Lakes of Killarney and Ring of Kerry
The Lakes of Killarney are a renowned scenic attraction located near Killarney, County Kerry, in Ireland. They consist of three lakes – Lough Leane, Muckross Lake (also called Middle Lake) and Upper Lake.
Lough Leane (from Irish Loch Léin, meaning “lake of learning”) is the largest of the three lakes. The River Laune drains Lough Leane to the north towards Killorglin and into Dingle Bay.
The lakes lie in a mountain-ringed valley starting in the Black Valley. The mountains include :
Carrauntoohil 1,038 metres (Ireland’s highest mountain)
Purple Mountain (832m)
Mangerton Mountain (843m)
Torc Mountain (535m)
Ladies View is a scenic stopping point on the N71 road from Killarney to Kenmare that offers a view of the lakes and valleys.
There are many sites of natural, historic and religious interest on the lakes which are mostly contained in the surrounding Killarney National Park. On the shores lie Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey and Muckross House. On Lough Leane is Innisfallen Island.
Ross Island, a peninsula on the eastern shore of Lough Leane, is the site of copper mines dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age, the earliest known copper mines in the British Isles. The area was also extensively mined in the early 19th century by the Herbert family of Muckross House.
Muckross Peninsula, which separates Lough Leane from Muckross Lake, contains one of the few yew woods in Europe.
The lakes are renowned for their trout fisheries.