Dingle Food Festival Logo
Dingle Food Festival Logo

Dingle Food Festival to Return in 2022

Updated October 2021: In 2020, the Dingle Food Festival received national recognition in Ireland’s Pride of Place awards and while the 2021 celebration was once again canceled due to the pandemic, organizers say it will be back in full force in 2022.

The Pride of Place competition acknowledges the work that groups across Ireland are doing to make their communities better places to live in.

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The Dingle Marina, where you'll find several of the town's restaurants and bars that participate in the Dingle Food Festival. Photo: John Hession for Tourism Ireland.

The competition is organized in conjunction with local authorities.

The annual event, which was established in 2007 by volunteers in the Dingle business community, beat several others in the “Creative Place Initiative” category.

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Normally taking place during the first weekend in October, the culinary extravaganza attracts not only locals but tourists as well.

Colorful buildings in the town of Dingle, where the Dingle Food Festival takes place each year. Photo: Espiegle, Getty Images Signature.

Highlights include cookery demonstrations, a food trail, over 50 market stalls, workshops, street entertainment, wine tastings, children’s events, and more.

The most popular aspect of the Dingle Food Festival is the “Taste Trail,” which gives visitors a chance to sample food from a variety of restaurants and bars.

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Dingle’s Evolution as a Food Destination

Known for its spectacular beauty, the Dingle Peninsula is also now known for its reputation as a culinary destination.

There are at least three dozen restaurants, a host of pubs selling craft beers and whiskeys, a culinary school, and a distillery in this town of about 2,000 people.

Casks at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery in Co. Kerry. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan.

The restaurants you’ll find in this part of the world use only the best organic ingredients that come from the nearby Atlantic Ocean and the area’s farms.

Some of the popular restaurants on the Taste Trail include James Long’s Bar & Restaurant, the Land to Sea Restaurant, Lord Baker’s, and Fenton’s of Dingle, among others.

The 2022 Dingle Food Festival is expected to take place on Sept. 30, 2022.

Things to Do Near Dingle

Apart from visiting the town for the Dingle Food Festival, there is plenty more to see and do in the Dingle Peninsula area, including the following attractions.

Eask Tower

The views from this World War II lookout post are amazing.

You’ll see much of the Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands, Slea Head, Ventry, the Skellig Rocks, and more from this popular vantage point.

The view from the Eask Tower in Co. Kerry. Photo: Lucia Herrera for Getty Images.

There’s an easy 1.3-mile (2-km) walking trail that you can take as well.
Rising 600 feet (182 meters) above sea level, the tower was built in 1847 as part of a Famine project, initiated by Rev. Charles Gayer, a Protestant minister, in an attempt to win converts.

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Fahan Beehive Huts

If you’re at all curious about these cone-shaped houses that are a familiar sight in the Dingle Peninsula region, then a visit to the Fahan Beehive Huts located on the Slea Head Road is a must.

a stone building Dingle Food Festival
One of the Fahan beehive huts. Photo: DejaVu Designs for Getty Images.

While you will find this type of ancient construction in other parts of Kerry, including on Skellig Michael, this particular collection is believed to be the country’s oldest.

No mortar was used in the building of the huts, which date from around the 8th through 12th centuries.

Instead, stones were stacked up one on top of the other, and as the builders continued to position each layer further inward, a pointed roof emerged.

The Blasket Centre

The Blasket Centre, which is located in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula's Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area), honors the unique community that lived on the remote islands until they were evacuated in 1953.

The Blasket Island Centre, Dingle, Co. Kerry. Photo: Chris Hill for Tourism Ireland.

It was opened in 1993, a partnership between The Blasket Foundation and the Irish government.

You’ll see plenty of images from the island when you visit the center, which tells the story of island life.

Some of the images on display include the old post office, which was built in the 1900s and was the contact point between the island and the mainland; the National School, which was located in the center of the village and also served as a church during the summer months, and Peig Sayers’ House, perhaps the island’s most famous person, among other old photos.

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Slea Head Famine Cottage & Sheepdog Trials

If you’d like to know what it was like to live in Famine-era Ireland, then a visit to the Slea Head Famine cottage is in order.

The cottage, which was built in the mid-1800s, was the original home of the Long and Kavanagh families.

a cottage Dingle Food Festival
The Irish Famine Cottage. Photo: Patrick Franzis, https://www.flickr.com/photos/franzis/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Because of the remoteness of the area, this place and West Kerry, in general, suffered greatly during the Famine years.

Perhaps the saddest tale to come from this home was the fact that six children who were born to the Long family all died shortly after birth.

Because they were not baptized beforehand, the local priest would not allow them to be buried in the church graveyard.

All six children were buried close to the house. A solitary stone cross marks their grave.

The Slea Head Cliffs on the Dingle Peninsula. Photo: Joe Dunckley for Getty Images.

Made out of mud and stone, the cottage still retains its original layout. It consists of two rooms and a loft, which was used for sleeping.

The house originally had a thatched roof, but the landlord in the area, the Earl of Cork, changed the roof to slate, one of the earliest slated cottages in the area.

Enjoy a sheepdog trial demonstration when you visit the cottage, a skill that has been handed down in the area for generations.

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Inch Beach

Inch beach, which was one of the filming locations for the 1970s epic drama, “Ryan’s Daughter,” is approximately 4 miles long.

It is situated at Daingean (pronounced “Dthangen”) Bay on the Dingle Peninsula.

Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula. Photo: MN Studio.

There’s a surf school located nearby that operates during the summer season, from May through September.

Other water-based activities to enjoy on Inch Beach include kayaking, kite surfing, windsurfing, and hang gliding, to name a few.

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