Forgive my absence but we decided to spend last week in Kerry. We were blessed with some glorious sunshine from Saturday onwards. It was a good decision.
Killarney was the first stop on Good Friday and I played golf in fairly cold and miserable conditions on the Killeen course. Henry Longhurst the wonderful BBC golf broadcaster was involved in the layout of the original Killarney Golf Course with Lord Castleross who owned the land. He always maintained that the finishing holes of the original course down by the lake, which are now the last few holes of the Mahony’s Point course was one of the most beautiful golf stretches in Europe. I have always agreed with him.
Good Friday as I mentioned was a cold and blustery day not really suited to golf. I couldn’t help thinking of one of Longhurst’s famous sayings about how golf is not really a great idea during the cold winter months as to play in that type of weather we have to wear three sweaters and as we all know it just isn’t possible to properly swing a golf club when we are wearing three sweaters!
On Saturday morning I played one of Irelands top links golf courses Waterville created by the late John A Mulcahy. The wind dropped and the sun came out and I was able to savour the quality of the course originally designed by Eddie Hackett and given a makeover in recent times by golf architect Fazio. As a golfing destination it is hard to match the quality of Waterville Golf Club and the beauty of its location.
Photo of 16th green at Waterville Golf Club
I have always maintained that my favourite combination on a golfing trip is to play at Waterville and stay at the Butler Arms Hotel, now a third generation family business run by Peter and Mary Huggard’s daughters Paula and Louise. Always wonderful hospitality and great fresh sea food.
The following day my son Owen decided that my aching limbs were to have no rest and persuaded me that a gentle Kerry Way walk from the road overlooking Derrynane Harbour near The Scariff Inn which is situated between Waterville and Caherdaniel, along the old walking path to Waterville would be a great idea. The distance is probably about 6 miles.
Photo of Derrynane Harbour
With some reluctance I agreed and we had a most magnificent few hours walking along the old path overlooking some of the most glorious scenery you will find anywhere. There were a good few people walking on what was a lovely day and one of the good things about Ireland’s recent economic troubles is that we have rediscovered the pleasures of walking and cycling. In Ireland we have some wonderful places to visit. We indeed had a wonderful walk and I just about made it to the Butler Arms where I was revived with a pint (or two!) and a wonderful bowl of chowder!
The following day I was persuaded to do one final walk this time from Daniel O Connells house at Derrynane along the Old Mass Path to Derrynane Harbour. We walked the road for a while and then joined the Kerry Way walk towards The Scarriff Inn just below the main Ring of Kerry road and and along the secret mass Path past the lovely house of Iskeroon to Derrynane Harbour and beach.
I remember my friend the late Dick Lord who was married to my Dad’s cousin Doreen talking about the high cost of renting Iskeroon for a month one summer. It cost according him the totally exorbitant sum in those days of £90 Irish for the month. The positive thing he mentioned though was that the price did include the resident butler! Happy days.
Photos of Derrynane Harbour and Scariff and Deenish Island and Lamb’s Island
Ted Dwyer Family Business