Visitor Attractions

The Hunt Museum Roland Street, Limerick 061-312833

The Hunt Museum has developed many activities, such as tours around the museum, arts and crafts classes, kids activities, camps and lectures. Our docents and volunteers will help you to create great family days at the museum. A visit to the Hunt Museum can be done alone or as part of a guided tour. There is no extra charge for tours. The Museum boasts many art collections including those of Picasso, Renoir and Yeats. There is also stunning works from medieval times and weapons and tools from the Celtic Period. The museum also has a Jewellery gallery where the Mary Queen of Scots Cross is on show. The Treasury is another experience worth viewing. A Greek coin which is reputed to be one of the ‘thirty pieces of silver’ paid to Judas for betraying Jesus Christ is on show here.

St John’s Castle Nicholas Street, Limerick 061-360788

Have fun exploring King John’s Castle, enjoy magnificent views and imagine a Norman soldier’s life in this medieval fortress. Reach out and touch the past through a wide range of new technologies and specialist multi media techniques. Join in the living interpretation and re-enactment with costumed guides who reveal the secrets and scandals of castle life. King John’s Castle retains many of the pioneering features, which made its construction unique for the day. Its massive gate house, battlements and corner towers await your exploration while the armoury and its contents remain as evidence of its turbulent history. St. John’s Castle is only 15 minutes from Bunratty and is located beautifully on the River Shannon.

King John was the brother of Richard the Lionheart, associated with legends such as Robin Hood and the Knights’ of the Round Table. John, Lord of Ireland, though not as popular as his brother, was a formidable force in battle and when he set about claiming territory in Ireland, he certainly made his mark in Limerick. Not only was the site used for defensive purposes, King John, as “Lord of Ireland” minted his own coins and the Royal moneyer would have struck the coins in the Castle mint.  Before 1200 there were large earthen defences erected on high ground to defend the river crossing. Between 1200 and 1212 King John’s Castle was planned and built. In the following centuries it was repaired and extended many times. In 1642 the Great Siege devastated Limerick and the castle. Siege mines weakened the front wall (East curtain wall) of the castle and counter-siege mines carried out during the later and subsequent sieges. To date over 1,000 objects were excavated including skeletal remains of the siege period.  You can view the remains of a medieval garrison and soldiers quarters recently discovered close to the sallyport area of the castle. A number of houses believed to be Viking in origin were unearthed during earlier restoration of the castle are also worth seeing. Between 1690 and 1691 the Williamite sieges led to the signing of the Treaty of Limerick. You can clearly view the Treaty Stone, said to be the site of the signing of the document on the far shore of the river from the battlements of the castle. The Pre-Norman features discovered are both defensive and settlement. Extensive evidence of an early defense system and of a strong earthen rampart, held together with limestone boulders and protected by a deep ditch, show that King John’s Castle was built on an existing fortification.

Knappogue Castle & Walled Garden Quin, Co Clare 061-360788

Tucked away amid the rolling hills of Quin in Co. Clare lies Knappogue Castle, a 15th century restored medieval tower house that proudly stands as a reminder of our past and reflects the medieval glory in which our nobility of yesteryear lived.  Inside the walls of this stronghold, medieval fantasy is brought to life. Here you can time travel back to a time of struggle for land and title or join in nights of merriment and song, while feasting over a great banquet. The story of Knappogue Castle begins with the Macnamara clan in 1467 (who also built Bunratty Castle). It has a long and varied history from a battle field to a dwelling place.  As you wander through the vaulted halls of Knappogue you will learn about the families who dwelled here including the Scotts and the Butlers each making their own valuable contribution. In the magical setting of Knappogue Castle, the walled garden is a romantic oasis to sit and muse or just escape the ‘madding crowd’. Dating from 1817, the beautiful 1.76 acre garden is now restored to its former splendour. The tall and imposing walls of the walled garden, are lovingly refurnished with climbing roses, grapevines and many clematis varieties.

