Escape the rush and roam a landscape that’s the perfect canvas to autumn’s rich palette. Here, tranquil, lapping tides and the flowing cadences of hearty conversation unite in one coastal rhythm.
places to visit around county clare
Ballyvaughan is perfectly positioned for exploring the unique and spectacular landscape that is the Burren, The Burren National Park and Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
Things to do here
• Drive, cycle or hike from the village along one of our many routes to view the stunning land and seascapes. All are within easy access from where you are now. The 26 km Black Head Loop walk is just one of the many stunning walks in the area.
• Follow the 123 km long Burren Way walk from the village. Head off in either the coastal direction or journey inland, through the heart of the Burren. You will finish your journey at Corofin.
• Refresh and revive yourself at one of Ballyvaughan’s many restaurants and welcoming pubs. Our village is part of the award-winning Burren Food Trail which promotes locally sourced food and there are many fine spots just a short stroll from here.
• Ballyvaughan is the arts and crafts centre of Clare so visit an art gallery, craft shops as well as weekly arts and craft fair. While exploring here you will also find the Burren College of Art, situated in the grounds of the 16th century Newtown Castle.
• Listen out for the many live music sessions held regularly in the village.
• The Arts & Crafts Fair is on from May to October on Sunday from 10am to 5pm
Liscannor & The Cliffs of Moher The Heart of the Cliffs
The village of Liscannor is just 6 kilometres away from the Cliffs, making it a convenient base for your trip and a popular resort in the summer months. To see Liscannor is to
immediately understand why the village is renowned for its stunning location, views and easy access to the Cliffs. The village takes its name from its old castle, ‘Lis’ being Irish for fort and ‘Cannor’ a variation of the name Connor. While you are visiting, look out for the striking local flagstone called Liscannor Stone – from which many of the local buildings, walls and pavements are built.
Things to do here
• Learn all about the Cliffs at the fascinating Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
• Stop en route and take a look at O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower.
• Experience the Cliffs up close and at their finest on the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk. Begin the walk at Liscannor and continue all the way to Doolin, or vice versa.
• As you are walking be sure to take in two of the area’s most popular attractions: O’Brien Monument and Holy Well of St Brigid, whose waters are believed to have healing powers. Cornelius O’Brien MP erected the monument in 1853, in gratitude for what he believed was the curing of an ailment at the well. Pilgrims visit the well on the last Sunday of July as part of the Lughnasa festivities.
• Take advantage of the excellent fishing while you’re here – available from the pier and beach.
• Check out the premium golfing available in the area, as well as pitch and putt.
• Enjoy a musical treat while exploring Doolin the home of Clare’s traditional music. You can enjoy music sessions every night of the week.
• Discover the wealth of Blue Flag Beaches from Lahinch to Fanore, ideal for great beach fun and swimming.
Things to do here
• Enjoy the nearby beautiful Blue Flag beaches of Spanish Point and Whitestrand, offering swimming and a good range of water sports.
• Enjoy a great meal – there are so many excellent restaurants, cosy pubs, traditional music heritage and breathtaking views of the Clare coastline.
• Step out on a walking trail – you are just a short distance from some wonderful trails, including the Point of the Rhine walking loop which starts at Whitestrand and offers majestic ocean views.
• Get into the swing of it and enjoy competitive green fees and open days at top quality golf courses dotted along Clare’s coastline.
Lisdoonvarna was established as a tourist centre almost entirely because of its spa. It was the centre around which the town developed. Lisdoonvarna Heritage Centre was opened in June 2018 formally known locally as the Spa Wells. People have been availing of the beneficial attributes of the waters of Lisdoonvarna since 1750. It has been run by the community group Lisdoonvarna Fáilte for almost 120 years, making it Ireland’s oldest community organisation. Over the past number of years the group along with Lisdoonvarna Historical Society have restored and brought back to life the story of Lisdoonvarna and its waters. In May visitors can find a rare flower called the greater Butterworth be careful this guy is a killer but only to flies. Visit the centre to learn about local history and the waters in our award winning exhibition. Delve into the history of Ireland’s only surviving Victorian spa town, meet the leading landlord of the time, the promoters of the spa and study the photographic progress of the town from its humble beginnings to present day. Visitors are also welcome to sample the minerals of the sulphur waters. Sit and relax with stunning scenery and views of the garden and listen to the sound of the rivers. Our tea room is within the main building where samples of local tarts and scones can be tasted. In September each and every day there is dancing from 12:00-14:00 in the ball room.
