The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. The river running through the gap is the river Loe from where the Gap gets its name.
The man has been itching to take a trip to explore Killarney ever since we landed in Ireland; we took advantage of one his days off between Christmas & New Year to head that way for the day. Now when it comes to these trips of ours in Ireland, we don’t usually set ourselves a location, we just pop ‘Killarney’ ‘Cork’ ‘Galway’ in the satnav, and it usually takes us to the main centre which is always handy for finding somewhere to park. We love jumping out the car and having an explore, browsing the shops and grabbing a bite to eat.
It’s usually on our way back that we will wander off to the nearest attraction or just somewhere we like the sound/look of and that’s what happened with the Gap of Dunloe, we left the centre with the Ring of Kerry programmed into the satnav and on route we caught a glimpse of the stunning mountains from a distance, so we followed the signs until we got here.
Now if my face would have been stuck in my phone then I would have missed this sign, the man had completely missed it and had carried on driving until I swore I glanced at something which said we should not be driving this way, we reversed and saw this sign and just before that we found a carpark to park in, a free one by some cafes and some toilets, always handy when you have little ones in toll. As you start walking you’ll soon realise why walking instead of driving it is a much better idea, that drive isn’t for the fainthearted.
Now my biggest fear was having to struggle with a pushchair with the weight of a 6-year-old in it up steep hills, but actually, with the presence of the road and plenty of space to move out the way of the odd car, it wasn’t that bad. I actually took the reins on the pushing on our way up and let the man push it back down.
I think if Dylan wasn’t non-verbal he might have told us how it was one of his favourite days out, he enjoyed the calmness of the space around us, the fresh air and the sound of the streams we encountered on our way. He loves water, so we had plenty of smiles from him whenever we parked him up in front of the flowing water.
We walked as far as the ‘wishing bridge’ which the perfect ending to our afternoon walk, we stayed on the bridge for a while and soaked up the beautiful view. Maybe when the kids are older and on a sunnier day, we will do the few hours walk to reach the top of the gap. As you can see we had many photo opportunities and saw so much in just that hour, we spent walking.
With every hill and turn we took we were greeted with a different scene, like so many paintings being bought to life at the same time. We went at the end of December on a mild day and didn’t have to battle our way around many tourists which is always a bonus when you want to marvel at these views unobstructed.