Killarney National Park is only an hour and a half's drive from Cork, making it an ideal day trip for guests at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork.
About Ross CastleThe origins of Ross Castle are somewhat murky, but it is generally believed to have been founded by the local chieftain O'Donoghue Mór sometime in the late 15th century. The castle is perched picturesquely on the shores of Lough Leane. There's a legend that O'Donoghue still slumbers beneath the waters of the lake, watching the castle and rising once every seven years on 1st May to circle the waves on a white horse.
Although not a particularly large castle, Ross Castle's strategic positioning means that it has, for the most part, withstood attack over the centuries. A notable exception was the taking of the castle by General Ludlow and his Roundhead force during the Irish Confederate Wars. A local legend claimed that the castle would only fall when warships appeared on the lake, a seemingly impossible scenario, but one that appeared to be coming true when Ludlow decided to transport his artillery toward the castle by means of the River Laune. The defenders in the castle feared the legend was about to be fulfilled and quickly surrendered.
The castle was subsequently the home of the Browne family (who eventually acquired the title of Viscount Kenmare) for generations before becoming an army barracks, then ultimately a ruin. Fortunately, it has since been restored and is now furnished with an excellent selection of 16th and 17th century furniture.