11 Things To Do in Listowel, County Kerry

Listowel is a must-visit in County Kerry if you would like to veer away from the more popular and touristy towns in the region.

Known for its rich heritage and open-air market, this town sits by the River Feale.

Listowel boasts of attractions that are focused on the fascinating history and culture of the region.

From a unique look at their writers’ journeys to Celtic jewelry and weekend farmers’ market – there’s plenty to see and things to do in Listowel to make the most of your visit as listed in this useful guide. 

11 Things To Do in Listowel, County Kerry

1. Visit Listowel Castle

Listowel Castle

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Ireland is known for its numerous castles, that nearly every town or city has one.

Listowel Castle is no exception, and theirs dates back to the 13th century, but the structure we see now is said to be built by the FitzMaurices in the 15th century.

After the Fitzmaurices, this Anglo-Norman castle was owned by the Hare family, the holders of the title of Earl of Listowel. 

Today, the castle is known as a national monument. Its remains – two of its four towers connected by a curtain wall, stands on a steep bank by the river Feale.

Over the past decades, conservation work was done to the castle which includes the addition of a staircase to allow visitors to access the upper levels.

2. Kerry Writers’ Museum

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Right next to Listowel Castle is a beautifully restored 19th-century Georgian house that is home to the Kerry Writers’ Museum.

Easily one of Listowel’s best attractions, this museum pays homage to North Kerry’s famous writers through displays, exhibits, and unique audio-visual presentations.

Learn more about these notable writers, as they journey through the historical scenic North Kerry.

Take a closer look at the things that influenced their work, from people to customs and traditions.

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Some of the writers featured here are George Fitzmaurice, John B Keane, Brendan Kennelly, Bryan MacMahon, and Maurice Walsh.

3. Vintage Wireless Museum

A fascinating museum that’s dedicated to Irish broadcasting history, the Vintage Wireless Museum is one of the best places to see in Listowel.

Established and curated by Eddie Moylan, the museum opened in 1986 to commemorate 50 years of broadcasting in Ireland.

The Vintage Wireless Museum is home to about 1,200 items that include vintage receivers restored by the owner, that are still in great working condition.

There are also broadcasting valves from Irish Radio and the BBC,  studio microphones from the 1930s and 1940s as well as phonographs and gramophones.  

You can’t miss their display of wireless paraphernalia such as batteries, crystal boxes, trade signs, and vintage wireless literature.

4. See the Garden of Europe

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A top attraction in Listowel any time of the year, the Garden of  Europe is one of the most fascinating places you’ll ever see.

This garden and monument opened in 1995 and occupies a vast area that’s home to 3,000 trees and shrubs. 

The garden is divided into 12 sections, which represents all the members of the European Union at the time it was established.

Some notable features of the garden are the Holocaust monument and a bust of the poet Schiller. The latter wrote the EU anthem ‘Ode to Joy’, which was set to the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven. 

5. The Famine Graveyard

A sobering history lesson awaits at the Famine graveyard, which is the final resting place of those who perished during the Great Famine in Listowel.

Also known as Teampaillin Bán, this is a good place for reflection while paying respects to those who lost their lives during this dark period in Irish history.

It is a quiet place to contemplate and understand the horrors that these people endured.

Check out the plagues spread in strategic places in the graveyard to learn more or visit the small chapel. 

6. Ride the Lartigue Monorail

Lartigue Monorail listowel

Experience a one-of-a-kind train ride via the Lartigue Monorail.

Here, you’ll get to go on a demo journey on a replica of the original monorail.

The original steam-powered monorail was designed by Frenchman Charles Lartigue and operated from 1888 to 1924.

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It journeyed between Listowel and  Ballybunion, known as the only monorail of its type to successfully operate commercially. 

These days, the Lartigue Monorail is among the best attractions in Listowel, along with its museum where you can watch a film of the original train as well as view displays, memorabilia, and models. 

7. Wander Around Arkhangel Gallery

Regarded as one of Ireland’s premier galleries, Arkhangel is an interesting place to visit in Listowel.

Situated in the town center, the gallery is home to over 400 works of art in its 2000 sq ft of exhibition space.

Wander through the galleries and admire pieces both from local and other Irish artists.

Some of the art was by Listowel artists, such as Rebecca Carroll and Mary Neville, along with Irish talents such as Paul Flynn, Ger O’Grady, Joan Kavanagh, and Juan O Perez, ll. 

8. Visit Listowel Golf Club

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Enjoy a game of golf, or simply stroll around and marvel at the beautifully landscaped Listowel Golf Club.

Owned by  Michael F Barrett, who was also part of the world-renowned Ballybunion Golf Club, this is one of the prettiest places to see in Listowel.

A striking feature of the course is the towering wood that winds through the muddle.

As you stroll through the greens, you can’t miss the stunning Silver River Feale and the three holes that run alongside this body of water.

The other holes are on the other side of the wood, which makes this course quite challenging for even the top players in the world.

9. Get Yourself An Aidi MacDáibhi Celtic Jewellery

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you want a souvenir of your visit to Listowel, get one of those stunning handcrafted jewelry by master goldsmith Aidi Mac Dáibhi.

Choose from a variety of designs – from simple to the ornate, each with a distinct meaning that reflects the country’s rich Celtic heritage.

Each item made by Aidi is special, as he uses traditional techniques and even tools that were in existence since ancient times. His studio and shop is a top Listowel attraction in itself.

RELATED READ:  10 Things To Do In Navan, Meath

From rings to pendants, his creations are a definite must-have. 

10. Enjoy Some Béal Organic Cheese

When in Listowel, and being in a county known as a top producer of dairy products, it is a must to visit a cheese shop.

Founded in 1987,  Béal Organic Cheese Ltd is one of the best places to visit in Listowel, It is run by a family that owns a dairy farm by the River Shannon. 

An award-winning cheese producer, Béal Organic Cheese offers tours to curious cheese-loving visitors, which includes the cheese-making process and tastings.

Make sure to buy some cheese to bring back home and enjoy it.

The recommended varieties are the mild organic pasteurized cheddar, the mature handmade pasteurized organic cheddar, and the raw milk handmade cheese. 

11. Shop At Listowel Farmers’ Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Get a taste of Listowel and perhaps, even the rest of County Kerry when you explore their farmers’ market.

Centrally located in The Square, a visit to this open-air market is one of the best things to do in Listowel on weekends.

Browse the stalls and score some fresh local organic produce deli products and even tasty snacks like crepes and meat pies.

This farmers’ market takes pride in their top quality, locally grown, caught, or produced food products.

If you’re looking for stuff to bring back home, be sure to get plenty of their farmhouse cheeses and handmade chocolates. 

 

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