The elegant riverside town of Kenmare was founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty and is today a designated heritage town. You can trace the history of the town at the Kenmare Heritage Centre and learn about its tradition of lace making at the Lace Museum.

Kenmare is a popular centre for watersports and horse riding, has its own golf course and a fine selection of galleries and craft outlets. In nearby Bonane a newly-opened Heritage Park features a series of ancient monuments while a traditional cottage and farm centre looks at life before the advent of electricity. To the west of Kenmare, Tuosist and Lauragh are bounded by mountains and sea and offer a spectacular setting for walking, cycling and driving. The Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club and the spectacular 19th century neo gothic Dromore Castle are located nearby in the small village of Templenoe.


The Centre covers various themes including famous visitors to Kenmare, the nun of Kenmare, Kenmare's history and historical sites, the effects of the Great Famine on Kenmare and the Landlords of Kenmare. It also houses an exhibition of Kenmare Lace and there is a model and explanation of the nearby stone circle, which is one of the largest stone circles in the south of Ireland.

An integral part of the experience of the Kenmare Story is to visit the Historical sites after visiting the Centre. The Heritage Trail map will show you at first hand some of the delights of Kenmare. All the sites are within walking distance from the Centre and the trail takes about 40 minutes to complete.

There is ample parking outside the Centre.


The Kenmare Lace and Design Centre displays an antique lace exhibition as well as lacemaking demonstrations, in Kenmare town County Kerry. Demonstrations of Kenmare lace, Limerick lace, Carrickmacross lace, Irish crochet lace and bobbin lace making can be seen by visitors. All laces are for sale, as well as lace making materials and books. There is also an antique exhibition at the centre.