Tour books suggest that the best way to visit the peninsula is via rental car, and that was the route we chose. What we weren’t prepared for were the myriad of possibilities that we still had to choose from. Our first stop was the picturesque Inch Beach. North of the beach is a placard that explains why the beach seems familiar—it was used in David Lean’s 1970 film Ryan’s Daughter. The beach and the cliffs make for a perfect view. To make matters even more optimal, we hit a nice, warm day! (“Oh, no,” our landlady told us. “It’s supposed to hit 33 degrees (91 degrees Fahrenheit) today!”)
Next we stopped at the early Christian beehive huts. For a small fee you can visit the private property. However, we weren’t half as impressed with the huts as we were with the small bathroom the owner has built for the tourists! Our best laugh that day was provided by a sign inside the bathroom: “Please bolt the door. Otherwise my goats eat the toilet roll.” Very funny!
We stopped several more times to see the luscious views since there are convenient pullouts along the route.
We were especially disappointed in our compressed time schedule when we got to the town of Dingle itself. Inviting pubs called to us, but we didn’t have time to investigate any of them. Instead we watched a parade before making our way to see the stained glass windows by Dublin artist Harry Clarke at the neo-gothic St. Mary’s.
We didn’t have the chance to spend the night in Dingle. We had to hurry and catch the ferry to continue our trek towards Galway, but I’ve already made a stern note to myself. On my next trip to Ireland, I want to allow at least three days for the cheerful and historic Dingle Peninsula.