Castlemaine...

Castlemaine is a great place to base yourself for your tour of Kerry, lying on the road between Killorglin and Tralee, it is a short drive from Tralee; Kerry's principle town, Killarney and Kerry Airport. It is close to all of the county's attractions and is known as the gateway to both the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry. Castlemaine has all the facilities you would expect in a town pubs, restaurants, post office and shops.

Castlemaine is named after a castle that once stood on the bridge across the River Maine. All that remains of the castle now is part of the supporting buttresses and the stone socket on which the pivot of the castle gate turned.

Castlemaine is not only ideally located for your Kerry vacation it also is a beautiful town in its own right. The town is picturesquely nestled between the Slieve Mish range of mountains to the North and West and Castlemaine Harbour to the West. The town services the local farming communities, the rich surrounding farmland is breathtaking with rich green and emerald fields stretching out from the town. The town is built around the lovely River Maine. There is car park and picnic site neighbouring a pleasant wooded area which has a walking trail through it. It rises to almost 200 meters over sea level. The woodland comprises of Sitka spruce, Noble fir, larch, birch and ash. On this walk there are in spots unimpeded views of the valley below and the panorama of farmland, mountain, and sea. There are also great views from mountain passes in the area such as the Short-Mountain-Road and Ḅthar-Na-gCloch offering elevated views over the entire area.

 

 

Castlemaine has a wide range of quality accommodation to suit all budgets, ranging from hotels and bed & breakfasts to hostels and self catering accommodation. Castlemaine has a nice variety of pubs which are well worth a visit on a warm summers evening or a cold winters one!.

For diners there are a selection of restaurants

A wide range of indoor and outdoor pursuits are available locally some of which include horse riding, golf, sandy beaches, fishing and hill walking.

Nearby Dhu Varren Garden is a treasure. Described by visitors as 'Kerry's Botanical Garden' this garden has grown to contain one of the largest and most diverse plant collections of any private garden in Ireland. Another gem close by is The Sewing Shed. Here you can learn thread painting, to making a Celtic swirls table runner and rag dolls at their full and half day workshops. At the bohemian style Phoenix Vegetarian Restaurant at nearby Keel, you can learn belly dancing and salsa dancing.

Take a tour out the Tralee road to the famous Jack Duggans Bar. The bar which is over a hundred years old and famed for music and song, takes its name from Australian outlaw Jack Duggan from the famous song The Wild Colonial Boy. "There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name / He was born and bred in Ireland in a place called Castlemaine."

There is great fishing to be had in the area on the River Maine, Little River Maine and The Brown Flesk River. These rivers get a good run of salmon and sea trout late in the season. The grilse enter the river in June and the sea trout run in July. The Little Maine is primarily a brown trout and sea trout fishery. The Brown Flesk is a spate river and can give good sport for salmon and sea trout.

On your Kerry tour enjoy this lovely area by staying in one of many friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Farmhouses and Self-Catering accommodation.