Exploring from Adare Village


Situated right in the centre of County Limerick, the beautiful Adare Village is regarded as being the most unique and ideal base for exploring the main visitor attractions in County Limerick, as well as those of nearby counties, such as Kerry(Killarney, Dingle, etc), Cork (Blarney, Kinsale, Kanturk, etc), Clare(the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, etc.), Tipperary (Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle) and Galway (Galway Bay, Connemara).

Bus Day-Tours from Limerick:

(a) County Clare(Mon/Thu/Sat, 9am - 6.30pm) - The Burren; Poulnabrone Tomb; Aillwee Caves; The Cliffs of Moher; Bunratty Village.
(b) Killarney(Wednesdays, 9am - 6.30pm) - Adare village; Killarney lakes; Muckross House/Gardens; Torc Waterfall; Jaunting Car Ride.
(c) Croom & Blarney(Sundays, 10.30am - 5.30pm)) - Croom Mills; Blarney Castle; Kiss the Blarney stone; Blarney Woollen Mills.
(d) County Galway(Tuesdays, 9am - 6.30pm) - Gort; Connemara Coastline; Galway Bay; Spiddal; Galway City.

For full details on each tour, click HERE.


The following are brief highlights of two selected motoring tours of County Limerick and the visitor should be able to explore the main attractions, of each tour, within a day's drive.

County Limerick - Tour #1.

Curragh-Chase Forest Park

(From the Celtic Theme Park, return to the small crossroads, on the Adare to Kilcoran Road. Go straight through the crossroads and travel the narrow road for 0.5 miles. At the small forest crossroads, turn LEFT and travel the main forest road for 1.25 miles to arrive at the forest car park).

The Curragh-Chase Forest Park is a 242 hectare plantation of exceptional beauty. The park features forest walks, a nature trail, a wildlife lake, an arboretum and a picnic area, as well as excellent modern caravan and camping facilities, including a shop and a children’s playground. Within the forest is the ruin of Currah-Chase House, the 18th century home of the famous poet Aubrey DeVere. Admission charge.

Foynes Flying Boat Museum

(From the car park at Curragh-Chase Forest Park, travel back the main forest road, through the small forest crossroads, for 2.25 miles, to arrive at the "T" junction, on the main N69 road. Turn LEFT and travel WEST for 15 miles to Foynes Village. The Museum is on the LEFT, towards the far end of the village)

During the 1930s and early 1940s, before the opening of Shannon Airport, across the river Shannon estuary, Foynes village was the fulcrum point for air travel between the United States and Europe. The famous trans-Atlantic flying boats were frequent visitors, carrying such a diverse range of people from refugees to celebrities. The museum recalls this era in the original terminal building, with a range of exhibits, graphic illustrations, audio-visual show and a reconstructed Radio and Weather room, with original Transmitters, Receivers and Morse code equipment. Today, Foynes is County Limerick's only Seaport.
Open, daily, from March to October, at 10am to 6pm. Admission charge.


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Glinn Castle

(From Foynes village, travel WEST on the main N69 Road)

Home for 800 years to the Fitzgerald family, Glin Castle stands proudly in the middle of its 500 acre wooded demesne on the banks of the river Shannon. The present Glin Castle, which succeeds the medieval ruin in the village of Glin, was built in the late 18th Century with entertaining in mind. The Gothic façade of the castle, with it's crenellations and gleaming white walls, gives the building the unworldly quality that fascinated the Georgians involved in the Gothic revival. The tranquil parkland setting, gingerbread Gothic gatelodges and beautiful location on the Estuary of the Shannon add to the overall effect. The entrance hall with a screen of Corinthian pillars has a superb neo-classical plaster ceiling and the enfilade of reception rooms are filled with a unique collection of Irish 18th century mahogany furniture. Family portraits and Irish pictures line the walls, and the library bookcase has a secret door leading to the hall and the very rare flying staircase. The Dining Room is filled with baronial oak furniture and a gallery of former Knights including a number of notable eccentrics such as "the Knight of the Women" and "the Big Knight". In addition, there is an elegant drawing room and a comfortable smoking room with an open fireplace. Upstairs there are individual sets of bedrooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms. Wall-to-wall carpets are scattered with rugs, and chaise lounges stand at the end of comforting, plump, chintz-covered beds. Pictures and blue and white porcelain plates adorn the walls. The bedrooms at the back of the castle overlook the garden, while those at the front have a view of the river. The hall is illuminated by a Venetian window overlooking a formally designed garden where magnolia campbelli and sophora tetraptera as well as camellias and drifts of daffodils make a splendid Spring garden, while other magnificent trees and shrubs come into their own in the Summer.



