Articles posted in Dingle Peninsula, Kerry, Ireland

25 articles


Dingle’s Eask Tower

A small tower with big views.

Before I moved to Dingle I spent several years driving up and down from Kildare almost every weekend. At 5pm most Fridays I would race out the office door and disappear down the M50 taking my place in the general exodus heading south for the weekend. The drive down to Dingle never bothered me too much. Even with the heavy traffic and the long journey late into the evening I was always excited and happy to be on the road to my favourite part of the world. There's something about the Dingle peninsula - there's an allurement that goes beyond the stunning scenery, the warmth of the people or the music or the craic - there's a magnetism to the place that does something to your soul! I craved it back then and I'm still hooked today having lived here for the last 3 years.

Nearing the end of those journeys I used to always look forward to catching my first glimpse of Eask Tower. When the distinctly rounded shape of the tower would appear on Carhoo Hill it meant that I had just 8 minutes more driving until I finally reached my destination. The sighting of the tower would lift my spirits and my transition into Dingle mode for the weekend would be complete. Quite often the thought would occur to me that in the same way the sight of Eask Tower must have symbolised the ending of journeys for many seafarers since its construction over 150 years ago.

Built in 1847 as a famine relief project, the 12 metre tower is built of solid stone nearly 5 metres thick. The tower used to have a large wooden arrow pointing towards the mouth of Dingle harbour until it suffered storm damage in 2014. Eask Tower was built to guide ships safely towards the mouth of the Harbour. Having followed the direction of the arrow, vessels then had to navigate their way directly between two smaller white towers on either side of the entrance to the harbour in order to remain in the deepest part of the channel all the way in through the harbour. The ruins of these two towers can still be seen at either side of the mouth of the bay. Beside the tower there still stands a fully intact World War II Lookout Post. These posts were manned 24 hours a day by soldiers to protect Ireland’s neutrality during the war.

Eask Tower offers panoramic views out to the Iveragh peninsula, the Blasket Islands, across to Dingle town itself and to the mountains beyond. It is a magical location from which to watch the sun set over the Atlantic at any time of the year. It is an easy 10 minute drive from Dingle and can be reached on foot from the parking area on the road. The pleasant walk takes around 30 minutes and leads you through lush green pastures as you follow the path up to the tower. A €2 donation can be paid to the landowner. Don’t forget to close all gates as you go as there are usually sheep grazing in the area.

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A peaceful place, steeped in history -  and if you can see Eask Tower on the horizon you know you’re not far from a warm welcome, a cosy pint and the wild openness of the Dingle Peninsula.

Yasmin Kenny

 


A Haven of Luxury in Killarney

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YNA Dingle has been a great success and we are thrilled to announce our new venture into Killarney.

The vibrant, bustling town of Killarney has a buzzing social scene, its home to a huge variety of pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Brimming with culture, steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, there is something uniquely special to offer to every type of visitor. From adventure lovers to foodies to music fans to those who simply want to relax and unwind completely Killarney provides a wealth of opportunities.

Introducing ‘Killarney Haven’ our first Stay YNA Killarney home. This trendy town house has it all ... a luxurious outdoor hot tub, hammocks and tastefully decorate interior which includes two large double bedrooms best-hot-tubto ensure all it’s lucky guests have a super comfortable stay. Located just off the Ross Road, it is a short five minutes walk to the lively heart of Killarney town. After so much adventure, activity and indulgence the hot tub and hammocks are the perfect tonic for the weary traveller. Then if it's a good meal, a few social beverages and plenty of craic you're after you are in for a treat as its all just around the corner.

An adventurers paradise, Killarney and it's surrounds are a second-to-none playground for the outdoor enthusiast. Cyclists are spoiled for choice when it comes to scenic routes which take them off the beaten track through wild rugged landscapes. Molls gap and the Gap of Dunloe provide challenging climbs for those looking to push themselves, the views are worth it!

Stunning routes for walkers range from casual strolls such as the spectacular Torc Waterfall or the grounds of Muckross National Park to scaling the heights of Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain. A half day guided kayak trip from Ross Castle on the idyllic Lough Leane is an unforgettable experience. The trip includes a stop-off at the historical Inisfallen island which is home to the ancient ruins of one of Ireland's first monasteries and a herd of wild Sika deer.

 

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For those seeking to soak in the scenery in a more relaxed fashion, the Killarney Day Tour takes guests through the Gap of Dunlop by pony and trap followed by an open boat cruise along the lake or you could simply shop till you drop in the many boutique shops along its colourful streets.

Whats not to love!  


Celebrate… Dingle Style. The Festival of May….Féile na Bealtaine

Wriiten by Grá Dingle Health Foods Owner and artist Kate Shelley

If there was ever a time that Dingle opens it’s feathers fully & flashes it’s peacock colours, it’s Feile Na Bealtaine. This buzzing May festival brings together the vast resident talent alongside national & international artists, musicians, word smiths & dancers to create a lively & diverse long weekend of fun.

 

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The feile is family friendly & really has something for everyone, whether your taste is classical, traditional, funk, world or general madness & mayhem.

