Motorcycle in Ireland – part 2 destination Kenmare

Motorcycle in Ireland – part 2 destination Kenmare

In Part One I wrote about my journey from Dublin down to Listowel in County Kerry. This second part follows a decent overnight stop at Carriglea in Listowel and my trip down to Kenmare in the south. As you might expect I didn’t take a direct route.

For my second day I had decided I would head for Tarbert on the Shannon estuary and then to the coastal seaside town of Ballybunion on the Wild Atlantic Way. Aoife my host for my first nights stay had told me about a place called Nuns Beach – so named after a convent that is located at the top of the cove.

It didn’t take me long to get there and it certainly was beautiful. In fact Nuns beach is one of three beaches in close proximity to each other, the other two being Mens beach and Ladies beach and an area I hope to return to next year with my wife.

Back on the road and some good advice

After spending some time in Ballybunion enjoying the views of stunning beaches and headland I decided to make my way down a small access road to one of the pretty deserted sandy beaches.

Whilst there I spent some time chatting to a chap who had just come out of the sea after his daily swim. We spoke about where I was heading and he told me that he thought I had a good route set out – in fact what he actually said was that “someone has marked your card well”.

He went on to suggest that if I had time during my stay I might want to try a route known as the Ring of Beara. In his opinion he thought it more picturesque and quieter (due in part to the roads being smaller and preventing it’s use by tour coaches). Consequently it turned out to be really good advice and pretty much informed my plans for the third day of my Ireland visit.

Wild Atlantic Way

After stopping at Ballybunion my route for the day took me along parts of what is known as the Wild Atlantic Way, down towards Derrymore, Killorgin, Portmagee and Waterville and then onto Sneem and Kenmare and my accommodation at The Rose Garden.

I stayed at the Rose Garden for a couple of nights and wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again, decent accommodation, secure parking and only a few minutes walk to the town centre. Its also superbly positioned for the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Wild Atlantic Way is basically a tourism trail mainly on west coast but also covers parts of the north and south coasts of Ireland. As far as I am aware I think if you were to drive or bike the whole of the Wild Atlantic Way if would cover about 1,500 miles or so.

There was no way on this trip that I would do the whole of it and nor did I want to on this occasion – but I would be surprised if I am not back there again at some future point.

The coastal scenery on my route was beautiful and at times truly breathtaking – without doubt some of the views that I saw were a match for most any other coastline I have seen on my travels anywhere.

Without question I must go back there.


Kenmare is a pretty town with plenty of places to eat and drink and is an ideal place to base yourself for a few nights. Given its wonderful location in an area of such outstanding and unspoilt beauty  and it would probably work well if you wanted to take a ‘rest day’ from riding and just take in a slice of Irish ‘town life’.

In Part Three of this blog post you can see pictures from my superb ride around the Ring of Beara and the simply wonderful Healy Pass.


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Picture gallery

Clicking on any of the images below will open a picture gallery from my travels from Listowel down to Kenmare. You can click or scroll through the images.