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Tarbert Bridwell

(From Glin Castle, travel WEST on the main N69 Road. In Tarbert village centre, turn LEFT onto the Listowel Road. The Bridewell centre is on the RIGHT side of the road, before leaving the village)

This centre is a living experience of legal and social history in the mid 19th century, telling the story of the administration of justice, in Ireland, during that time period. The horror of the rough judicial regime at that time and the wretched lives of the accused locals are recreated using life size models. Open daily, from April to October, at 10am to 6pm. Admission charge.


Desmond Hall

(From Tarbert, travel South/West on the N69 road to the lovely town of Listowel. From there, travel South/East on the R555 road to Abbeyfeale. Then travel North/East on the N21 to Newcastle West)

Located in Newcastle West, a busy market town and in the centre of prosperous dairy country. The town takes its name from a twelfth-century castle which stands in ruins in the park beside the Square. Built in 1184 for the Knights Templars, it later passed to the Earls of Desmond. The building suffered much during centuries of wars, and the ruins show evidence of many rebuildings and alterations. The castle has two halls (both fifteenth century), one of which has been subdivided, but the other, the Desmond Hall, is still complete. It has ownership and serves as a cultural centre where concerts, recitals, exhibitions and lectures are held.


Castle Matrix

(On the LEFT, just off the main N21 Road, before the turn off for Rathkeale town)

A Geraldine "tower house", it was built in the early 15th century. Recently restored, the castle is now an International Arts centre. It possesses a very fine library, unique in Ireland for it's collection of documents relating to the "Wild Geese" - the Irish soldiers who served in continental armies, in the 18th century. It was at the Castle Matrix, according to tradition, that the poet Edmund Spencer first met Sir Walter Raleigh. Here too, it is said, the potato was first grown in Ireland. Open Apr to Sep, Tue to Fri (10am to 6pm), Sat & Sun (2pm to 6pm). Admission charge.


Irish Palatine Centre

(Take the main LEFT turn, for Rathkeale town, off the main N21 Road. At the small Roundabout, turn Right for the road to the local Industrial Estate. The centre is located just a shirt distance on the RIGHT.)

The centre houses an exhibition of the innovative contributions to Irish farming life that was made by the Palatinate community, who were refugees from the Rhenish Palatinate of Germany, in the early 18th century, and on their formative role in the development of the world Methodism religion. The centre features an extensive display of artifacts, photographs, graphics, etc., associated with this unique community.
Open daily, Jun to Sep, Mon to Sat (10am to 5pm), Sun (2pm to 6pm). Admission charge. Telephone: ++353-69-61080. Fax: ++353-69-64220.
Related Web site links: Link 1; Link 2; Link 3; Link 4;


County Limerick - Tour #2.

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DeValera Museum

(From Croom Village, travel SOUTH on the N20 (Limerick/Cork) Road for 7 miles until you come to a crossroads. Turn LEFT onto the R518 (to Kilmallock) Road and travel EAST for 3 miles. After crossing the bridge, in Bruree Village, turn LEFT. The museum is located on the immediate RIGHT)

The museum is dedicated to the memory of Eamon DeValera, former President of Ireland and one of the state’s most famous politicians. The museum is housed in his former national school and it contains memorabilia from his young school days through to his presidency years. Included are interesting archive films showing many extracts of his life.
Open all year, Tue to Fri, at 10am to 5pm & weekends at 2pm to 5pm. Open at other times, by appointment. Admission charge.

