North Kerry Way

A glance at a relief map of Kerry will show at once the ruggedness of this coastal county, with its reeks and ridges and spiny peninsulas stretching out into the ocean. Contour lines crowd together and dark shadings tell that most of the land is at a high level above the sea. But it is not all like this. Stretching north from Tralee to the mouth of the Shannon is an area that is markedly different from the general turmoil of hills and deep valleys. Proudly proclaiming itself North Kerry, it is not exactly a plain but its heights are gentle and undulating and its economy is vibrantly pastoral. It is here you will find the Trail described in this guide.

The North Kerry Way – "Sli Chiarraí Thuaidh" in Irish – is one of Ireland's long-distance pathways approved by the National Waymarked Ways Committee. Its total length is 48 km (near enough to 29 miles). Average walkers should find little difficulty in completing it in two days, but it can be broken up into shorter stages.

The starting point is near the Tourist Office in the Ashe Hall, Denny Street, Tralee. From here, the Way goes through the Town Park, on to the bank of an old ship canal, past Blennerville and by a sea wall to the Spa. A country road then brings the walker to a splendid firm beach that is followed through Banna right into Ballyheigue. The nature of the terrain changes here as the path traverses the low hills of Kerry Head and loops back to finish at Ballyheigue.

There is infinite variety on this walk with the Atlantic Ocean always in sight, sometimes a mile or so away, but more often at one's feet. The landscape is uncluttered and there is everywhere a feeling of space and great openness, with vistas to the horizons. It is a journey to be enjoyed at any time of year, each season bringing its own charm and freshness.

Next - Tralee to Spanext