While travelling around the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, you’re never short of incredible places to explore. Many stops are widely publicized and in peak season can get a little crowded. If you would like a break from all of the traffic to enjoy some quiet spots as well, be sure to stop at Cahergall Stone Fort.
Cahergall is a short jaunt from the main Ring road and I only came to know of it through many hours spent researching our trip by zooming in on Google maps. I followed our planned route, clicking on everything that popped up, until I came across Cahergall. It seemed off the beaten path, with just a tiny parking area and no entry fees, not even any real driving directions; so in other words, it was perfect.
Cahergall Stone Fort
Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple or solo, you will enjoy Cahergall. We saw it as a couple and found it very interesting and awe inspiring (those walls are so much higher than we expected). The architecture is beautiful and we loved the sense of history we felt walking around the site. Visiting with children, they will have a chance to roam a little while walking up the short foot trail. Inside the fort there is green space for them to move around and explore. Our only caution is that you watch them closely climbing the stairs. They are very sturdy, but it wouldn’t be a nice fall. The extra bonus is the lack of people! We spent approximately 45 minutes here and only saw one other family during that time.
Stone forts in Ireland are found mainly in the West and are extremely hard to date. Some are thought to be from the Iron Age (500 BC to 400 AD) while others are stone versions of earthen rings used in the Early Historic period (400 AD to 1200 AD) used as a typical farmstead.
Cahergall is an impressive example of a stone fort with massive dry-stone walls. On the inner side of the wall there are a series of stairs and terraces built into the structure. When we were there in 2015 these sections had been recently reconstructed. In the middle of the fort there were the remains of a smaller stone house, which likely housed someone of importance around 1000 years ago.
Finding Cahergall Stone Fort
If you’re driving the Ring of Kerry, Cahergall is easy to find without taking you far from the main highway. The Ring of Kerry follows the N70. Once you reach the town of Cahersiveen you will be looking for Bridge Street.
- Turn Left onto Bridge Street (if driving the Ring of Kerry in a clockwise direction)
- Bridge Street turns into Castlequin. You will follow this road for approx 1km.
- Turn LEFT to stay on Castlequin – You will see brown “Points of Interest” signs here listing Stone Forts to the left
- Follow Castlequin for slightly more than 2km
- The road will curve left and you will see a small parking area on the right.
- Follow the foot path through the metal gates to reach Cahergall Stone Fort
Other Great Attractions Nearby
- Leacanabuaile Stone Fort: Follow the road to the right of the car park with the “No Cars, On Foot Only” sign. The fort is an easy 450m walk from there.
- Ballycarbery Castle: Head down Castlequin road back toward the N70. After 600m turn right down an unnamed road. This will lead you right to the castle.
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