Lough Gur

(From Bruree Village, travel EAST on the R518 (to Kilmallock) Road for 4 miles. At the "T" junction, before entering Kilmallock, turn LEFT onto the R512 (to Bruff) Road. Travel 6 miles to Bruff and then a further 4 miles on the R512 (Bruff/Limerick) Road. The Lough & Centre is located on the RIGHT)

Lough Gur introduces visitors to the habitat of Neolithic Man, on one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites. Near the lake is an interpretative centre that tells the story of 5,000 years of man's presence at Lough Gur. It features an audio-visual presentation, models of stone circles, burial chambers and facsimiles of weapons, tools, and pottery found in the area. Interesting walking tours covering the archaeological features of the locality are conducted at regular intervals. Open, daily, from May to September, at 10am to 6pm. Admission charge.

Limerick City

(From Lough Gur, travel NORTH for Limerick City, on the R512 Road, going through Ballyneety Village)

Founded in the early 9th century as a Viking colony on an island in the river "Shannon", Limerick takes it's name from the Norse word for "rich soil or land" (Laemrich). After the defeat of the Vikings, Limerick became the seat of the Kings of Munster until appropriated by the Anglo-Normans, in the late 10th century. Limerick received it's first charter, from King John, in 1197, ten years before London installed it's own mayor and corporation. Among the principle Norman families to establish themselves in Limerick were the Fitzgeralds, the de Burgos, the de Lacys and the Fitzgeralds (know also as the "Geraldines" and headed by the Earls of Desmond). The Limerick Normans owned great tracts of land and built over four hundred castles in the county, more than any other county in Ireland, as well as many large monasteries.

There are many fascinating and historic sights to be seen in this 1000-year-old city and, during the summer months (June to Aug), Walking or open-top sight seeing bus tours are conducted, from the City's main Tourist Office, on a regular, daily, basis. Admission charges.

The main visitor attractions of Limerick City include:

King John's Castle
In the heart of the old city, King John's Castle features imaginative models and 3 dimensional displays, interpreting many aspects of Limerick's and Ireland's long history. The castle is one of the finest examples of fortified Norman architecture in Ireland.
The castle is roughly square on plan and its 60 meter frontage, along the Shannon river, is flanked by two massive round towers, each over 15m. in diameter with walls 3m. thick. The tower nearest the Thomond bridge, the first portion of the castle to be erected, still bears the scars of the besieging cannon of 1691. Eastwards of this tower in the north wall, is the castle gate entrance - a tall, narrow gateway between two tall, round towers. There is another massive round tower at the north east corner of the fortification, but the east wall and the square tower defending the south-east corner of the castle, and on which cannons were mounted, is long demolished. On the three land sides, the castle was protected by a deep, broad moat, fed with water from the Shannon. Only the narrow drawbridge to the castle gate gave admittance.
On the current site are excavated pre-Norman houses, fortifications and siege mines, copies of war machines used before the advent of gunpowder or cannon and an audio-visual show on Limerick's complex and turbulent history, from the city's foundation through to the present day.
Opened daily, from Mar to Oct (10.30am to 5.30pm). Admission charge.


Treaty.JPG - 12702 Bytes The Treaty Stone
This is a rough-hewn block of limestone that sits atop a pedestal on the opposite side of the Thomond Bridge from King John's Castle, in Clancy's Strand. On this stone, according to tradition, the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691, which ended the bloody Jacobite-Williamite war.





St. Mary's Cathedral
At the junction of Nicholas Street and Bridge Street stands St. Mary's Cathedral, the ecclesiastical centre of the fortress for hundreds of years. Founded in the late 10th century, this is the most interesting and most architecturally important of Limerick's historic buildings. It contains many fine examples of ancient architecture together with a considerable number of memorials that trace the history of both the cathedral and Limerick itself, right up to modern times.
Tourists will find excellent documentation of historical remains within the ancient Cathedral itself. Most noteworthy relics of the past are the ancient altar stone used when Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral, and the splendidly carved misericords in the choir. These miserichords are unique in Ireland as the only surviving pre-Elizabethan carvings, and probably date from 1480 when Bishop Folan restored St. Mary's. Of the 21 carvings, 16 are different, representing such mediaeval emblems as a two-legged one-horned goat, a griffin, a sphinx, a wild boar, an angel, a head resembling Henry IV, a dragon biting its tail, antelopes with intertwined necks, a swan, an eagle, the Lion of Judah with a dragon, and a cockatrice holding its tail.
The cathedral is open to the public Mon to Sat and is well worth a visit. Small admission charge.

