Consisting of 15 heavy stone slabs set out in an oval shape, Kenmare’s Stone Circle—known locally as the Shrubberies—is among the biggest of the 100 or so such sites scattered throughout Ireland’s southwest. Though its original function remains unknown, the site most likely held spiritual significance for its Bronze Age builders.
Together with Cromwell’s Bridge, the Stone Circle is one of Kenmare’s top attractions. Some half- and full-day tours of the Ring of Kerry make stops in Kenmare, while others set out from the country town, which is situated at the southeast corner of the 111-mile (179-kilometer) driving route. Many sightseeing tours combine a visit to the Stone Circle with other Ring of Kerry highlights such as Valentia Island, Cahersiveen, Killorglin, and Sneem.
Things to know before you go
- Kenmare’s Stone Circle is in a grassy field, which may make wheelchair access challenging.
- Bring coins to pop into the honesty box at the entrance; the money helps with maintenance.
- Only limited information is available at the site, so go with a guide to find out more about its history.
How to get there
The Stone Circle is about a 5-minute walk from Kenmare town center. From Cromwell’s Bridge, walk south, passing Kenmare Heritage Center before turning right on to Market Street. Look for signs pointing toward the Stone Circle.
When to get there
Despite being so close to town, the Stone Circle is secluded and peaceful. If you want to have the site all to yourself, go in early morning or late evening when the day-trippers have dispersed.
What Else to See in Kenmare
Kenmare’s Stone Circle is near several other interesting area attractions. Just a short stroll away is Cromwell’s Bridge, a picturesque arched stone bridge that spans the Finnihy River. About a 10-minute walk from the Stone Circle sits Reenagross Park, a leafy woodland park. Here, you’ll find several scenic walking trails, including some that overlook the edge of Kenmare Bay.
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