Attractions in County Clare
Bunratty Castle &
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is one of Irelands top visitor attractions. A visit to the Castle, the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland, and the absorbing Folk Park nearby is a wonderful experience for all the family. Built in 1425, the majestic Castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. It now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art, which capture the mood of the times. You can marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country, which brings to life a vital part of the Celtic past and the heritage of Co. Clare. At night-time, the Castle is the impressive setting for medieval banquets which are held year-round subject to demand. Visit Bunratty Folk Park website
Aran Islands Cruise,
The cruise enables you to visit all of the three islands and also view the spectacular cliffs of Moher on the way. It departs Liscannor Pier at 09.00 hrs and arrives back at 19.30 hrs. This gives ample time to tour each island or laze on the beaches or just stroll around and commune with the magic of Aran. Visit Aran Islands Cruise
Fun for all the family. Features include an Aquarium, 25m heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steamroom and Kiddies pool. In the Aquarium you can come eye to eye with some rare and spine chilling fish species as they surround you. Sammy Shark Playzone is a two story maze of ball ponds, slides, scramble nets, climbing ladders and loads more to keep even the most active children happy. Fully stocked Gift Shop. Visit Lahinch Seaworld website
Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan
Guided tours, lasting 30 minutes, allow you to observe beautiful caverns, bridged chasms, underground waterfalls, weird mineral formations and the hibernation chambers of brown bears which have been extinct in Ireland for centuries. Facilities include a restaurant, craft shop, information desk and outside and 'The Hazelwood' crafts village. This stunning creation of nature was formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age. The cave, carved out of limestone, cuts into the heart of the mountain. Visit Aillwee Cave website
The Burren Perfumery
and Floral Centre
The Burren Perfumery is Irelands first Perfumery, set up over 30 years ago. The Burren Perfumery's visitors centre has a unique photographic exhibition and outstanding audio -visual presentation. You can see natural essential oils being extracted and blended using the traditional still, and the various processes used to create the perfumes. All products are on display and available to sample and purchase in the showroom. Visit Burren Perfumery website
The Cliffs of Moher
The majestic Cliffs of Moher stand against the might of the Atlantic Ocean. OBriens Tower is located on the highest cliff and is the best location from which to view the Cliffs, from this vantage point one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk Mountains to the north in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs can be visited daily, year-round. O Briens tower open daily, March to October. Visitor centre open year round. Visit Cliffs of Moher website
Craggaunowen - 'The Living
Craggaunowen 'The Living Past' tells the story of the arrival of the Celts in Ireland and the many changes they wrought upon daily life. Their impact is evidenced in the creation of new tribal lake dwellings, farming and hunting methods which are explained by the costumed animators.
A major feature of the visit, is a Crannog (meaning 'young tree) which is a reconstructed lake-dwelling of a type found in Ireland during the Iron Age and Early Christian periods. Visit Craggaunowen website
Burren Display Centre
- "A Walk through time"
The Burren Centre gives the visitor an introduction to the visual delights and ancient mysteries which await to be discovered in this unspoiled corner of Ireland. This walk through time will take you back 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.
Visit Burren Centre website
Come in and get a tasting of our Smoked Salmon. We are passionate about our local foods that you can buy in our gourmet shop. We send these gourmet foods to destinations all around the world with our mail order service.
Learn about how we smoke out salmon. You can see our demonstration kiln and look at the oak shavings. Enjoy our unique series of mosaics about the ancient Legend The Salmon of Knowledge. Look at the biggest wild salmon that was ever caught for us on video. Pre-booked full presentations available. Visit Burren Smokehouse website
Biddy Early Brewery
The Biddy Early Brewery is Ireland's first Pub Brewery. Here visitors can watch an audio-visual presentation on the legend of Biddy Early and the brewing process and how the two are inter-linked.
This is followed by a guided tour of the brewery and beer tasting. Visit Biddy Early Brewery website
Caherconnell Stone Fort
Caherconnell is one of the best-preserved stone sforts in the Burren. Unique in being the only developed for tourism, it was built about 1500 years ago.
The visitor centre at Caherconnell incorporates
an audio-visual presentation and a graphic display area. The audio-visual
presentation revolves around the fort, its people, history and archaeology.