Craggaunowen Kilmurry, Quin, Co Clare 061-360788

Come and explore the roots of the people, homesteads, animals and artifacts of our Celtic ancestors of over 1,000 years ago which have touched and shaped how we live today. Explore the Crannog – an artificial island dwelling defended by a hidden pathway in the water.  Marvel at how the Celts fed large numbers of hunters while on hunting missions deep in the forest. These were skilled hunters who adopted highly sophisticated cooking techniques involving a large pit, a length of rope and of course fresh meat! Travel back in time to the life of the hunter-gatherer in the Ring Fort. You will see how the Celts carried out their every-day activities as they cooked over open fires or in pits; ground corn for making bread or porridge on hand-powered querns; or made pottery, wooden bowls, goblets and platters. Do you know who really discovered America? Visit the Brendan Boat – a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across mid-Atlantic, re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan and the early Christian monks reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus!! Explore Craggaunowen Castle the 16th century restored Medieval Castle built in 1550 standing defiantly on a crag overlooking the lake and enjoy magnificient views of the countryside.  Observe rare and really interesting animal breeds such as wild boar and soay sheep - specimens of the pre-historic era. Visit one of Ireland’s earliest roadways or ‘togher’ dating to 148 BC.  Exploring the Souterrain is fun - designed to store food but these were often a welcome escape route when under attack from the enemy! Good place for hide and seek! Enjoy the fresh air and lake walks in a most enjoyable rural setting. Savour our wonderful homemade fare in the charming farmhouse tea-room.

Quin Abbey Quin, Co Clare

Quin Abbey, is a ruined Franciscan abbey or friary in Quin, roughly 9 miles from EnnisCounty Clare in Ireland. It was built in the Gothic style in the early 15th century on the remains of an earlier Norman castle. The abbey had a turbulent history, with the friars driven off or killed numerous times. Officially suppressed in 1541, the abbey continued to be inhabited by a small number of friars until 1820. Today, Quin Abbey is a National Monument. Although mostly roofless, the structure of the abbey is relatively well preserved. The cloister and many other surviving architectural features make the abbey of significant historical value. A visitor centre is located near the abbey and the structure and grounds can be visited free of charge. Floodlighting has been installed which illuminates the site at night. The graveyard surrounding the abbey is still in use.

Cliffs of Moher Liscannor, Co. Clare 065-7086141

The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. They stretch for 8km (5miles) as the crow flies, along Atlantic coast of Clare in the west of Ireland and reach 214 metres (702 feet) at their highest point at Knockardakin just north of O’Briens Tower. At the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher stands the Hags Head, a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. In the ancient Gaelic language, the word Mothat means ‘ruined fort’ and a 1st Century BC fort stood where Moher Tower now stands. Therefore the Cliffs of Moher means the clifss of the ruined fort and although there is no trace remaining of this two thousand year old fort, it has given name to the cliffs which are visited annually by almost one million visitors. The Cliffs of Moher experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and the site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps.

The Cliffs of Moher is located on the West coat of Ireland close to Liscannor village in Co Clare. The Cliffs of Moher are easily accessible by road. Allow a minimum of two hours for a visit to the Cliffs of Moher as many visitors spend half a day there.

The Burren Centre Clós Na Heaglaise, Kilfenora, Co. Clare 065-7088030

The Burren, from the Gaelic word Boireann is an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again. In the picturesque village of Kilfenora, The Burren Centre gives visitors an introduction to the visual delights and ancient mysteries which wait to be discovered in this unspoiled corner of Ireland. This walk through time will take you back through the aeons to a time when this area lay beneath a warm tropical sea. Follow the story of the formation of the Burren's lunar landscape where man hunted bear, and wolves roamed the forests. See how, thousands of years ago, man left his mark on the landscape in the form of Dolmens and burial chambers. They still stand today, stone sentinels at the gates of our civilisation's history. Take the journey with us, watch history unfold in front of your eyes, listen to the sounds and feel the atmosphere of thousands of years ago. Study the complex and unique environment which allows plants and flowers, not normally found together in the same country, to share the same rock crevices. The glorious Alpine Gentian, Bloody Cranesbill and Mountain Avens are just some of the floral gems which proliferate in the Burren. To Begin to discover the secrets of the Burren, a walk through the Burren Centre Exhibition is essential. Beautifully presented, with atmospheric lighting and sounds, the story of the Burren unfolds before your eyes, revealing the history of man and animals and how they co-existed in this apparently inhospitable place. A homely tea room awaits you at the end of your walk through time where you can enjoy the delights of fresh, home-cooked food or browse through our craft shop where exquisite, locally produced crafts are on sale.

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 Bunratty...the ideal place to explore the west