Postcard-pretty and brimming with charm, culture and beauty everywhere you go. Ennistymon is a country market town that is as popular a tourist spot as it is loved by those who call it home.
Things to do here
• Take time to meander through town and admire the traditional and colourful shop fronts, welcoming pubs and restaurants. Enjoy the sights and sounds of market day then relax at a traditional music session.
• Sample some of the flavour of this farming community at the Farmer’s Market which takes place in town every Saturday.
• Commemorate the memory of the victims of the Great Hunger of the 1840’s at the ‘An Gorta Mor’ Memorial. You will find this on the main road between Ennistymon and Lahinch and it is well worth a visit.
• Explore the unique and spectacular landscape of the Burren – just a short drive away. Ennistymon makes a good base from which to visit the Burren.
• Enjoy top-class golf courses at neighbouring Lahinch and Doonbeg.
Kilkee & Loop Head Peninsula
Things to do here
• From the car park, overlooking the Pollock Holes, join the Kilkee Cliff Walk – a national loop walk following a cliff path along the spectacular coastline. Watch out for the different loop options along the way.
• Cycle, walk or drive from the town on the Loop Head Heritage Trail, part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Prepare to take in the spectacular cliffs, castles, lighthouses and some of the best scenery in the country as you travel this 50 to 90 km route. Look out for evidence of the area’s military and religious heritage along the way, as well as links to Irish mythology.
• Find out more about the land and water-based activities offered by Kilkee as a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Golfing, hiking, paddle-boarding, diving and dolphin-watching are all available in the area.
• Get a taste of the local music scene at one of Kilkee’s many pubs – or book a cultural event at the Cultúrlann Sweeney Theatre which you’ll find on O’Connell Street.
• Take a trip – Dolphinwatch Carrigaholt offers trips on the Shannon estuary from Carrigaholt. See www.dolphinwatch.ie for more information.
Things to do here
• Make the most of the sea, sand and surf – Lahinch has a famous, two-kilometre Blue Flag beach and the flooding tide creates ideal conditions for both water activities and adventure sports.
• Get active – the coastline’s Atlantic breakers attract surfing and kayaking enthusiasts from all over the world. Lahinch is famous for its many high-quality surf schools and adventure centre. It also hosts top class swimming, scuba diving, sailing and all kinds of angling.
• Experience golf at its best at Lahinch’s superb and
internationally-acclaimed 18-hole championship golf course.
• Head for the coast for great bird-watching where you will find many terrestrial, marine and freshwater birds here.
• Enjoy a great meal at one of Lahinch’s many popular restaurants and pubs.
• Have fun at the many family attractions – you’ll find an entertainment centre with swimming pool and playground on the town’s promenade.
• Discover the best of the Wild Atlantic Way – Lahinch is a discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. It is the beginning of the famous Burren Way Walk and less than 7km from the start of the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk.
• Take a leisurely 10 minute drive from here to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher – the country’s most visited natural attraction.
Things to do here
• Explore the West coast of Ireland by boat departing from Kilrush’s modern marine centre. A trip to definitely look out for is the one to Scattery Island in the Shannon Estuary.
The Island has a ruined monastery, ancient round tower and lighthouse.
• Experience the wonder of a dolphin tour, also leaving from the marina. The Shannon Estuary is home to the only known resident group of bottlenose dolphins and is a known calving area.
