Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Dingle Way, south-west Ireland => Topic started by: gizerd on May 27, 2008, 04:06:32 pm

Title: Comparison of Dingle vs. Kerry Way
Post by: gizerd on May 27, 2008, 04:06:32 pm
Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum but have been looking for some people to talk to about the great walks you have in Ireland. I'm starting my tour of the UK and Ireland on June 15th and will be in the area for 8 weeks. I currently live in North Carolina, USA.

I am definitely doing the Wicklow Way, but I'm trying to decide whether to do also the Kerry Way, the Dingle Way or both.  How do they compare?

I am also considering Wainright's Coast-to-Coast in England. Can anybody advise?



Title: Re: Comparison of Dingle vs. Kerry Way
Post by: Jacquetta on May 28, 2008, 09:52:26 pm
Hi Elizabeth

Sorry, I've never done the Coast-to-Coast, so let's hope somebody else can comment on that route.  However, I was heavily involved in books on both the Dingle and Kerry Ways, so here's my view of how they compare:
a) Dingle has much more road-walking than Kerry, almost 50%, which would rule it out for some people.
b) Overall, Dingle is shorter (112 miles cf 126 miles) and less strenuous (Kerry's Sneem to Kenmare is a 19-mile day).
c) Dingle has more beach walking and coastal scenery, whereas Kerry’s scenery is generally more inland, and more rugged.
d) Both offer the option of island side-trips, but getting to Great Blasket (from Dingle) is more likely to be achievable than Skellig Michael (from Kerry).
e) Both have fine mountain side-trips: Brandon is Dingle’s highest peak, whereas Carrauntoohil (Kerry) is Ireland’s highest peak.

I hope that helps a bit, and maybe somebody out there can advise on the Coast-to-Coast.  Read also what Stottie has to say about Dingle Way on the accommodation topic on this board: it's a fine, and fairly recent critique.  And do tell us what you finally decide and how you get on.  Good luck with the weather!

Title: Re: Comparison of Dingle vs. Kerry Way
Post by: gizerd on May 29, 2008, 12:47:48 pm
Thanks for the great comparison, this helps a LOT. I have decided to forego the entire Kerry Way though I may pick up some smaller hikes in various places. I'm officially doing the Coast to Coast, Wicklow Way and Dingle Way. I have 8.5 weeks (minus 1 week in London) so that leaves lots of "wiggle room"!

I'm sure with the weather and how out of shape I am I'll need extra days! I'd like to adopt a laissez faire attitude and just go when I feel like going and staying where I feel I need more time.

As for weather...I finally feel prepared for your rain! When I hike in the US, we just make sure we'll have a good week without rain and go. If it rains, we hole up in our tent playing cards.  This weekend I bought a pack cover and VERY good (read: expensive /sigh) breathable overtrousers and waterproof jacket. A few weeks ago I bought a new pair of leather waterproof boots that I've been breaking in. My colleagues think I look crazy in slacks and big hiking boots as I'm wearing them to work all day!

Title: Re: Comparison of Dingle vs. Kerry Way
Post by: Stottie on June 02, 2008, 08:31:35 pm
Hi Elizabeth

I walked the Dingle Way in April 2008 and Wainwright's Coast to Coast in April 2007.

They are entirely different.
The Dingle Way was very quiet and never far from the sea.
You are sure to have company - almost invariably good company with kindred spirits who will help you if you need them - on the Coast to Coast, which is possibly Britain's most popular Long Distance Path.

Rather than try to tell you everything about the C2C, there are a couple of links you might find useful. contains a busy message board and a lot of accommodation and planning information. also has a message board and several reports of Coast to Coast adventures. My reports on Dingle Way and C2C are actually on there.

The West of Ireland has some of the best coast/mountain scenery I've seen anywhere. As Jacquetta says, it does have quite a bit of road walking. C2C will be a lot of fun, with rugged and steep days in the west, and a great variety of scenery.