On Thursday & Friday, debates, poetry readings & art exhibitions begin to mingle with music gigs & DJ nights. Saturday sees the town park transform into a circus & petting zoo. Bands play outside under marquees. The whole town enters into festival mode & the streets come alive with laughter, music & walkabout performers. Afternoon gives way to evening & it seems, as you walk around the town, that every venue has a different sound emerging from it. You taste one flavour, then another, entering portals that bring you into entirely different worlds. Sunday begins to gear up for the parade, then more music and performance follow till late in the night.

 

Bealtaine celebrates the start of summer in the Celtic calendar. The Celtic calendar begins with Samhain (Halloween), when the world is about to be plunged into darkness, the start of winter. Bealtaine is the last of the three spring festivals and brings light, fire, hope, celebration of fertility and joy.

Dingle is a magnet for creative minds & a large portion of the population is made up of artists, musicians & artisan food producers. This is a small town with many visitors in summer and isolated in winter, a town on the edge of the atlantic, battered by storms, it is rugged and windswept. This unique town, with all it’s inherent talent, mixed with old world spirituality and a true excitement at leaving the winter behind, has brought about an explosion of celebration. The whole town comes together, looks forward to this festival and really puts their heart and soul into it.

We have limited availability for the Feille Na Bealtaine which kicks off on 27th April 2017, so search for your perfect dates in our Dingle homes collection. 


Made in…Dingle!

With the Dingle Film Festival starting tonight Clodagh Edwards caught up with Dingles very own success story, award winning filmmaker Elaine Kennedy. Here she shares her thoughts with us after the recent success of her short film ‘Uisce Beatha – The Water of Life’, which is screening this Sunday afternoon at The Dingle Film Festival.

Elaine wrote, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed film that has won awards across the globe. As well as her own project Elaine has also acted in several other successful Irish films in 2016… Making it, Dead along the way and pick ups.

Wow, what a year you’ve had. What was the highlight of 2016?

Thanks, yes it’s been a fantastic past 12 months…. The highlight of 2016 had to be winning best film at the Richard Harris International Film Festival where we were also nominated for 2 other awards for best actor and best director.

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What was the inspiration for Uisce Beatha Water of Life?

Uisce beatha - water of life was based on a true story about an experience I had with my dad a few years ago. Friends and family were moved by the story and I knew that it had all the right ingredients to make a good short film.

What makes the Dingle Film Festival unique? 

We are extremely fortunate to have such a high calibre festival in dingle. It attracts industry professionals from all over the country and this years new pow wow event will be a huge draw and very educational plus a great way to network with other professionals. I'm really looking forward to it and Im sure it will be a massive success. I'm very fortunate to have it in my door step every year.

 

What films are top of your list to see at the Dingle Film Festival this year?

I’m looking forward to seeing the other great films by female film makers living in Dingle that will be screened as part of the “Dingle women in film” programme. I’m also looking forward to seeing the other short films in the festival. I enjoy short films as there is a real craft to telling a story in approximately 10 mins and trying to succeed in achieving the same effect on the audience as you would with a full feature length film.

You still have to bring the audience on a “journey” but in a much shorter space of time. In 90 mins you can watch up to 10 films so there’s always lots to talk and debate about afterwards!

It’s great to support locally made films and “Making It” directed by Eamon Norris which was filmed in North Kerry is a very funny film! Ironically I am acting in this film as well, as my good friend Moya Farrelly who is a very naturally talented actor also lives in Dingle. It’s about a guy called Mike who has lost his job and decides to make a movie, so it’s a movie within a movie!

Stanley – A man of variety directed by Stephen Cookson is having its Irish premiere and stars Timothy Spall (Turner, Secrets & Lies, Harry Potter).

After Involvement in several Irish film productions last year, what do you feel about the Irish Film Industry’s status globally?

I really think it’s a really good time for film in Ireland, as we have gained recognition worldwide for our natural talent of storytelling in a visual format with writers such as Benjamin Cleary who won the Oscar with Stutterer in 2016 and directors such as Lenny Abrahamson director of “Room”. We also have some very talented Irish Actors doing very well globally with the likes of Colin Farrell, Brendan & Domhnall Gleason, Saoirse Ronan, Ruth Negga etc. Ireland and Kerry in particular is becoming a talked about place for film location with Star Wars returning for the second time to film here last year. With the new studio facilities opening up in Limerick we should see more international projects coming to Ireland to avail of our indoor and outdoor filming locations.

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What is your all time favourite film?

No one has said they have seen it…. But my favourite film is North Country 2005 directed by Niki Caro. It makes me cry every time!! Ironically, the lead character and the director are female but that’s not the reason why I like it. However, I wish there were more roles like this for women in film and that is why I hope to write more of my own work to create female roles that are more powerful rather than the girl next door type role that we so often see. I love to see a female role that shows strength, intelligence, bravery and courage because that’s what women are.

As a successful female director & actor living in rural Ireland, you are an inspiration to women out there. Have you any advice to young Irish artists?

I tend to make goals and “to do” lists for myself….. I can visualise the huge end goal that I want to achieve and then I break it down into smaller parts making smaller more achievable and less daunting goals. I focus on each goal but with high expectations.

