Listen to nature’s voice
In the southwest of County Kerry is an expanse of rugged, mountainous country that sweeps down to the world-famous Lakes of Killarney. Here, stretching across 10,000 hectares, lies Killarney National Park, with its unforgettable combination of mountains, lakes, woodland and waterfalls.
Killarney National Park incorporates the lakes as well as Kenmare and Muckross Estate, including Bourn Vincent Memorial Park, presented to the State in 1932 as Ireland’s first National Park.
Twinned with Glacier National Park in Montana, USA, Killarney National Park has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for our work in conservation and research. Learn more about the ancient Reenadinna Woods, the heritage sites within the National Park, and our many activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
Killarney National Park is located in the south west of Ireland in Co. Kerry (beside Killarney town) and can be reached by train, car, and bus. The main access to National Park sites is the N71 road. Please note that driving through the gardens and around heritage sites is not permissible. See how to reach Killarney National Park by clicking the link below.
Nature & Conservation
The red deer in Killarney National Park are the last surviving indigenous herd of red deer in Ireland. The Killarney herd has been here since Neolithic times. All other red deer herds in the country are descended from re-introduced stock.
nature & Conservation
The Reenadinna Woods is the largest area of yew woodland in Western Europe and is designated as a Special Area of Conservation. Trees within it are estimated to be between 200 and 250 years old.
Heritage & Culture
Killarney National Park is unique in its close proximity to Killarney town. It has many heritage sites including Muckross House and Gardens, Killarney House and Gardens, Ross Castle, Copper Mines, Innisfallen, Muckross Abbey, the Briceen and Old Weir Bridges.
A rich variety of species and habitats is essential for the wellbeing of people and the planet. Ireland has a low number of species compared to the rest of Europe, but many of our species and habitats are of international importance. In Killarney National Park we are working to conserve and increase our biodiversity.
Protecting nature is the main aim of a National Park. Conservation work goes hand in hand with responsible outdoor recreation and visitors can help play their part by following these useful tips.
A great way to see and experience Killarney National Park is on foot. There are many accessible trails and paths throughout the National Park. Be prepared for changeable weather. Follow the simple rules in our Walking Advice Guide to ensure your walk is a pleasant one.
Our native oak and yew woods are of national and international importance and of course our unique native red deer are found at various locations throughout the park.
Give yourself plenty of time to visit the numerous historical sites, from our most popular Muckross House Gardens and Traditional Farms to Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle, Innisfallen and Torc Waterfall.
We’re passionate about helping young people discover more about our natural world and how to care for it. Killarney Education Guides can support your school in experiencing the National Park and making connections with subjects right across the curriculum for when you return to the classroom. Learning together through the landscape, we explore the past, present and future of this special place.
There is an interpretive exhibition in the grounds of Ross Castle, which gives information on the castle and history of the area.
See information on the renovation and history of Ross Castle in the exhibition room to the left of the reception desk. Entry is free.
There is 24 hour pedestrian access to Killarney National Park throughout the year with the exception of access to gardens at both Killarney House and Muckross House. These are open daily but hours vary.
Last entry to the exhibition is 5:00PM
Seasonal hours may vary
Events run all year in the National Park. We update our website, Facebook and Twitter pages regularly with event news.
Check Facebook and Twitter for updates on planned roadworks that affect the National Park. For info on day-to-day issues like flooding, contact Ranger Base.
Parking within the National Park is free. The main car parks are listed below.
Muckross Car Park
Muckross House and Gardens has several car parks including a large car park located near Muckross School House suitable for larger vehicles like camper vans. Access is between 8:00AM and 9:00PM. Overnight camping and parking is not permitted.
Ross Castle Car Park
Ross Castle has two car parks and is open 24/7. Overnight camping is not permitted.
Muckross Abbey Car Park
Muckross Abbey has two parking areas accessible 24/7, one on the left of the N71 opposite the National Park entrance to the Abbey, and a second with limited spaces opposite the Muckross Park Hotel.
Killarney House and Gardens
Killarney House and Gardens is located in Killarney National Park on the boundaries of Killarney town. There is no on-site car parking but there are plenty of public car parking facilities nearby.
