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The Kerry Way

Perfect companion: 2nd edition of our popular waterproof guidebook, updated in 2010
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| |-+  Kerry Way, south-west Ireland
| | |-+  Wicklow Way vs. The Kerry Way?

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Author Topic: Wicklow Way vs. The Kerry Way?  (Read 27563 times)
Joe
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« on: January 15, 2009, 08:01:03 pm »

Hi! We are a couple of friends wanting to hike in Ireland. We walked the West Highland Way last summer and enjoyed it immensely. This summer we want to go to Ireland but we can't decide whether to do the Kerry Way or Wicklow.

Does anyone know how the two compare with each other regarding scenery, elevation, camping site availability, crowded?, climbable mountains, walking primarily on trail or on road, and fitness needed relative to distance?   Thanks a bunch  Grin
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sandrahal
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 09:43:16 am »

Hi Joe
 
I've walked both the Ways, and am the author of the RR guide to the Kerry Way and joint author of the Wicklow Way.  In my opinion, there's no contest: the Kerry Way wins on all counts.
 
Scenery:  the KW passes close to Ireland's highest mountains, making an ascent of Carrauntoohill unmissable (described in the book).  The Wicklow Way does go past Lugnaquilla, but the Lug is tame by comparison.  The whole area around Carrauntoohill has the best of Ireland's mountain scenery and is the one place in the country where you can feel quite remote.  The southern part of the WW is fairly tedious, some would say forgettable, whereas I can't recall anywhere along the KW for which the same could be said.
 
Elevation:  not quite sure what you mean - there are plenty of ups and downs on both Ways.
 
Campsites:  I think (but am not sure) that the KW would be a better bet for commercial campsites, and for opportunities for wild camping.  The WW would almost certainly be more crowded, especially in the area around Glendalough, though you're not likely to see many folk further south.  The early stages of the KW, through Killarney NP could be quite busy, but you soon escape into much wilder country.
 
Trails and roads:  unfortunately you never escape road walking in Ireland, but there's less of it on the KW.  Having also walked the WHW (which I too thoroughly enjoyed), I can say for certain that there's FAR more road walking on both the KW and WW than there is on the WHW.
 
Fitness:  I think the KW would be more demanding, with a couple of pretty long days, though if you're prepared for wild camping, you'd be in a better position to modify these than if you were dependent on B&Bs or hostels.
 
Whichever you decide to do, have a great time.
 
Best wishes, Sandra Bardwell
 
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Enry
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 08:30:40 pm »

I am due to walk the Kerry Way in September 2009 with 3 others. We walk around 10-15 miles a day (more often 10-12) averaging 90ish miles over a week and would like to get the best from the Kerry Way. We normally take a week including travelling therefore we could not walk all of the Way in the week allocated. Can anyone recommend the "best bits" that we can enjoy inside a week. Any accommodation recommendations would be appreciated.
Alan
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sandrahal
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 06:53:56 pm »

Hello there
The best part of the Kerry Way is definitely between Killarney and either Cahirciveen or Waterville - 4 or 5 days fairly solid walking.  The route goes through Killarney National Park then MacGillycuddy's Reeks - Ireland's highest and finest mountains.  Next come a couple of quite wild and remote but lower-level days - some of the wildest country in Ireland, highly recommended.  Your daily upper limit of 15 miles may be exceeded, but only by a slender margin.

For the return to Killarney, there should be a bus service along the main road (the Ring of Kerry), though you'd need to check timetables - country bus services in Ireland are rarely frequent.

Accommodation isn't plentiful and you may not have much choice - so start your inquiries early.  Sorry I can't offer any personal recommendations.  It's a great walk - I hope you have good weather and an enjoyable visit.

Best wishes
Sandra Bardwell
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Enry
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 07:39:48 pm »

Sandra
That's just the information I needed. Sounds great: thanks very much. The forums are wonderful tools. I will let you know how we get on. Thanks again
ENRY
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