Muckross House

Top choice in Killarney National Park

This impressive Victorian mansion is crammed with fascinating objects (70% of the contents are original). Portraits by John Singer Sargent adorn the walls alongside trophy stag heads and giant stuffed trout, while antique Killarney furniture, with its distinctive inlaid scenes of local beauty spots, graces the grand apartments along with tapestries, Persian rugs, silverware and china specially commissioned for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861. It's 5km south of Killarney, signposted from the N71.

The house, built as a hunting and fishing lodge for the Herbert family in 1843, is set in beautiful gardens that slope down to the Middle Lake. At the gate, jaunting cars wait to run you through deer parks and woodland to Torc Waterfall and Muckross Abbey (about €20 each return; haggle for a discount).

A block situated behind the main house contains a craft shop and studios where you can see potters, weavers and bookbinders at work; the nearby visitor centre has a cafe.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Killarney National Park attractions

1. Muckross Traditional Farms

0.19 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 Abbey

0.69 MILES

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…

3. Torc Waterfall

1.03 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

1.28 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

1.99 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

2.67 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. Inisfallen

2.91 MILES

The first monastery on Inisfallen (the largest of the islands in Lough Leane) was founded by St Finian the Leper in the 7th century. The extensive ruins…

8. Franciscan Friary

2.92 MILES

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