From the top of Killorglin town, turn left at r'abt down Langford St for 800m. Follow white line on road around to the right for approx 2.5 miles as far as Caragh Lake School on right (painted pink. Opp this you will see a former shop with P Shea written over door. Turn left at this house and Ard na Sidhe is 1 mile on the right. Please drive carefully after Killorglin as the roads are very pretty but narrow.
Geographic coordinates (GPS Codes): +52° 3‘ 36.23“, -9° 50‘ 29.46
One of the most intriguingly beautiful areas in Ireland is tucked away off the beaten track around Caragh Lake on the Ring of Kerry. Just south of Killorglin this magnificent lake is four miles long and surrounded by heather hills, forests, and exotic foliage. It is an area that is often missed by the speedy traveller heading south on the Ring of Kerry but for those in the know it is total magic and a wonderful base from which to work out around the South West or just stay put and enjoy the peace and beauty. From here you can see the MacGillicuddy Reeks and the mountains towards Glencar. On one of our many trips to Parknasilla when our boys were young, we stayed at Caragh Lake and next day drove over the mountain on literal goat tracks down to Sneem. It was absolutely magical with mountainy goats literally springing out in front of us on hairpin tracks. In Victorian and Edwardian times the wealthy aristrocrats had homes in the area and the finest of these was undoubtedly Ard na Sidhe Country House.
Built by Lady Edith Gordon, a noted gardener, traveler and writer, in 1913, in an era of graciousness and charm before the Great War, Ard na Sidhe, is an extraordinarily beautiful manor house nestling in woodlands right on the shores of Caragh Lake with unrivalled panoramic vistas. Now an absolutely charming 18 bedroom small hotel, a sister hotel to the fabulous Europe Hotel & Resort and The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens in Killarney, I consider us lucky to be able to stay in such a beautiful place – a place of dreams – to live the life even if only for a brief period. Lady Gordon planted many trees and her spectacular rock garden remains an integral feature of the gardens at Ard na Sidhe Country House.
Ard na Sidhe is total luxury in a beautiful understated way with influences of Arts & Crafts Movement, which flourished between 1860 and 1910. Nestled between 32 acres of spectacular gardens, hidden pathways, and secret glades, which give way to the lakes and mountains beyond, there are ten bedrooms in the main house and eight within the courtyard’s Garden House. Crisp Irish linens, deep mattresses, and sleeping to the gentle sounds of the peaceful lakeshore, after a smashing dinner with wonderful wines, is the order of the day.
The intimate dining room offers a warm welcome, where tables are dressed in crisp linen for breakfast or adorned with crystal for a candlelit dinner. The menu at Ard na Sidhe features a wide selection of both regional and international dishes. Fresh Atlantic Fish and the finest Kerry Lamb are two of the most popular main courses while local cheeses and fresh summer fruits are perfect to round off the meal. After dinner enjoy a brandy from the drinks cabinet and relax by the open fire in the lounge or stroll in the magnificent gardens