Using Limerick as a base, the surrounding region and West of Ireland is easily accessible – from the Wild Atlantic Way along the west, stretching into Ireland’s Ancient East. It’s an ideal base to explore all this region has to offer.
1. Cliffs of Moher and the Burren
The majestic Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way are among Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Breathtakingly beautiful, they have appeared in many movies including Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince and of course the movie classic The Princess Bride. No visit to the region is complete without taking in their grandeur, and getting a pic for the holiday album – Macklemore and Tony Hawk are among the many celebs that have recently posted holiday snaps online taken here. Driving from Limerick takes just 1hr 15 mins.
Continue on another 30mins to the Burren National Park – the Burren is an area of nearly 125 square miles of limestone rock.This is a geologically distinctive landscape on the western seaboard, formed from an accumulation of fish bones and seashells when the sea covered this area many millions of years ago. It attracts botanists from all over the world for the unique flora and fauna of the area. Pack your walking boots and enjoy the many walking trails here.
2. A Day in Adare Village
Adare is regularly referred to as ‘the prettiest village in Ireland’ and it’s easy to see why. Located just 15 minutes from Limerick City, the main street is punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries, ruins and a picturesque village park. The streets are lined with the original thatched cottages which were built in the 1820’s by Lord Dunraven. Some of these cottages have changed use and are now restaurants, fashion boutiques and arts and crafts shops. Adare Manor stands at one end of the village, a Neo-Gothic Manor house and extensive grounds that has played host to the Irish Open golf tournament and the star-studded JP McManus Pro-Am (returning again in 2020) which hosted the likes of Tiger Woods, Samuel Jackson, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
3. Day trip to the Kingdom
Killarney National Park is 26,000 acres of a distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies giving the area a special scenic beauty. It was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by UNESCO. It contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs. The native red deer are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age. The focal point of the National Park for visitors is the late 19th century Muckross House and Gardens. The former Kenmare Desmene close to Killarney Town is also part of the National Park and features Killarney House and Gardens and Knockreer House, which is the education centre of the park. Driving from Limerick takes just 1hr 45mins.
4. Loop Head Peninsula
From the popular beach at Kilkee to the fishing village of Carrigaholt, the upriver communities of Moyasta and Querrin, to Kilbaha the most westerly village on the peninsula. Loop Head has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other and is bang in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way. Loop Head Heritage Trail has won several Irish and international awards for responsible tourism. The trail at Loop Head features Carrigaholt Castle and Bay, Bridges of Ross, Kilkee Cliffs and Pollock Holes (Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points), Church of the Little Ark (Signature Discovery Point), Bishop’s Island, Dunlicka Castle, Loop Head Pilots Memorial and Kilbaha Bay, Grave of the Yellow Men, Rinevella Bay and Submerged Forest, Kilcredaun Churches and Holy Well, Querrin Pier and the West Clare Railway. Driving from Limerick takes just 1hr 15mins.
5. Take the coast road to Galway
Galway is Ireland’s fourth city and just 1hr 30mins from Limerick.
A harbour city on Ireland’s west coast where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic, the city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops, and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls.