County Kerry isn’t known for being a destination for a sun holiday, although life is definitely easier when the weather is fine. But what if the day is a total wash-out?
Fear not! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of things to do in Kerry in the rain so you can wave goodbye to your wet-weather woes.
It is important to note that you should always prepare for changeable weather. Layers of light clothing, a waterproof jacket, and waterproof shoes are essential for a visit to Kerry. Also, note that some of the activities and businesses listed operate on a seasonal basis.
The first part of our guide lists more sheltered outdoor walks which can still be enjoyed in light rain (known as a ‘soft day’ here in Ireland). The second part concentrates more on indoor wet weather activities in Kerry. By the end of it you’ll have plenty of ideas for a rainy day.
But before we start…
Things you should avoid doing in Kerry in the rain
Don’t climb Carrauntoohil in the rain
We understand it’s disappointing if you have travelled a long way to climb Ireland’s highest mountain. However, inexperienced climbers should avoid climbing in bad weather. It may be smaller than many other mountains in Europe and the US but it can still be dangerous. In rain, low dense cloud or heavy winds, a straightforward hike can quickly become treacherous. Unless you are an experienced climber, or you are on a guided ascent, stay off the mountains in inclement weather .
Don’t drive Dingle’s Slea Head or the Ring of Kerry in the rain
These popular peninsula drives aren’t necessarily dangerous in the rain. You would just miss out on the beautiful coastal views which make these two routes so special. On a wet day (or even on dry days if the cloud is particularly low) consider deferring your plans if possible.
If you are only visiting Kerry for a short time and you are determined to do one, or both, of these drives, you could always chance it. Thanks to the various mountain ranges and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Kerry experiences microclimates. When it’s raining in one location there could be blue skies and sunshine 20-minutes down the road. When checking the weather forecast look at more that one location on route. We find the yr.no weather app is usually quite accurate.
If the weather doesn’t clear for you we have wet weather options for the towns of Killarney and Kenmare (Ring of Kerry) and Dingle later on in the blog.
At the south-west part of the Ring of Kerry you have the opportunity to visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre and the Skellig Chocolate Factory (yum!!). Even on a sunny day they’re worth visiting. Or you could stop by the Sea Synergy Marine Awareness and Activity Centre in Waterville. They offer tours and activities which would be a perfect way to while away a rainy day.
Things to see and do in Kerry in the rain
In this first section we focus on some woodland walks which are still beautiful and enjoyable in light rain or showers.
Woodland walks near Killarney
We highly recommend walking to O’Sullivan’s Cascade in Tomies Wood. If the cloud isn’t too low you could do the full, 6km loop walk where you can enjoy some lovely views out over Lough Leane and Ross Castle. If visibility is poor we suggest the shorter walk to the waterfall and back.
In this next section we suggest other walks and activities you can do if you don’t mind a getting a little damp.
Discover the Gap of Dunloe
If you are not familiar with the Gap of Dunloe we have this detailed blog on five exciting ways to explore it. Although there is little to no shelter, it is a great option, even when the weather isn’t the best. Clouds and mist can add to the atmosphere making it even more magical.
Swim, surf or paddle in the rain
As long as it isn’t absolutely baltic or blowing a gale, getting into the water could be a great option for a wet day. Popular beaches include; Banna, Ballybunion, Nun’s Beach and Fenit in the north of the county, Beenbane, Ventry Bay, Coumeenole, Clogher and Stradbally on the Dingle Penninsula, Inch, Cromane*, Rossbeigh and Kells Bay in the Mid-Kerry / Reeks District region and Derrynane and Castle Cove on the south of the Ring of Kerry.
*As an added bonus you can also treat yourself to a sauna at Cromane Beach. This charming, mobile sauna is a great way to warm up after a cold swim. Best to book in advance. Find out more by visiting Samhradh’s Sauna (pronounced Sour-a).
If you fancy a dip in a lake rather than a sea swim you could visit Dundag at Muckross or Caragh Lake near Killorglin.
Please, do not go swimming alone. Check tide times and conditions and heed any other warnings where you are swimming so you don’t put yourself, or others, in danger.
If you prefer to be on top of the water you can opt for a kayaking adventure around Killarney, the Reek’s District, Kenmare, Waterville or Dingle.
If surfing is more your scene you can take surf lessons or rent boards at Inch or Banna Beach.
Our last section covers things you can do in Kerry when you don’t want to be outside.
Explore Killarney, Kenmare, Dingle or Tralee
In very wet weather you may have accept defeat and stay inside as much as possible. That’s OK! Whether it’s a spot of shopping, a long lunch, child-friendly activities or an organised tour, these towns have it all.
Things to do in Killarney in the rain
We’ve already written an informative blog on restaurants and cafés we recommend near our B&B in Beaufort, as well as in neighbouring Fossa, Killorglin and Killarney. Read our suggestions here.
If shopping is your thing and you want to buy authentic Irish goods you can visit either Moriarty’s of the Gap, Kerry Woollen Mills or Quills in Killarney.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the area we highly recommend doing a tour of Ross Castle. Tours are also available at Muckross House and Killarney House and Gardens. You can also visit St Mary’s Cathedral at no charge.
Step back in time at the Kerry Creamery Experience to see how Kerry’s creamery’s used to work before modern technology took over.
Things to do in Kenmare in the rain
For traditional Irish food you could try Mulcahy’s or No 35 Kenmare (Michelin). For international food visit Lagom (Swedish) or Maison Gourmet (French). However, Kenmare is compact enough for you to stroll around the streets (with an umbrella) and see what takes your fancy.
If you want to visit somewhere that doesn’t involve eating or drinking you could venture to Molly Gallivans Cottage & Traditional Farms or Blackwater Woodturners studio and gallery.
Things to do in Dingle in the rain
Ceramic lovers may want to check out these Dingle-based studios and galleries; Dingle Pottery Shop, Louis Mulcahy, Sinead Lough and Penny’s Pottery.
Located in Dunquin is the Blasket Centre. Here’s you’ll find a bookshop, a museum and a restaurant. Tours take approximately one hour.
Things to do in Tralee in the rain
If you have young children, Tralee has several family-friendly rainy day options to keep them entertained.
Some of these are located in Manor West Shopping Centre which is a great place for some retail therapy.
First, you have The Playdium which is a soft play centre suitable for toddlers to primary school-aged children.
Enjoy a wet-weather spa day in Kerry
Sometimes you just have to say ” ahhh feck it!” and treat yourself to a bit of pampering. There really is no better way to beat those rainy day blues. Fortunately Kerry has an amazing selection of larger hotels with their own spa facilities, as well as independent spas and beauty salons in the towns.
Here are a selection for you to choose from:
- The Dunloe Hotel (Beaufort)
- Orchid Day Spa (Killarney)
- The Brehon (Killarney)
- Muckross Park Hotel (Killarney)
- Nails and Beauty by Anita (Killarney)
- Sunflower Thai Therapy Centre (Killarney)
- The Europe (Fossa)
- The Aghadoe Heights (Aghadoe)
- The Park Hotel (Kenmare)
- Sheen Falls Lodge (Kenmare)
- Dingle Skellig Hotel & Spa (Dingle)
- Ballygarry House (Tralee)
So there you have it. Hopefully the sun will be out when you next visit. But, if it isn’t, you now have plenty of ideas for a rainy day in Kerry!
Inveraray Farm is a friendly and welcoming family-run B&B in Beaufort, County Kerry. We have spectacular views of the Gap of Dunloe and the MacGillycuddy Reeks. We also have a cosy guest lounge and speedy fibre broadband to get you through the wet days.