This post was updated in November 2017.

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Above is a watercolour painting of Skellig Michael, where much of the Star Wars film, The Force Awakens was filmed in 2015.

I have previously written about the film Ryan’s Daughter, which was largely shot on the Dingle Peninsula, and how it brought the beauty of the place to the attention of the world and stimulated the tourism industry in the area.

Not only tourism was stimulated, several other movies followed, which were also partly shot in County Kerry. Here is a list of some movies shot in Kerry since Ryan’s Daughter:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

The Field (1990)

Far and Away (1992)

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009)

Excalibur (1981)

The most recent Star Wars movie – The Last Jedi was partly shot on Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal) on the stunning Dingle Peninsula.


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Sybil Head, is a majestically beautiful place, having a commanding, yet magical presence, adjacent to a collection of other stunning iconic landmarks to be seen from the roadside of the famous Slea Head Drive from Dingle.

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Sybil Head in a Storm oil pastels, above.

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Sybil Head from Cruach Mharhain above.

The Force Awakens was partly shot at Skellig Michael, a World Heritage site, off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, South Kerry, amid much controversy regarding the damage they may do to the ecology and the antiquities on the island.

The Skellig Rocks are two rather spectacular looking tall craggy rocks rising up from the Wild Atlantic Ocean; there is also a third but smaller rock known as The Lemon. Skellig Michael, or Great Skellig, 714 feet tall, is an ancient monastic site where in the sixth to eighth centuries AD, a community of monks built their monastery – a number of beehive shaped stone dwellings and oratories, and lived their lives there, in considerable hardship and isolation 12 miles from the mainland of Ireland.

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Skellig Rocks, oil on canvas, above.

I have a number of paintings and photos of these famous and spectacular landmarks. Please click the images to see more information about any of them

To help you locate these peninsulas: The south west of Ireland has three magnificently beautiful peninsulas. Two of them are in County Kerry – the Dingle Peninsula, and the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), going south, and the most southerly one is in County Cork – the Beara Peninsula (West Cork).

More information can be found on:

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Please also visit my website for more images of the Skelligs and Sybil Head

Beach Walking – Ventry Beach

Ventry Beach

Beach walking in Kerry is one of the many privileges available to those who live here. Kerry has several beautiful beaches, many of them absolutely stunning – long, short, rough, refined, friendly and not so friendly, but all of them a real joy to experience.


On Ventry Beach, Dingle Peninsula, bathed in a beautiful warm coloured afternoon light on a winter’s day, with a view of the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula across the bay.

Ventry Beach, on the Dingle Peninsula, about 5 miles from Dingle town, is one of the many, much loved blue flag beaches. At about 3 miles long it makes a perfect distance for a regular walk.


The sunlight glistening on the water at Ventry Beach

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In this view the snow can be seen is on the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula in South Kerry


The sea is not so rough here as a general rule, being quite sheltered and it’s a popular beach for swimmers. Observing the long, gentle, uniform waves breaking on the beach is a marvellous meditation. At certain times on a sunny day the sunlight glistens and gleams on the frothy foamy breakers and swirling, swishing, whispering sudsy water.

From the beach can be seen the Iveragh Peninsula (South Kerry), famous for many things, notably the Ring of Kerry route around the peninsula, a popular tourist route, and also for Mount Carrantuohill, (the highest peak in Ireland), which can be seen from here. It’s particularly beautiful on a clear evening, or a winter’s day when snow covered – not a very frequent event.


On one end of the beach can be seen the village of Ventry, appealingly nestling on the gently sloping hillside, and depending on your viewpoint, Mount Eagle and Cruach Mharhain can be seen and at the other side is Mount Brandon – all beautiful walks for another day.

Birdlife is plentiful here, although numbers appeared to diminish after our two bitterly cold winters. We are now almost through the second milder winter since then, and things may be starting to recover.

On some occasions the clouds may form a blanket-like layer – more like a fluffy white duvet descending over the entire area – an event which, if one painted, nobody could believe it to be real or possible.


A duvet-like blanket of cloud descends over the hills around Ventry Beach

Sand comes mainly in two shades here – dark and light. This enables the creation of a striking wavy repeat pattern all over the beach in low tide, as the retreating water drags the two different colours while separating them, towards the sea. Also, the receding water creates exquisite rivulets in the sand, enhanced by the contrasting tones. See:


A pattern created in the sand on Ventry Beach as the tide drops and the two shades of sand separate, dragged by the retreating water.


Another picture of sand patterns on Ventry Beach


Retreating Tide on Ventry Beach

The persistent rough weather this winter has ravaged the sand dunes, but I have seen this happen before. Nature has a way of destroying and renewing. By the end of the summer you won’t even notice the damage.

More images of Ventry and other places on the Dingle Peninsula can be seen on my website at