Valentia Island, off the Iveragh peninsula, offers some of the best landscape photography in the British Isles. It is a perfect base from which to explore and photograph parts of wild south west Kerry. Much of Kerry remains undiscovered and untouched by the lens, yielding many original photographic opportunities. With over 25 years of living in and exploring South West Kerry, my in-depth local knowledge and numerous discoveries will help you capture Kerry at its best.
The Atlantic edge offers rugged coastline, mountains, and ever-changing light. Huge vistas and even bigger skies are on the doorstep, so you'll need to bring along your wide angle lens. Archaeological gems are plentiful: ring forts, Ogham stones, standing stones, Mesolithic tombs; they’re all here.
Kerry also has lots of very photogenic, decaying old abandoned houses (see ‘abandoned’ chapter) which may appear rather sad on first viewing, but which actually make great photography subjects. I currently have permission to take photographs inside some of these buildings and am constantly seeking out new additions.
If wildlife photography is your interest or you just fancy having a go there is plenty here; too much to list. Spring is the best time for sea birds and the famous Skellig puffins. UK rarities like choughs and otters can be found all year round and there is always a good spot to watch gannets diving for fish.
Boasting some of the darkest skies in Ireland, the Iveragh peninsula has recently been awarded Gold Tier status by the International Dark Sky Association. It is now the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve, and is believed to be one the best places in the British Isles for astrophotography.
The classic characters and personalities historically peculiar to these islands can still be found. If you enjoy photographing people and are confident in your approach, you will find some great subjects here, but be prepared to spend some time in conversation afterwards!
It is the wild, unruly nature of Kerry that best suits it to the photographer's eye. Every aspect of Valentia Island and the surrounding area feels untamed; from the weather through to the wildlife. Even the people fit this aesthetic, being themselves characteristic of the unique charm associated with Ireland.
If you would like to capture some truly original photographs, then this tour is for you.
Curlew Cottage has all that is required for a relaxing visit and is situated only 100m from the foreshore – see here for more details.
Alternative local accommodation can be arranged, if preferred.