Updated: 2 days ago
Ireland and particularly County Kerry is one of the most beautiful places on earth when the sun shines. Unfortunately, our position on the fringe of the European Continent and in the real Atlantic Ocean means we have an overabundance of rain at certain times and our weather patterns can be very unpredictable. With a heart and a half, we Irish wish we could provide you the visitor with stunning weather to go with the stunning scenery but alas, we cannot guarantee this at all. There's an old line of a joke from the famous Irish comedian Pat Shortt ''it would be a lovely little country if you could only roof it!''
Rainy Day Activities in Kerry
Invariably, there will be one or two days during your visit to the Emerald Isle where it is just too wet to be outside and you might be itching to do something; something unique, something off the beaten path, something inside! So what kind of Activities can you do on a Rainy Day in Kerry? Read on below.
I intend for this to be an open Blog Post so if you have a unique activity to share, please contact me with your details. I will keep adding to this as I discover places and activities that I have been to but forgotten.
Woodturning Experiences in Tralee
I have to start with my own Woodturning Experiences which I have set up in the last few years. These give my Guests a little taste of Woodturning and insights into a Woodturner's world. Most people would only have a vague idea of what a Woodturner is and does so it would be an interesting Experience regardless of previous knowledge.
The Experiences have been tweaked and refined based on multiple user feedbacks and I feel I now have the right amount of Guest involvement to make the Experiences worthwhile to the max. I also list on Airbnb Experiences but at a higher rate due to Airbnb's Fees. These Experience encompass the very basics of my Woodturning lessons.
Woodturning is a very difficult craft to learn and I often have Guests requesting to do some Turning or do a bit more Turning depending on which Experience they chose to do. In those cases I recommend going to my Woodturning Tuition page and choosing one of those options instead or choosing the 3 hour option from the Experience page. Regular Tuition delves more into the theory behind Woodturning and each student learns the basics of how each Tool is safely and correctly presented to the turning wood.
Learn methods of making Wet Felt with Wool
Jayne Gillan is a fellow Crafter from the Original Kerry Craft Group and is based in Derrymore which is just beyond Tralee on the Dingle Peninsula. Jayne works with wool through wet-felting and silk nuno-felting methods and lists 2 Experiences on Airbnb Experiences.
You can find the first one Wet Felting Experience here Jayne is extremely talented, her work sells in Boutiques all over Ireland and she has been teaching her methods for nearly a decade. You can also visit her website via the link jaynegillan.com where she also lists more Experiences and are a little bit cheaper than on Airbnb. Follow the link above for more details.
Visit an Amazing Traditional Woollen Mill
Andrew and Yvonne Eadie run one of the last surviving Traditional Woollen Mills in Ireland which have been creating fabrics for some 300 years. Having visited this location several times myself, I can tell you that the machinery is fascinating to watch in action. The complicated set up and running of the machinery and the constant monitoring by staff to ensure accuracy and consistency is mind boggling.
There is an onsite store where you can purchase finished Wool products for both Men & Women like Caps, Blankets, Scarves and Wool items for the home like Blankets, Throws and Rugs. You can also purchase Wool yarn of all types which is also produced in-house and a few other trinkets from other Crafters.
A tour of some of the Factory areas may be arranged if staff are not too busy but it would be highly advisable to contact and try to book an appointment first. They run a very busy business so tour availability is not always guaranteed. You can visit Kerry Woollen Mills here Andrew and Yvonne are also long standing members of the Original Kerry Craft Group.
Get Wet Indoors in one of Ireland's Largest Waterworlds
The Aqua Dome in Tralee is one of Ireland's Largest Indoor Waterworlds & Premier Tourist Attractions located on the Wild Atlantic Way. The Aqua Dome offers tropical temperatures all year round and is a Great Day Out for all the family whatever the weather!
It is brimming with exciting features that captures the imagination of both child and adult alike. The Aqua Dome is fun for swimmers & non-swimmers alike. Side note; I was in secondary school while the Aquadome was being built and watched the complicated construction day after day until it was finished. Have a look at the roof and you will see what I mean.
