Muckross House – Two Weeks in Ireland

| September 28, 2012
Muckross House

Ireland’s Muckross House

After our restful night’s sleep just outside of Dublin at Liscara House, We had a wonderful full Irish breakfast and packed our car for an 8:30am departure. Our plan was to reach Killarney in the southwest of Ireland just after lunchtime. Although we were staying in Kenmare at the southern base of the Ring of Kerry for the night, Killarney is home to the Muckross House, Farms and Traditional Gardens, which is worth a visit.

Killarney Ireland Map

Map detail of Killarney and Muckross (courtesy Google Maps)

The Muckross House

As mentioned in Rick Steves’ travel guide on Ireland, Killarney is a heavily touristed location full of tour coaches and tourist shops. Not our cup of tea. Although the Muckross House and Killarney National Park are well worth visiting, I dot no recommend staying in Killarney. There are many more charming and quaint places to stay in Ireland.

Muckross Lake

Ireland’s Muckross Lake

The Muckross House, which is a nineteenth-century Victorian mansion set against the stunning Killarney National Park, consists of a gorgeous house and gardens and a series of traditional farms that can be explored by foot, shuttle bus or horse-drawn carriage. While visiting the house, we had lunch and took a tour of the house, which was full of information about the house and its past owners as well as the local history of County Kerry. We were told that six years of extensive improvements were undertaken at the mansion in the 1850s in preparation for a visit by Queen Victoria in 1861. It is said that these improvements for the Queen’s visit were a contributory factor in the financial difficulties suffered by the Herbert family which ultimately resulted in the sale of the estate. In was later bought in 1899 by Arthur Guinness who wanted to preserve the dramatic landscape, which is now Killarney National Park.

Muckross House Wedding

Wedding photos being taken at the Muckross House

While Donna and I were walking the grounds of the mansion, we noticed a photographer taking wedding photos. Although it was not raining, the blustery day made it difficult for the bride to contain her gown. Despite the challenging conditions, she did not seem put off by the weather at all and was beaming the entire time. The mansion was such a beautiful place for wedding photographs I could not resist the urge to take out my camera with a long lens and capture a few frames of the beautiful bride and her new husband.

Muckross House Carriage Rides

Carriage rides at the Muckross House

After visiting the house, we made our way by foot over to the traditional farms. Visiting the Farms allows you to step back into the Ireland of the 1930s and 1940s when a daily trip to the water well was required and the countryside was still waiting for electricity. We were able to visit three separate working farms (small, medium and large), each complete with animals, poultry and farming machinery. The well maintained dwellings on the Farms are furnished in traditional style, complete with dressers, settlebeds and mealbins. The entire experience reminded me of the Ballenberg Open Air Museum in Switzerland, which has more than 100 century-old buildings from all over Switzerland. Visiting the Farms was an informative, relaxing and culture-rich experience that I encourage you to participate in while visiting the house.

Muckross Farms

Getting ready to milk a cow on the Muckross Farms

While on the farms, an Irish gentleman pulled up on a donkey-drawn trailer to milk one of the cows. The fact that the farms are operated with traditional equipment adds a layer of authenticity to the whole experience. There were many animals on the farms including the roosters and calf and horses you see here. Imagine the tranquility of walking along a farm road surrounded by lush green vegetation and quaint farmhouses topped off with a slight smell of wood burning fires in the air. I hope these photographs give you a sense of our visit and experience at the Muckross House.

Muckross Farms

Roosters spontaneously fighting at Muckross Farms

After spending about three hours at the Muckross House and Farms we hopped back in our rental car and made the 40-minute drive to Kenmare, which is at the southern edge of the world-famous Ring of Kerry. There is a strategy for driving the stunningly beautiful Ring of Kerry that I will share in my next post.

Muckross Farms

A traditional Irish farmhouse at the Muckross House Traditional Farms

Thanks as always for visiting. I hope you enjoy the photographs and posts as much as I enjoy taking and writing them!

Muckross Farms

A calf grazing on the Muckross Frams

Muckross Farms

Farmhouse window on Muckross Farms

Muckross Farms

A horse-drawn plow at Muckross Farms

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Category: Ireland, Photography, Travel

Comments (2)

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  1. ABarlow says:

    Man, what an awesome scene. Really hope one day I’ll get to go to that place. It’s tops on my list!

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks Aaron. It is an awesome place with 360 degrees of beauty!