Dingle and Murphy’s B&B
Dingle is one of those places that’s perfect without even trying. We arrived in Dingle after a long day driving the Ring of Kerry. We checked into the homey Murphy’s B&B and headed downstairs to the pub by the same name for burgers and beers. At Murphy’s everybody knows your name. Tipsy Irish lads nursed their pints at the bar while chatting up the young bartenders and fellow B&B guests. Turns out, most of Dingle mimicked Murphy’s – quaint, cozy and all too familiar.
After dinner we took a walk down Strand Street towards Main Street and along the harbor. Traditional Irish music wafted into the roads and dozens of hole-in-the-wall pubs were crowded with jolly Irishmen and a few equally merry tourists. Dingle was once a fishing town, but today there are but a dozen fishing boats left. The town is more popular for its friendly locals, vibrant pub scene and magnificent beaches.
We called it early, and woke up for a typical Irish breakfast served in Murphy’s breakfast room. After all, what’s a B&B without both Bs? The food was impeccable and I was certainly ready for the day. Upon checkout, I started chatting with the waitress. I told her we were heading up to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher but she insisted I absolutely couldn’t drive all the way out to Dingle without driving the Slea Head Loop. It was settled. We’d make a quick detour. Little did I know, the Slea Head Loop would turn out to be my favorite part of the trip.
Dingle Peninsula and the Slea Head Loop
The Slea Head Loop was undoubtedly more picturesque than the Ring of Kerry. The whole route is slightly under 30 miles long. If you were to hurry, you could drive it in less than a hour, but I would discourage that.
Picture narrow little lanes winding along the jagged cliffs with emerald seas on one side and mint green fields on the other. Like the Amalfi Coast, but Irish. During the whole journey, we saw but one or two cars, only adding to the beauty of it all.
The views are astoundingly dramatic. If the weather had been warmer, I would’ve loved to spend a lazy day cycling the route instead, stopping to take pictures, go for a swim and visit the sleepy villages.
Like the waitress said, you really can’t leave Dingle without driving the Slea Head Loop.