The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. The river running through the gap is the river Loe from where the Gap gets it’s name. The Gap begins at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. The road, narrow in many places, winds through the pass and descends into The Black Valley passing five lakes, Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. Within easy walking distance from Kate Kearney’s cottage is a picturesque old bridge known as the ‘Wishing Bridge’. It is said that wishes made here really do come true!
The Gap is approximately 11 km from north to south. You can hire a jaunting car (horse drawn wagon) to travel through the Pass and take a boat back to Killarney from Lord Brandon’s cottage at the other end. It makes a good challenging day’s exercise by bicycle. You could travel the opposite direction by taking a boat ride from Ross Castle in Killarney with your bike to Lord Brandon’s Cottage and cycle back through the Gap to Kate Kearney’s cottage.
Killarney National Park
South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains nestles the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lakeshores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 10,236 hectare (26,000 acres), Killarney National Park. The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.
The nucleus of the National Park is the 4,300 hectare Bourn Vincent Memorial Park which was presented to the Irish State in 1932 by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs William Bowers Bourn in memory of Senator Vincent’s late wife Maud.
The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens. The house which is presented as a late 19 th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artifacts of the period is a major visitor attraction is jointly managed by the Park Authorities and the Trustees of Muckross House.
The former Kenmare Desmene close to Killarney Town is also part of the National Park and features Killarney House and Gardens and Knockreer House, which is the education centre of the park.
Killarney National Park contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs and a profusion of bryophytes and lichens, which thrive in the mild Killarney climate. The native red deer are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age.
Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas, which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives.
Contact Person: Kathryn Freeman
For half a century the Moriarty family have been welcoming tourists to ‘Moriarty’s’, one of the finest gift stores in Ireland. Located at the foothills of the McGillycuddy Reeks, just 10 minutes drive from Killarney town centre. A new edition to our offering at ‘The Gap’ is Heather, an artisan restaurant set on the River Loe with stunning views of the iconic Gap of Dunloe.
Heather Restaurant is a bright and spacious table service restaurant which opens onto 5 acres of kitchen gardens and ornamental landscaping. Our vision is to produce fresh, simply prepared, seasonal food at this vibrant new venue.
As well as produce from our own garden and poly tunnels, we take advantage of the wealth of local artisan food producers, organic farmers and wild Atlantic seafood that the South West of Ireland has to offer. Heather is set on 5 acres of multi-level gardens with breathtaking views of the McGillycuddy Reeks.
Follow the walks and paths that surround Heather to learn more about this stunning, rugged landscape.
Families who are looking for an interactive and friendly dining location without compromising on quality or value are always welcome. We look forward to welcoming you to ‘The Gap’.
Contact Person: Denis Pio Moriarty