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Kenmare

Kenmare (pronounced 'ken-mair') is the thinking person's Killarney. Ideally positioned for exploring the Ring of Kerry (and the Beara Peninsula), but without the coach-tour crowds of its more famous neighbour, Kenmare (Neidin, meaning 'little nest' in Irish) is a pretty spot with a neat triangle of streets lined with craft shops, galleries, cafes and good-quality restaurants.

One of the few planned towns in Ireland, Kenmare was laid out on an X-shaped street plan in the late 18th century by the marquis of Lansdowne as the showpiece of his Kerry estates. It earned its living as a market town and fishing port, and from ironworks, lead mining and quarrying. The Market House and the Lansdowne Arms Hotel still survive from this period – pick up a copy of the Kenmare Heritage Trail from the tourist office to discover more.

Explore Kenmare

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kenmare.

Guidebooks

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