There is also a short history of other prominent local monuments
including Poulnabrone Dolmen (3800B.C), Poulawack Cairn (3400B.C)
and Cahercommaun stone fort, all of which have been excavated. The
graphic display provides detailed information on these topics. Visit
Caherconnell Stone Fort website
Clare Museum, Ennis
The story of Clare stretches back over 6000 years. Its incredible history is excitingly captured at the 'Riches of Clare'. Beautifully displayed artifacts, original works of art, enthralling audio-visual presentations and interactive experiences, all combine to provide an exciting glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Clare. Visit Clare Museum website
Dromore Wood & Visitor Centre, Ruan
An area of approximately 400 hectares (1,000) acres), Dromore was established as a nature reserve because of the diversity and richness of its flora and fauna. This richness comes from the fact that it has many different habitat types. These include a river, lakes, turloughs, callows (flooded meadows), limestone pavement, fen peat, reed beds and species-rich woodland.
The reserve has historical and archaeological aspects. The 17th century O'Brien Castle is still standing by the lake edge. There is also the site of Cahermacrea Castle, the site of Killakee Church, two ring forts and a lime kiln.
Visit Dromore Wood & Visitor Centre website
Dysert O'Dea Castle &
Archaeology Centre, Corofin
Built in a rocky outcrop, this tower house was built in 1480 by Diarmuid O'Dea. It was badly damaged by the Cromwellians in 1651 but was repaired and opened to the public as an Archaeology Centre in 1986. Today it features an extensive museum of local artifacts, an audio-visual presentation, photographic exhibition, tea room and book shop.
There are also archaeology/history trails incorporating 25 field monuments within 4kms radius of the Castle. These include St. Tola's 12th Century High Cross, Romanesque Doorway at Dysert Church.
It has been described as: "The most archaeologically
fertile area in western Europe"
Visit Dysert O'Dea Castle & Archaeology Centre
Ennis Friary, Ennis
This 13th century Franciscan Friary, founded by the O'Briens, has numerous 15/16th century sculptures carved in the local hard limestone. The visitor can see the figure of St. Francis displaying the stigmata, an elaborately ornamented screen, a representation of the Virgin and Child and the Ecce Homo. The Chancel is lit by the magnificent East Window. On the North side is the beautifully carved McMahon tomb. Visit Ennis Friary
Killaloe Heritage &
Brian Ború Centre
Killaloe Heritage Centre explores the theme of Celtic Ireland. In and around this town, the birth place of Brian Boru (940-1014) the greatest High King of Ireland who subdued the Vikings and progenitor of the O'Brien Clan, one can discover the history of the arrival of Christianity and the monastic tradition, as well as the development of the Shannon River as a transport system from earliest times. Visit Killaloe Heritage & Brian Boru Centre
Knappogue Castle was built in 1467 by Sean MacNamara, son of Sioda (who built Bunratty Castle) has a long and varied history. In 1571 the Castle became the seat of the MacNamara Clan, Earls of West Clancullen. In 1641 it was occupied by Oliver Cromwell's troops but later returned to the MacNamara Clan who sold it to the Scots in 1800. The Castle has been host to two Irish Presidents, as well as other heads of state, including General de Gaulle.
A wonderful feature of the Castle and its grounds, is the beautiful walled garden dating from 1817 now restored to its former splendour. The tall and imposing walls of the walled garden are resplendent with climbing roses, grapevines and many clematis varieties. In the magical setting of Knappogue Castle, this is a romantic oasis to sit and picnic or just escape the 'madding crowd'.
At night the castle plays host to a medieval banquet - two sittings at 17.30 and 20.45 from April to October subject to demand. Visit Knappogue Castle website
Scattery Island Centre, Kilrush
This Information Centre on the mainland interprets the island on which a monastery is sited. The monastery, consisting of a round tower and several churches, was founded by St. Senan in the early part of the 6th century. His most famous pupil was St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise. A wonderful exhibition on the history of these monuments and on the wildlife of the area is housed in this Centre. Access for visitors with disabilities to ground floor.
Visit Scattery Island Centre