Ring of Kerry & International Dark Sky ReserveOctober 5, 2017
Thousands of motorists, cyclists, and walkers travel around Co. Kerry’s Ring of Kerry each year. The traditional route of starting in the vibrant town of Killarney before heading to Glenbeigh, Caherciveen, Portmagee, Valentia Island, Ballinskelligs, Waterville, Derrynane, Caherdaniel and Sneem is the better-known route, there is another “off the beaten track” route but that’s for another day… I promise.
For today’s blog, I want to let you know about South Kerry’s International Dark Sky Reserve. These dark skies stretch over 700 square miles of beautiful South Kerry, stretching from Kells Bay to Castlecove. These Dark Skies hold the distinction of being the only Gold Tier Dark Sky Reserve in the Northern Hemisphere and one of only 3 on the planet. Kerry’s Dark Skies stretch across 700 square miles. The communities of South Kerry are committed to keep light pollution at bay and promote astro-tourism. So, would you travel to Kerry to see the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy or simply relax under a blanket of stars to revitalise your senses? These are all visible to the naked eye without an astronomical equipment, telescopes or filters.
The communities of South Kerry are fiercely protective of their Dark Skies and understand their importance to all nocturnal wildlife on land, sea, lake and river. This area is also rich in heritage sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Skellig Islands, are inhabited by rare and endangered birds & wildlife. The quality of our clear starry skies enables those living in the area today to view the countryside as our ancestors did.
One cannot help but feel inspiration in this place. It is easy to appreciate and understand how the landscape encourages reflection and self-discovery. With its mountains sweeping down to the sea and its highest peaks rising out of the Atlantic Ocean as an island unlike anyother.. this is a place of striking beauty…..