Five Hidden Gems We’d Be Proud To Show Tourists

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THE Cromane Peninsula was included in the Lonely Planet’s Top 50 Secret Spots in Europe yesterday, one of just two Irish inclusions in the list along with The Gravediggers Pub in Dublin.

It got us thinking here in about our own hidden gems in town. Not the well-known attractions, pubs and businesses like Siamsa, the Town Park, Aqua Dome etc.,  but the ones that seem to go unnoticed by many but would be a great place to show visitors to our great town.

Here’s five places we think fit the criteria…


The view from the walkway to Cockleshell beach. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

1. Cockleshell Beach – Located just out past Lohercannon, this is a wonderful place for a walk with stunning views of the mountains along the tow path of the Tralee Ship Canal.

It takes you to Cockleshell Beach with beautiful views of Tralee Bay.

Some illegal dumping in the area has marred it in recent years, but when it’s clean, it really is an unsung beauty spot.

quinlans_bar_pub2. Quinlan’s Bar, Bridge Street – What would happen if Quinlan’s opened at night?

Would it lose its charm and allure? I hope we never find out because it is – along with Jess McCarthy’s in Castle Street – one of the last pubs in Tralee that hasn’t changed since God was a boy.

Cosy snugs, great pints and a place to rival Crowley’s of Kenmare or Curran’s in Dingle for old world Kerry charm.

ballyseedy_wood_23. Ballyseedy Wood – This beautiful amenity dates back at least to the 16th century when it was first mapped for Sir Edward Denny. Further planting took place by Col. J Blennerhassett in the early 18th century who had his castle nearby.

Today it extends to nearly 80 acres, has at least 22 varieties of native trees and they are marked with their Gaelic and English names in the woods.

There are a number of ruins and folllies within the wood, dating back to the 17th century. There is no excuse not to go there.

pearse_park_tralee4. Pairc An Piarais – The poor relation of its magnificent sibling across the street, this small, but perfectly formed park has, nevertheless, been hosting lunching office workers, tired tourists and those seeking an oasis of tranquility from bustling Denny Street for over 30 years.

A lovely, peaceful place to get away from it all.


St Johns ashe street

5. St John’s Ashe Street – Did you know the church was built in 1623 and the baptismal font has that date inscribed on it.

The font has led a charmed life surviving the destruction of Tralee town and church in 1642 and 1691. The church also holds a Denny family bible dating from 1639, one of the oldest family bibles in existence in English dating from the time of Sir Edward Denny.

Bet ye didn’t know that eh?

• Over to you. Do you know of a beauty spot off the beaten track, a cafe or bar that deserves to be enjoyed, or a quaint business tourists would love? Get commenting below…


  1. Owen Gleeson says:

    Scotias grave. Beautiful spot with a greater story

  2. Stephanie says:

    Glenageenty walk – offers the most amazing scenic views from Tralee bay to Killarney mountains.

  3. Joseph Price says:

    Surely Castlecountess must be included in your hidden gems from the Castle on one end to the Christian Brothers school on the other end and in between 35 odd houses when some amazing people grew up including one Danno O’Keefe and Tony Kennedy to name just two and numerous childhood friends, male and female whom I grew up with and who taught me to be the person I am today. Memories of expeditions to the Kerry gem mine in Foleys Glen to our annual climb to the Peak to Birds Bazaar and building huts on the banks of the river to our summer bike rides to nearby beaches such as Frogmore, Derrymore and Fenit to just name a few. Oh what beautiful memories.

  4. Mary Sharp says:

    The Rose Garden in the heart of the town. A tranquil place just yards from the hustle and bustle of the town.