Annascaul or some say Anascaul is in some regards considered the gateway village to the Dingle Peninsula.
Half-way between Tralee and Dingle Town is an unassuming quiet village with more strength and history than most villages in Ireland, let alone County Kerry. Stop around here and explore and you will find many interesting facts concerning Anascaul.
In Irish the village is called Abhainn an Scáil / Abha na Scáil. There is the fact that Anascaul gets its name from the legend of a giant who tried to capture a young girl in the 1st century AD. Her name was Scal, but his attempt failed when a fierce brave warrior, Cuchulainn, came to the rescue.
Cuchulainn and the giant threw boulders at each other and fought for days until eventually Cuchulainn was seriously injured and fell.
Cuchulainn did not die, but Scal thought he had and drowned herself in the lake, which takes its name from her. Cuchulainn`s grave is reputed to be on the side of the mountain above Droumavalla, north of Annascaul
The lake is in the north of the village in a wild boulder, strewn gorge. An exquisite lake and fantastic for fishing surrounded by wild flowers and lake fauna.
Anascaul is a splendid place for walking, in fact you could call it a walkers paradise, hill and dale, sea, river and lake make an ever changing challenge and provide magnificent year round walking, with the wild flowers of County Kerry blooming everywhere.
Thousands of walkers are attracted here each year to walk the Dingle Way, the Kerry camino and the fourteen marked trails which guide you through Inch and Annascaul. Wherever you walk, the views are majestic, breathtaking and the countryside unspoilt.
There is a local club called Annascaul walks, a small friendly walking club. The club embodies the adventurous spirit the friendly humour and the co-operative nature of Annascaul’s famous son, Tom Crean the Antarctic explorer.
The club holds two scheduled walks each Sunday, meeting at Hanafins bar on the main street. They extend a warm welcome to individuals and clubs of all ages and abilities to join on one of their walks or to follow one of the many trailed walks in the area.
Surfing is very popular at Annascaul River mouth with its fairly exposed beach break it has very consistent surf and works all around the year. Offshore winds blow from the northeast with some shelter here from north winds.
If you’re not the surfing type, don`t fancy a walk then there is the Annascaul Beer Fest. The main street in Annascaul boasts in having no fewer than seven pubs and only two shops. This is an indication of a good social scene. Passing through the village, one will note its smart and tidy layout. The Beer Fest is held every August Bank Holiday, (the first Monday of August).
Bring the kids and let them entertain themselves on the bouncy castle or get their face painted. Purchase a duck off of one of the guys selling outside the South Pole Inn and watch as they float down river at about 3:30pm. There is entertainment for everyone and of course the classic Real Ale Beer.
After you have enjoyed a few beers why not try Annascaul Black Pudding, an artisan homemade black pudding. The Irish black pudding was first made when Ashe’s shop was established in Annascaul in 1916.
The original black pudding recipe has been handed down through three generations of the Ashe family. Continuing in that tradition, Annascaul Black Pudding is handmade by Thomas Ashe on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.
How about a day relaxing with a fishing rod and net. Annascaul Lake and rivers and Inch River provide excellent freshwater fishing. Inch strand is an acknowledged international shore angling venue.
To the southwest of the village there are the remains of Minard castle, once a stronghold of the Knights of Kerry, built in the 16th century, when it was the largest fortress on the peninsula, destroyed by Cromwellian troops in 1650.
Anascaul, in its own quiet way, like the famous man himself, is the birthplace of Tom Crean. At the west end of this attractive one street village on the Dingle road, tucked away between the sea and the mountain peaks is “The South Pole Inn”, where Tom Crean retired to after his Antarctic expeditions.
The South Pole Inn is full of Tom Crean memorabilia and you can enjoy a hearty meal, the type of meal that will set you up for the rest of the day, or a trip to the Antarctic, at a very reasonable price too.
Jerome Connor the Internationally renowned sculptor was also one of Anascaul`s famous sons, one of his most impressive pieces is the Lusitania monument in the centre of Cobh, County cork.
If you have any further information about Anascaul please e-mail me and I will include it in this site.
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