Muckross Abbey

Top choice in Killarney National Park

Signposted 1.5km northeast of Muckross House, this well-preserved ruin (actually a friary, though everyone calls it an abbey) was founded in 1448 and burned by Cromwell's troops in 1652. There's a square-towered church and a small, atmospheric cloister with a giant yew tree in the centre (legend has it that the tree is as old as the abbey). In the chancel is the tomb of the McCarthy Mòr chieftains, and an elaborate 19th-century memorial to local philanthropist Lucy Gallwey.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Killarney National Park attractions

1. Muckross Traditional Farms

0.52 MILES

These recreations of 1930s farms evoke authentic sights, sounds and smells – cow dung, hay, wet earth and peat smoke, and a cacophony of chickens, ducks,…

2. Muckross House

0.69 MILES

This impressive Victorian mansion is crammed with fascinating objects (70% of the contents are original). Portraits by John Singer Sargent adorn the walls…

3. Torc Waterfall

1.65 MILES

This picturesque 20m-high waterfall cascades down a series of rock steps 7km south of Killarney, a 300m walk from a car park on the N71.

4. Killarney National Park

1.76 MILES

Sprawling over 10,236 hectares, this sublime park is an idyllic place to explore. Ross Castle and Muckross House draw big crowds, but it's possible to…

5. Ross Castle

1.88 MILES

Lakeside Ross Castle dates to the 15th century, when it was a residence of the O'Donoghue family. The entertaining 45-minute guided tour combines an…

6. Killarney House & Gardens

2.18 MILES

Dating from the early 18th century, Killarney House was once part of a much larger residence that was later demolished; it was restored in 2016 and now…

7. Franciscan Friary

2.39 MILES

This 1860s Franciscan friary displays an ornate Flemish-style altarpiece, some impressive tile work and, most notably, stained-glass windows by Harry…

8. St Mary's Cathedral

2.51 MILES

Built between 1842 and 1855, St Mary's Cathedral is a superb example of neo-Gothic revival architecture. Designed by Augustus Pugin, the cruciform…