The Beech Road Public Car Park is ideal for visitors to Killarney House and Gardens and the Demesne with a side entrance from Beech Road/Mission Road into the National Park. For visitors to Deenagh Lodge, the Demesne and Knockreer, use on-street parking on Port Road opposite St. Mary’s Cathedral.
There are also some smaller car parks located throughout the National Park that are close to attractions, trails and pathways. You will find more information on the site pages. Some sites have limited parking spaces so we encourage visitors to use the larger car parks when possible, especially during busy times, and leave small car parks at sites like Torc Waterfall for visitors with limited mobility or access difficulties.
Permits are required in Killarney National Park for all commercial and organised activities or events including:
Apply for a canoe or kayak permit
No private boating permits are currently available. To inquire about being added to the waiting list, or for any other permit queries, please contact the Regional Manager, Killarney National Park, or the General Manager, Killarney House and Gardens.
+353 64 6635215
Killarney National Park covers an area of over 26,000 acres incorporating lakes, woodlands, waterfalls, buildings and natural heritage. Within this huge area you will find many visitor facilities which include parking, toilets, restaurants, cafés, gift shop, sweet shop, family facilities, first aid, etc.
There are toilet facilities at various locations in the National Park:
Killarney National Park Visitor Centre
Toilet facilities located on the ground floor include a unisex, wheelchair-accessible WC suitable for people with disabilities and mobility issues. Baby changing is also available.
9:15AM – 5:15PM
Muckross House and Gardens
Toilets, including disabled toilet and baby changing facilities, are available in Muckross House and Garden restaurant. Public toilets are on the grounds to the left of the entrance road into the main car parking area.
10:00am – 6:00pm
Check locally for further details.
Toilets are located on the far side of the castle near the café kiosk. Signage at the castle directs you along the path via the café/kiosk. Access is via a set of old concrete steps. Toilets are open year round but with varying seasonal times.
Toilets are located a short distance from the lower car park. Please note the walk is uphill and seasonal opening hours apply.
Privately-run toilet facilities are available at additional sites, subject to seasonal opening times, including at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, Dinis Cottage and Deenagh Lodge.
From restaurants to kiosks there are plenty of options for meals and snacks at the National Park. Visitors may picnic in the National Park but we ask that you Leave No Trace. BBQs and campfires are not allowed in the National Park or gardens.
Muckross House Garden Restaurant
Two minutes from Muckross House, adjacent to the main car parks and entrance road. Open 7 days a week.
9:00am – 7:00PM
9:00am – 5:00PM
A thatched cottage built in 1834, inside the National Park gates opposite St. Mary’s Cathedral on Port Road. A small café run by Downs Syndrome Ireland is a great location to grab something to eat while enjoying the scenery.
Ross Castle Kiosk
Private kiosk selling drinks, ice creams and light snacks. It also has a sit down picnic area for customer use only.
On Dinis Island via the N71, 7km outside Killarney town. The cottage dates to the 1700s and is ideal for those following the Muckross Loop walk. Tea room serves light snacks and cakes. Its windows feature names that were carved into the glass using diamonds, some dating to the mid 1800s.
Lord Brandon’s Cottage
At the southern end of the Gap of Dunloe, not far from the Black Valley. A wonderful open air café.
The craft shop at Muckross House stocks gifts, jewellery and clothing from Mucros Weavers, Muckross Pottery and Muckross Bookbinding. The sweet shop at the Traditional Farms has a variety of gifts and sweets.
Muckross House and Gardens:
The craft shop is on the right of the entrance and car park.
Muckross Traditional Farms:
The sweet and gift shop is in the entrance building.
Family facilities located throughout Killarney National Park include play areas and baby changing facilities.
Baby Changing Facilities
Find baby changing facilities on the ground floor of the Visitor Centre, at Muckross House Garden restaurant and in the public toilets at Muckross House car park.
Access the National Park’s inclusive playground via the entrance on the Port Road and through the gates, opposite St Mary’s Cathedral. There are toilet facilities on site.
There is a wooded play area at the Traditional Farm in Muckross House. The farm is free to enter.
First Aid facilities, including an AED (defibrillator), are available at Killarney National Park Visitor Centre and Muckross House and Gardens. Emergency services can be alerted from these locations. Contact emergency numbers 999 or 112.
3 February 2023
12 January 2023
17 December 2022