ...
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Self Catering

Selfcatering
Dingle Marina Cottages
Dingle, Co. Kerry
The newly renovated Dingle Marina Cottages are situated just two minutes walk from Dingle Town on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. The 14 cottages are designed with comfort in mind in a traditional Irish style. Eac ...
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What's On

Caherdaniel Market - Fridays (seasonal) - Co Kerry
Caherdaniel Market

Village Hall, Caherdaniel, County Kerry

 

Fridays: 10am - 12am (June-September plus Christmas)

Contact: Jane Urquahart +353 (0)66 947 5479
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Tourist Attractions

Derrynane House - Caherdaniel County Kerry Ireland
Derrynane House
Caherdaniel, Co. Kerry
Derrynane House is the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell, lawyer, politician and statesman. Situated on the scenic Iveragh Peninsula on the Ring of Kerry coastline, Derrynane House displays many relics of O'Connell's life and career and is now a ...
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Wedding Venues

Wedding
Carrig Country House
Caragh Lake, Co. Kerry
Just off the Ring of Kerry, Frank and Mary Slattery’s delightful Victorian country house is as romantic a location as any bride could wish for, set in acres of secluded lakeside gardens, with its own private jetty. There are churches ne ...
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