St. John's Cathedral
Erected between 1856 and 1861, this cathedral is a good example of neo-Gothic building. Its 280-foot (86m) spire is said to be the highest in Ireland.

The Hunt Museum
This museum, located in the Custom House, Rutland Street, houses a collection of some 2,000 original works of art and antiquity, from the stone age to the 20th century. The collection was donated to the Irish nation by John & Gertrude Hunt, noted art historians and Celtic archaeologists. Included are: early Christian brooches, medieval crucifix figures, including a cross belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots, plus, a bronze horse by Leonardo da Vinci.
Open from Tue to Sat at 10am to 5pm & Sun at 2pm to 5pm. Open on Mon from May to Oct at 10am to 5pm. Admission charge.

The Belltable Arts Centre

The Belltable Arts Centre was established in 1981, and is the principal Arts Centre in the Shannon Region. Located in a Georgian building in the centre of Limerick City, its facilities include a 315 seat proscenium arch theatre, an exhibition space, film club, coffee shop, all the Belltable's facilities are fully accessible for those with physical disabilities. The Mid-West's leading theatre and arts venue. The Belltable hosts a variety of artistic events all year round, including theatre, film, exhibitions, poetry readings and music. Showing nearly all forms of fine and applied art, together with film, video, installation and performance. The main gallery holds an even mix of local, national and international exhibitions from artists. The centre also houses its own restaurant and operates a thriving theatre. SUMMER PROGRAMME During each summer season the Belltable plays host to a wide range of Irish theatre productions from various theatre companies. Always exciting and rewarding to attend, full details of the centre events are available from xx353-61-319866 or by picking up the Belltable's most recent calendar of events. Open Mon-Fri 0900H - 2100H, Saturday 1000H - 2100H



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The Milk Market
The Milk Market was built in 1830 in the centre of the region that was then Limerick's Irishtown, using the foundations of Limerick's city walls as for two of it's own. Country produce is still sold in the originally agricultural market along with a wide range of other goods and antiques, etc. Recent shops built around the market area are open six days a week, as well as an Art Galley which is open on market day. The market operates every Saturday morning and is generally in full swing by 0830H, finishing at 1300H.


Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

(From Limerick City, travel WEST on the N18 (Limerick/Galway) Road. Turn LEFT to access the Bunratty Fly-over bridge, where indicated. At the "T" junction on the far side of the fly-over bridge, turn RIGHT to access Bunratty village. The Castle & Folk Park are on the far end of the village, on the RIGHT)

Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic mediaeval castle in Ireland. Built in the early 13th century, and plundered on many occasions, it was restored in the 1950's to its former mediaeval splendor, with furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and style of the times. The castle's famous mediaeval banquets and traditional Irish nights are held nightly.
Central Reservations
Phone: ++353-61-360788
Fax: ++353-61-361020
Email: shinfo@shannon-dev.ie
Website: www.shannonheritage.com

Within its grounds is Bunratty Folk Park, where Irish village life, in the 19th century, is tellingly recreated. The Folk Park contains typical rural and urban dwellings, of that time. There are eight farmhouses, a watermill, a blacksmith's forge, a village street complete with pub, post office, school, doctor's house, hardware shop, drapery, pawn shop, printers, and village hotel. In the park, you can see traditional crafts such as bread baking, knitting, weaving, pottery and photography in their natural setting.
Open daily, all year, at 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission at 4.15pm). During Jun to Aug, the park remains open until 7pm (last admission at 6pm). Admission charge. Phone: ++353-61-361511
While in Bunratty, do not forget to visit the world famous "Durty Nelly's" - reported to be Ireland's oldest Pub.

Craggaunowen

(From Bunratty, travel WEST on the N18 (Limerick/Galway) Road, towards Ennis)

Located in a lake and on the grounds of a restored castle, this is a reconstruction of a "Crannog" (a bronze-age lake dwelling). Nearby is a reconstruction of a ring fort. Well worth a visit. Admission charge.


More information on Adare Village can be found on the following pages:
  • Exploring Adare
  • Leisure Guide
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shops/Facilities
  • Explore from Adare

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