Don’t depend on others to help make it happen for you. Starting is always the hardest but once you start to see progress it gets easier.

Do something every single day no matter how small to achieve your goal.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you cant do something. Hearing things like this can throw you and make you feel less confident about your decisions. Go with your gut feelings.

Finally work hard and be patient but don’t sit still while you wait!

Your short film has been well received at film festivals around the globe. What does the future hold? Any plans for 2017?

I am currently working on an idea that I feel would make a very interesting tv series… its early days but I definitely want to write more and make more films. I would hope to do more directing and acting in the future.

Everyone loves Dingle, but what do you love about Dingle?

I love Dingle’s spirit and energy…. There’s something here that words can’t describe and that I haven’t found anywhere else in the world. It’s the people, the streets, the air, the mountains and the sea. Dingle is great for creativity and community spirit. I think we all have a little madness about us in Dingle but in a very good way. It’s a very special place that I love and I am very proud of. I feel very lucky to live here….. Who needs Hollywood!

Click here to check on last minute availability for the film festival. Don’t forget to use promocode FILM100 to get Euro 100 discount on your booking.


The Green Party!

Clodagh Edwards (Director of STAY YNA Dingle) has a passion for Dingle history and tradition. St Patrick’s day has both and also fulfils her other passion – the love of a good party! Here’s her perfect St Patricks day in her beloved home town…

20% of all St Patrick Day stays 13-17th March – use promocode Paddy20

RISE AND SHINE… At first light, as the sun rises over Dingle, early birds and night owls join together to wake up the town. On St Patrick’s Day The Dingle Fife and Drum Band join them at 6am.  It’s the 1st parade of St Patricks day in the whole of Ireland. so is pretty special. It’s also not just a tourist gimmick and has its roots in a time when it was forbidden to gather in big groups in daylight for fear of revolution. So this early morning parade has its heart deeply set in the historical roots of Ireland.

The parade winds its way around the town and folk of all ages walk straight out of their homes and join in the march. As they make there way up Green Street there is a break for mass in St Mary’s Church. A brilliant tradition.

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FEELIN PECKISH…
We really need more breakfast cafes in Dingle, but there is a one place for scrumptious late breakfast/brunch at the Greys Lane Bistro just a short distance up Green Street on the right.A BRISK WALK…
If you don’t make the 1st parade or you want to stretch your legs before the next parade then you could take a short walk on the marina across from the Aquarium or a longer walk but still easy stroll along the coast out to the lighthouse (just past the Skellig Hotel about 40 mins return).
TIME TO CELEBRATE…
On the corner by the bistro is a great spot to watch the next parade at Midday full of children, cattle, musicians and locals. This 2nd parade is for everyone and is definitely unique with floats displaying sheep, tractors, babies, boats and dogs in green tutu’s. It’s charming, fun and feels very personal as it is a parade for St. Patricks day not the tourists, some of the costumes are ingenious made from whatever could be found in the press.DRINK TO THE MUSIC…
There are lots of amazing things to do in Dingle for all ages besides drinking but on St. Patricks day it would be rude not to explore the interiors of a least a few of our characteristically Dingle Pubs, as inside you will also find something for everyone. All the following pubs are on our STAY YNA app available to download for free from your app store.You will stumble across a day session of traditional music in most of the pubs but this is where you would find us …Kennedy’s because it’s so cool for school and has an enclosed courtyard for the kids!
Dick Mack’s is full of character and characters. Something funny or entertaining always happens here, it’s just one of those places. This famous whiskey bar was originally a leather makers (shoes belts etc) and a pub co existing together in harmony! They still do leather workshops.
The Courthouse is a great pub always showcasing the best of Irish folk and trad music. It’s small with a big ambiance.
Foxy Johns because it’s a hardware store and a pub and that should be supported. It resembles a tardis as opens it out into a huge backroom with an open fire so good for families if it’s raining. Currans was a hat shop and a pub, another great union. It still has cute snugs and all the original shop features, apothecary cabinets filled with curiosities.

Nelly Fred’s Garage is where all the non traditional Irish bands play, we have been to some great gigs there so will be checking their agenda for the night.
The above stops are all at the top of town if your at the bottom of town Annie Agnes is a great little pub to visit on Green Street as is Bawns across the way, I love the back room there so, so 70’s.

DON’T FORGET TO EAT… 
Food for us will be a possible stop at The Boatyard on the harbour for the kids favourite calamari or a seafood frenzy up at Doyles on John Street… we will probably snack on the delights from Bacus bakery/cafe during the day and I know later before we head home we will pick up a take away from Chewy’s food van nestled in by Dick macs in a cute, trendy courtyard.

STAY CLOSE TO THE ACTION… It’s a lovely day to just be in Dingle and soak up the atmosphere. Local parades and festivals unite a town and the children just love being involved. Dingle sure has its fair share of them throughout the year! If you want to stay in the heart of Dingle the following homes are in the heart of town or a short drive away…

20% of all St Patrick Day stays 13-17th March – use promocode Paddy20