Visit the Aquadome Website Here
Kerry County Museum in Tralee
Located in the Ashe Memorial Hall which sits at one end of Denny Street, dedicated to the memory of Thomas Ashe. The building is built of local sandstone and houses the Kerry County Museum and the Tralee Tourist Information Office. It is a reconstruction of early Tralee. The purpose of the museum is to collect, record, preserve and display the material heritage of County Kerry.
The contained artefacts from throughout the history of Kerry include sunflower pins worn from the Bronze Age and duelling pistols used by the Liberator, Daniel O'Connell, in the early nineteenth century. It incorporates 'Kerry: The Kingdom' and an exhibit which depicts life in medieval Geraldine (from the Fitzgerald family) Tralee in 1450. It has been a few years since I was there myself but it is definitely worth a look. Visit the Kerry Museum Website here
Tralee Bay Wetlands
While this is mainly an outdoor amenity, the Wetlands has a a fine lakeside Cafe serving Tea, Coffee, Snack Foods and Cooked Meals. Large glass panes ensure a lovely view of the lake and surrounding land. You can always look out at the rain while you enjoy your meal or coffee if that is your thing :)
The Tralee Bay Wetlands project was conceived by Tralee Town Council as an innovative and sustainable visitor attraction. It was designed and developed to the highest international standards, aimed at attracting up to 50,000 tourists per annum. The project, costing €4.5m to develop, was jointly funded by Tralee Town Council and Failte Ireland under the National Development Plan (2007-2013).
The project is unique in Ireland and is leading the way in the vastly expanding eco tourism market in Kerry. It is strategically located on the gateway to the Dingle Peninsula and will greatly enhance the visitor product offering in Tralee. The Wetlands Centre utilises the rich natural heritage of the Tralee Bay area, which is a nature reserve of international importance. Visit the Tralee Bay Wetlands Website here
Crag Caves in Castleisland
Crag Caves is an ancient fossil cave system over one million years old. It was formed by underground rivers and flood-filled chambers, eroding the limestone rock over millennia. Nature stands as a creative and patient stonemason, carving unique and atmospheric tunnels and caverns.
Older than mankind itself, Crag Cave was not discovered until 1983. Today, Ireland’s most exciting show cave is an all-weather visitor attraction located just north of Castleisland, the gateway to Kerry. Having visited this naturally formed system I can tell you that it is hard to put into words. Just wait until they turn off the lights for 30 seconds. Visit the Crag Caves Website here
Muckross House in Killarney
Muckross House, Gardens, and Traditional Farms represent the focal point and nucleus of Killarney National Park. A visit to the impressive location is one of the most popular things to do in Killarney. This is Ireland's oldest National Park, and it includes the world famous Lakes of Killarney, as well as the mountains and woodlands that surround them. Muckross and Killarney National Park are open daily all year round (expect the Christmas period). Please refer to website for more details on opening times & prices.
At the time of writing, the Muckross House Website appears to be offline so I have linked to the Wikipedia page instead. I will keep an eye out for the website coming back online.
The Playdium - Something for the Small Kids!
Located in Manor Retail Park Tralee, is the largest indoor soft play centre for children in Ireland and is the newest addition to Co. Kerry’s family and child friendly all weather facilities.
Soft Play Facilities, provide children from birth to 12 years with a safe, supervised and comfortable facility for play, exercise and socialization in a warm, dry and comfortable environment. Parents, who must remain and supervise their children, are provided with modern café facilities, comfortable surroundings, TV and Internet access to while away the hours in comfort. Offering over 10,000 ft2 the Playdium is the largest facility of its kind in Co. Kerry. Open Friday to Sunday from 10am till 6pm and always on Public Holidays.
I am trying to feature North Kerry first before branching out to the rest of the county. If you have an activity or business experience that you want to share, please contact me with details. I intend for this Blog Post to expand and continue for a while to come. If you have made it this far, thank you for your attention. Maybe I could cheekily tempt you to browse around my website David Condon Woodcraft
Thanks for reading this far, David