Val & Roger Baker's Freshwater & Saltwater Fly Fishing
Waterville is central to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Kerry. A link in the circuitous Ring of Kerry, it lies very south west, between Lough Currane and Ballinskelligs Bay.
A quote by John Millington Synge gives in one paragraph an ideal image of this beautiful area: “One wonders in this place why anyone is left in Dublin or London or Paris where it would be better one would think to live in a tent or hut with this magnificent sea and sky to breathe this wonderful air which is like wine to one’s teeth”.
Whilst many tourists visit Waterville each year, it has managed to remain largely un-commercialised and traditional. It is probably the best place for exploring the coast and mountainous areas. Being so close to the sea there is plenty to do here, namely canoeing, sailing , diving and horse-riding with all hiring facilities readily available. The town however is probably best known for its spectacular Golf Course. Waterville Golf Course is one of the 196 European championship courses.
As well as the above amenities, Waterville and its surrounding area offers a number of breathtaking walks and places to see.
To say that Kerry is rich in antiquities and archaeological sites is an understatement. This small selection is within a 20-mile radius of Cloghvoola.
Foremost among these are the Skellig Islands where early Christian monks settled for solitude in the 6th Century A.D. They built a cluster of dry stone beehive cells and oratories perched high up over the Atlantic. Weather permitting, boat trips run daily from Portmagee harbour during the summer months.
In the 12th Century the monks left Skellig Michael and retreated to Ballinskelligs Abbey, an Augustinian Priory. Located on the shoreline, the buildings have suffered badly from erosion, but the Priors House, Chancel arch and belfry are still to be seen.
Church Island, on the north side of Loch Currane, is where St. Finian is reputed to have founded a monastery in the 6th Century and a small Romanesque church and burial ground still exist.
Further along the coast at Derrynane is the home of Daniel O’Connell (the Liberator of Ireland) and a short walk across the beautiful beach are the ruins of Ahamore Abbey. Situated in a stunning location next to the sea, the extensive graveyard houses the family vault of the O’Connell’s.
Nearby,at Loher and Staigue,are the sites of well-preserved Iron Age circular, dry stone forts. There are three more ruined fort sites at Kimego, Cahersiveen. Also in this area, are the remains of Ballycarbery Castle, thought to date from around 1594.
Daniel O’Connell of Derrynane rented the land around Cloghvoola (An Clochbhuaile) for hunting and built a lodge on the lake shore, well preserved but hidden by forest today.
Waterville Links is one of the oldest Irish Clubs, having been founded in 1897 with the arrival of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable from the United States. Today Waterville is rated in the top five courses in Ireland and the top twenty links courses in the world. Many of the top professional golfers come to Kerry every year to practice in the week before the British Open. In 1999 none other than Tiger Woods and his good friend Mark O'Meara came to Waterville to get in tune for the British Open. That tournament is always staged on a links course and players find that the challenge of Waterville and the relaxing atmosphere of the Co. Kerry town is the ideal way to prepare for the Open. Such is the quality of Waterville.
The Kerry Way weaves its way under MacGuillycuddy's Reeks, the country's highest mountains, and through and around the Iveragh Peninsula and passes right through Cloghvoola. It does not climb very high, however, but mainly consists of old paths and green roads. In using these old droving paths and butter roads, the walk is in effect a journey back in time. As the route is higher then present day roads, it improves on what is already renowned viewing.
Other sites to view for further information: