The Accidental Tourist ©EBS Magazine 2010

Traditionally known as ‘the kingdom’ yes discovers ten new facts you might not know about Kerry.

1. The name of the fictional village in which the BBC television drama ‘Ballykissangel’ was set, is derived from Ballykissanne, near Killorglin, where the show’s creator, Kieran Prendiville, holidayed with this family as a child.

2. Listowel is often known as the ‘Literary Capital of Ireland’ due to the large number of internationally know play-wrights and authors who have lived there, including Bryan MacMahon and John B. Keane.

3. Blennerville Windmill near Tralee was built around 1800 and is Ireland’s largest working windmill. During the Great Famine Blennerville was the main port of emigration from Kerry. It is open to visitors daily from Easter to October 31st.

4. Valentia Island is home to the oldest pre-dinosaur footprints found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is estimated that the footprints wee created some 350 million years ago.

5. The father of the infamous American outlaw Jesse James was born in Asdee, in the parish of Ballylongford.

6. The cliffs of Duneen in Ballybunion has 1 12-foot wide blowhole, where you can hear the sea crashing on the rocks 100 feet below.

7. Just over four miles outside Castleisland is the Memory Lane Museum. This unique museum owned by the Bunt family includes numerous vintage cars and tractors, an array of car mascots (including one of John Lennon’s), motormobilia and rural implements.

8. At one time the town of Listowel was a terminus for the world’s first monorail system. Called the Lartigue Railway after the Spanish engineer who installed it, the system ran successfully from 1888 to 1924 and linked Listowel and Ballybunion.

9. When you visit Ballyheige beach bring along a metal detector. In 1730 a Danish ship called the Golden Lion ran aground here, lured onto the shore by a false lantern light. The captain and crew were captured and the Golden Lyon’s cargo of silver has never been found.

10. Fent is the Kerry port where Saint Brendan the navigator was born and from here he is said to have set sail for America over 1400 years ago.