Kenmare, County Kerry

This town, on the mouth of the River Sheen, was founded in 1670 by William Petty, Cromwell’s surveyor general. However, Kenmare’s appearance owes more to his descendant, the first Marquess of Lansdowne who, in 1775, made it a model landlord’s town of neat stone facades with decorative plasterwork.


Today Kenmare is renowned for its traditional lace. During the famine years, nuns from the local convent, St Clare’s introduced lace making to create work for the women and girls. Other attractions include the fine hotels and gourmet restaurants. The town is also an excellent base for exploring the Beara Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry.


Kenmare is a hidden gem and is a must see on your tours of Ireland.