The Black Valley

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The Black Valley
Looking westwards into The Black Valley from the Head of the Gap of Dunloe
Length7 miles (11 km) East-West
Width2 to 3 miles (3.2 to 4.8 km)
LocationCounty Kerry, Ireland
Coordinates51°56′55″N 9°38′47″W / 51.9487°N 9.6465°W / 51.9487; -9.6465Coordinates: 51°56′55″N 9°38′47″W / 51.9487°N 9.6465°W / 51.9487; -9.6465
Mountain rangeMacGillycuddy's Reeks
Traversed byDerrylea Road
RiversGearhameen River

The Black Valley or Cummeenduff (from Irish: Com Uí Dhuibh, meaning "Black Glen")[1][2] is a remote valley at the southern end of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in Kerry, situated south of the Gap of Dunloe and north of Moll's Gap; it is used as a southerly access into the Gap of Dunloe.[3]

The valley is usually accessed by driving to Moll's Gap and then continuing east on the R568 road until a small side-road (at V853774, labelled "Gearhasallagh" after the townland), descends steeply north into the valley.[3] The Black Valley is part of the Kerry Way, a walkers version of the Ring of Kerry beginning and ending in Killarney,[4] and is also part of a 55–kilometre loop of the Killarney–Gap of Dunloe–Black Valley–Moll's Gap area,[5][6] popular with cyclists.[7] The Black Valley is also a southerly access route to the Head of the Gap in the Gap of Dunloe, and to Lord Brandon's Cottage. The Black Valley is also noted for being one of the last places in mainland Ireland to be connected to the electricity and telephone networks due to its remoteness, which happened in 1976.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cummeenduff Glen". Logainm. Retrieved 16 December 2018. irish: Com Uí Dhuibh genitive: Chom Uí Dhuibh english:Cummeenduff Glen (The Black Valley
  2. ^ "The Black Valley". Retrieved 16 December 2018. The Black Valley is a place of outstanding natural beauty and a hiker's paradise. It is also known locally as Cummeenduff which Irish for Black Valley. It is south of The Gap of Dunloe and north of Moll's Gap.
  3. ^ a b Tony Doherty (15 June 2015). "Go Walk: The Black Valley, Co Kerry". Irish Times.
  4. ^ "The Kerry Way". Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  5. ^ Dan MacCarthy (3 May 2017). "Summer cycles: Two new books to guide you on your journeys". Irish Examiner.
  7. ^ "Gap of Dunloe-Black Valley-Molls Gap-Killarney Loop". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Kerry Way (Town & Villages): Black Valley". CIE Tours: Retrieved 2018-12-16. Some Kerry natives will joke about the Black Valley getting its name from remaining in the dark so long without electricity. It was not until 1976 that the Valley was finally connected to the National Grid, making it one of the last outposts in Ireland.
  9. ^ "Black Valley to get landline service". Irish Examiner. 4 April 2007. The valley was one of the last places in Ireland to get electricity, in the late 1970s.