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, 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. 

Bright red leaves of a Japanese maple tree against a dull, wooded backdrop

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.

You could also visit Ross Island near Ross Castle and take the trails to Library Point or the Copper Mine.
 
How about exploring some of the trails around Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney National Park? Many of these are under the cover of trees and you can still enjoy spectacular views of the lake. You might want to walk along to Torc Waterfall or Muckross Abbey while you’re there.
 
If it’s too wet for walking you could stay dry under the cover while you’re taken around Muckross by horse and cart. There’s no need to book in advance. You can turn up without arrangement.
 
Although more exposed, Muckross Traditional Farms are a wonderful option if you have younger children.
 
Derrycunnihy Wood is also a super spot for a walk. Take-in Derrycunnihy Falls as well as other smaller waterfalls and streams. If you want a longer walk you can follow the trail along the upper lake to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. This section of the walk has less shelter.
 
If you have a young family you could drive out past Glenbeigh towards Rossbeigh and explore the Fairy Forest.
 
Another lovely place to visit is Lickeen Wood near Caragh Lake. There is also a wonderful river walk you can do from here and Blackstones Bridge is rather special.
 
Finally we recommend Kells Bay House and Gardens. It’s a fabulous place to visit with children. The Thai restaurant there is fantastic too.

 

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. 

Several sheep alongside a narrow road with a mountain pass and misty sky

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.

 

One for the over 18’s would be a tour of the brand new Killarney Distillery in Fossa. It’s also a fabulous place for a bite to eat. We’re still waiting for the new website and will add a link when it’s up. The Beaufort Bar also offer whiskey tasting so that would be a great way to pass a wet afternoon or evening. 
  
The INEC Arena is a great venue to catch a gig or show. See what’s on here. An alternative would be catching the latest release at Killarney’s Omniplex Cinema.

Things to do in Kenmare in the rain

Kenmare is another wonderful little town with plenty of shops and fantastic pubs and restaurants. On route from Killarney there is the Strawberry Field which specialises in pancakes (a great place for the kids).

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

Dingle is a bustling harbour town with plenty of soul. Again, you’ll find some lovely shops and galleries as well as lively pubs and restaurants.
 
Sadly, Fungie the Dingle Dolphin is no longer around but you can still spot other dolphins and whales on the Dingle Sea Safari. Past guests of ours have raved about this trip! Unfortunately the safari isn’t suitable for young children but Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is a great option for them.
 

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

Nearby there is Bowling Buddies which also has an arcade and a sky walker (minimum height requirement 1.3m).
 
Not far from Manor West you have the Aquadome. This is an indoor water attraction with slides, rapids and a lazy river.
 
You could visit the Kerry Museum or do a tour of the Blennerville Windmill and Visitor Centre.
 
Finally, a short distance from Tralee, in Castleisland, you have Crag Cave. You can visit the caves and, for an extra charge, your child can enjoy the soft play area while you enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat.

A white windmill on the edge of a bay stands out against a moody sky

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:

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!

About us

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.

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