Kells in County Kerry

We’ve rented a home for three weeks across the Bay from Dingle in a community named Kells.

Kells is hardly recognizable as a village in American terms.  There are no main streets, no shopping district, not even mailboxes to identify residences. . . .Kells is just about the greatest place going.  But it isn’t for everyone.  The people that Kells grabs are those who are turned on by extraordinary natural beauty. who appreciate simplicity, who like to chat and read, to walk, to mountain climb, to fish, to swim, to explore, or just to sit by a turf fire.”

These words were written by Tad and  Vicky, owners of the home we have rented.  They emailed a delightful booklet today about the home describing some of its loveliness and a few of its eccentricities.  The booklet tells of some of the people in the area and there is much within it about their love of the majesty of this place in Ireland.

There are suggestions in their book about where to shop, eat out, hike.  They describe the weather.  Among their suggestions is this paragraph:


If we were to limit myself to only one suggestion, it would surely be the Skellig Islands, two massive rocks jutting from the sea off the coast near Valencia Island. Little Skellig is an extraordinary gannet rookery. Gannets are stunning birds with 6-foot wingspans that dive headlong into the sea for fish. There are 18,000 gannets on Little Skellig.  On Skellig Michael, the larger of the two islands, there are the remains of an important 6th century monastery. The trip is reasonably strenuous but is an awesome and unforgettable experience. Information about boatmen making the trip is easily available (see the business cards we have or ask Agnes). Go only on a good day.

In one of the books Patricia and I have been reading, The Travelers Guide to Sacred Ireland, by Cary  Meehan, there is this description:

Skellig Michael is the most remote of the monastic settlements on the rocky islands off the West of Ireland.  It is impossible to visit this island and remain unmoved by the sheer power of it, Skellig Michael monasteryso remote and so high up as to make you wonder if the monks who lived here felt themselves half-way to heaven just by being here.  Did the view every morning fill them with elation and joy and a sense of the presence of God or were they driven mad by the night cry of the shearwaters and the constant physical discomfort of living on a remote rock.


I hope we get “good day” to go.

I want to watch the gannets dive.  I want to walk the the 600 slate steps that lead up 700 feet above sea level.

If we get such a day, you can count on some pictures.  In the mean time, go to google images or bing images and have a look at what others have seen.

Published by philandpatricia

we live in Northport, MI

8 thoughts on “Kells in County Kerry

  1. How could these people have written the information about the house before they knew you? And are the slate steps the ones that were depicted in Ryan’s Daughter? Great film, by the way. David Lean!!!

  2. I have never been to Kells, but I think it will fit you both perfectly. I know you will absolutely love Ireland. I don’t know how far you will be from the Ring of Kerry, but it is a beautiful drive. You can actually do it in a horse-drawn carriage. You are in for a wonderful adventure and we look forward to pictures and comments. Jill

    1. Thank you Jill,
      I think we are on, or at least very near, the Ring of Kerry.
      Tad, wrote these words in his booklet:

      “Bog Village is assemblage of different traditional Irish country cottages and it can be a fun place for a bit of history – albeit a bit touristy. It is on the Ring of Kerry road between Glenbeigh and Killorglin.

      Valencia Island (3) has an interesting Heritage Center as well as the Skellig Heritage center just across the bridge from Portmagee (13). There is an interesting old slate quarry and a set of very early tetrapod fossil footprints. There are great walks on the island, down to the lighthouse or at the westernmost tip up to the tower on Brey Head. Walking out to St Bridget’s Well and the Culloo cliffs beyond then is enjoyable (but be careful as the cliffs and surf have proved literally deadly) as is the Geokaun and Fogher Cliffs site above Chapeltown. Take the ferry over from Renard and look for signs on the ferry.

      There are some interesting exhibits in Tralee as well as some nice public gardens but it is mostly a working town. There is also a long-time summer theater in Tralee.

      The town of Killarney (6) is a satisfactory shopping center, usually has good restaurants, but is too touristy for our taste. There are, however, interesting things nearby. The Lakes of Killarney next to MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountains in Ireland can be seen from all directions. Walking or driving (don’t be convinced you need to ride in a pony cart unless you want to) through the Gap of Dunlow (14) is a traditional tourist activity but is in fact very beautiful. Muckross Abbey, and Muckross House and Museum (15) are interesting stops. The Kerry Woolen Mills (16), a very old and interesting mill run by friends of ours, the Eadie family.”

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