A dog-friendly weekend in Killarney

Updated On: February 04, 2024 | Published On: June 24, 2021

After all of the restrictions of last year, we were so excited to get an opportunity to see more of Ireland and its fantastic dog-friendly destinations. Our latest dog-friendly Irish road trip took us to Country Kerry and the absolutely stunning Killarney National Park with huge lakes, acres of untouched parklands, and stunning walks.
Whilst in Co Kerry, we stayed a stone's throw from Killarney town center at the very pet-friendly luxury accommodation, Dromhall Hotel, run by the Randles family along with its sister hotel, also in Killarney, the Randles Hotel.

Want to know about other hotels that are part of a dog-friendly hotel chain? Read our blog article that goes into detail, including listing out each individual pet policy for the dog-friendly hotel chains across Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

Both pet-friendly hotels welcome the furry member of our families, accepting small and medium-sized dogs in the pet-friendly rooms. Dromhall Hotel underwent a big renovation over the 2020 winter, completely transforming their lobby into a luxurious and elegant space, a perfect place to enjoy an evening drink or cocktail with your pup sitting beside you. 

They also redecorated and refurbished their bedrooms. Our room was spacious, comfortable, and cozy. There was plenty of floor space in the room for Poppy's bed and water bowls without tripping over anything. 

It's worth noting when at the hotel, pets are only permitted in the lobby and on their big outdoor dining terrace. There is a small additional charge for the furry friend of €20 per stay. Both hotels have free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel grounds and free private parking, which was great considering how popular the town is.
best dog friendly hotels in killarney.jpg
We arrived in Killarney mid-afternoon, went straight to the Dromhall Hotel to check-in, and were greeted with a very pet-friendly atmosphere and great customer service. 

The receptionist checked us in, fussed over how cute Poppy is, and booked us an outdoor table for dinner at the on-site pet-friendly restaurant, Kayne's Bar & Brasserie where dogs are welcome on the terrace. 

All of the staff at the hotel always made a point to come over and check on Poppy, tell her how pretty she is, and ask if there was anything she (or us humans) needed. It is these little details that really make you feel like the staff cares about you, and that they do not just "allow dogs" but welcome them. 

I really felt like they understood my feelings of Poppy being part of my family, and the desire I had not to leave her behind.
is the dromhall hotel dog friendly.jpg
In the evening, we visited the grounds of Ross Castle, just a 30-minute walk or a 5-minute drive from the hotel, with plenty of free parking. The Castle itself does not allow dogs inside but there are miles of woodland and lakeshore trails, paved for easy access to everybody.

Whilst there, we took a very leisurely stroll to Governer's Rock and upon returning to Ross Castle, noticed the tour boats tying up to the dock. We met the captain of the Lily of Killarney who told us that he is happy to take the paws on a cruise so we booked ourselves a spot for a lake tour in the morning which ended up being such a lovely trip that the whole family could enjoy. 

The captain told us all about the geography and history of the area, and the drama between all of the nobles that have claimed ownership of the shores over the centuries.

Fancy taking your pup out on a boat adventure? Check out our post about all of the dog-friendly boat tours across Ireland!
After the boat trip, we walked from the hotel into Killarney Town center for lunch at the pet-friendly Shire Restaurant, who were quick to bring Poppy a water bowl and pet treat.
The people food was pretty good too! They have a large outdoor dining terrace and judging by how busy they were, the secret about having good food and being dog-friendly was out.
where can i eat with my dog in killarney.jpg
The next place on our Killarney pet-friendly to-do list was Torc Waterfall, 6km to the south of the Dromhall Hotel. There is a small car park at the bottom of the falls, on the N71.

From there it is a short and easy walk up a well-trodden path to see the waterfall which was very pretty. The enchanting moss-covered forest would be the perfect place for a family of fairies to call home!

Above the falls the trail continues but gets a bit more demanding, after a steep flight of stairs the path levels out with dramatic views from above the Torc Waterfall and across Muckross Lake and into the Killarney National Park. We followed the trail to the west, over the bridge, and shortly back downhill to meet up with the walking trail along the road and back to the car park.

Enjoy hiking with your pup?  Check out our blog post with more dog-friendly hikes in Ireland to explore with your pup.  
dog friendly hikes in killarney.png
After the waterfall we took a quick detour into the pet-friendly grounds of Muckross House and enjoyed a stroll through their ornamental gardens before heading off to drive The Ring of Kerry. 

It is important to note that the gardens at Muckross House don't accept any of the dogs listed on the "Restricted dog breeds in Ireland" list. Unfortunately, I can't write much about The Ring of Kerry, I've heard the views are amazing and our GPS showed all sorts of dramatic coastlines right next to us...
dog-friendly road trip ring of kerry.png
The next morning we wanted to go for a longer hike, and although the well-known Kerry Way is not dog-friendly, we managed to find some unmissable walks where dog owners and their canine friends are both welcome. 

The dog-friendly Gleninchaquin Park is about an hour and a half to the southwest but we were all very glad that we made the drive to see it. This enormous park was a great place for a dog-friendly hike and so impressive, at the heart of this glacial bowl, the Gleninchaquin Waterfall towers at 200 meters above sea level. 

At a €6 contribution per person, this was well worth it considering how well-kept the walking routes are on this working farm. We opted for the Over the Falls walk, about 1.5hour and 4km, we started amongst the flocks of sheep underneath the falls and soon were climbing up the cliff and into the clouds where we ended up on a bridge over the river just meters before it plunged 140 meters back down to where we started.
dog friendly activities in kerry.png
Overall, we had a great stay in Killarney. The very friendly staff and an excellent location make The Dromhall Hotel the ideal Killarney accommodation and well worth the small additional fee when looking for a pet-friendly hotel to take your canine companion to.

Being so close to the Killarney National Park was absolutely a huge perk of staying at the dog-friendly Dromhall Hotel. When making your reservation, it is really important that you mention that you are traveling with your dog, as they have a set number of dog-friendly rooms available, so I would definitely recommend booking as soon as you can.

Update July 2021 - If you are looking for any additional dog-friendly walks in Kerry, or more suggestions for some dog-friendly restaurants or cafes, please have a look at this blog post that Maeve from Ebb and Flow Yoga shared with us. She is a local from Kerry and has outlined her favorite walks for both large and small dogs.

Update August 2021 - We have been informed by The Dromhall Hotel that they no longer allow dogs to dine outside on their terrace.

Booking travel soon? Please consider using my affiliate links below for any travel needs. This costs absolutely nothing to you but helps cover the ever-increasing costs of running PawsFriendly.com. Thank you and I so appreciate it.

🏨  Book your accommodation here.

🏥 Traveling and need to visit a vet? Try booking an online appointment with Vester. Vester connects pet owners to thousands of licensed veterinary professionals ready to provide online pet care through video, chat, and voice-enabled appointments 24/7. Book an appointment here. 
ideas on what to do with a dog in kerry.png
Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our new posts, dog-friendly events happening and so much more! 

Please note, the prices and information in this article were correct at the time of publishing. Check out www.PawsFriendly.com to see the most up-to-date pet policies of the places in this article and thousands more dog-friendly businesses across Ireland.

Latest posts


Sign up for our Dog-Friendly Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with our latest articles and recommendations on dog-friendly businesses worth visiting. 🐶

Let's Get Social

Follow for new ideas to explore with your pup and make sure to tag us in your dog-friendly adventures! 🐶

Pamper Your Paws

Top local services for your pet are just a click away! 🐾 Dive into our services tab now. 🐶