• Spend the day exploring one of the area’s beautiful beaches or just taking in the magnificent scenery.
• Head off to the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Centre and immerse yourself in local wildlife while finding out about the research and conservation being carried out in the Shannon Estuary. Here you can take a boat trip or catch a glimpse of the dolphins from land by visiting Cappa Pier.
• Get the top of the world feeling that comes with a drive or cycle tour of the spectacular Loop Head Peninsula – including a visit to the 19th century Loop Head Lighthouse. Be amazed by the stunning, panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
• Soak up the local culture and tradition of the area with an abundance of Irish music sessions in local pubs and Teach Cheoil at St. Senan’s Church of Ireland on Grace Street.
Things to do in county clare
scattery Island tours
SCATTERY ISLAND, THE JEWEL ON THE SHANNON ESTUARY
Located just off Kilrush in Co. Clare an ideal location for anyone interested in Ireland’s rich history or those seeking a great family day out! Visitors will enjoy the natural beauty of the island with a guided walking tour around the monastic site of five Churches, a Cathedral, a magnificent Round Tower, Napoleonic War Artillery Battery and a working Lighthouse. Today the island is uninhabited and visitors can explore its ancient historic sites and experience its unspoilt natural beauty in peace and tranquillity.
Vandeleur Walled garden
Mighty and beautiful old stone walls, behind which an enchanted garden thrives. This is the Vandeleur Walled Garden- once the private garden of Kilrush House, ancestral home to the landed gentry Vandeleur family in the early 19th Century. Here, a horticultural medley of trees, flowers and plants make a garden that offers you a fascinating glimpse into the past combined with a beautiful, re-designed look for a new generation of garden lovers. To visit the garden is also an opportunity to relive the outdoor lifestyle of the Vandeleur period- as the whimsy of a unique, horizontal maze gives way to a charming summer house, elegant Victorian glass house and a fascinating display of agricultural machinery of the time, time changes but nature’s story goes on. What better way to turn a visit to our garden into a full celebration of the senses than by dining at our very own Woodland Bistro? Greet the day with a scrumptious, hearty breakfast, enjoy a light and flavourful lunch or simply take time to indulge in an elegant afternoon tea. We use fresh local ingredients and many of the produce used in our dishes are grown in the Walled Garden. Enjoy! Take home a special memento or gift from our on-site gift shop… or select your favourite plant, herb or bush from our plant sales area – straight from our garden to yours. Enjoy a closer look at the interesting Vandeleur period by spending some time viewing our “Kilrush in Landlord Times” display, and a further reading exhibition in our Conference room. For more information visit our website www.vandeleurwalledgarden.ie or call 065/9051782
Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan – On the edge of the Burren near Ballyvaughan, County Clare, award winning design entrance to a two million year old cave – the refuge of prehistoric Irish Bears. Guided Tours, Restaurant and Craft Shop in Centre. Open: Daily at 10am last tour 17.30. (July & August: Open: 10am, last tour at 18.30). Last week of November and all December is by appointment only. Tel: (065) 7077036 – www.aillweecave.ie
moher hill open farm
Moher Hill Open Farm and Leisure Park www.moherfarm.com Moher Hill Open Farm is situated overlooking Liscannor Bay and is much more than a fun family day out. This 14 acre open farm, which has been featured on RTE programmes, ensures that children and adults alike have an opportunity to learn about and interact with their favourite animals in breathtaking surroundings. The many facilities and activities on the farm include: • a wide variety of animals: ‘Leroy’ the Ilama, ‘Andy’ the alpaca, ‘Rosie’ and Ralph’ the raccoons and ‘Ozzie’ the ostrich and many more such as emu, deer, miniature donkeys, many different breeds of ponies and sheep, pot bellied pigs, kune kune pig, rabbits, etc. • Bouncing castle • Indoor and outdoor go karts • Ball pool • All weather out-door play area • Miniature golf Course. Moher Hill Open Farm allows children and adults to learn about animals in safe environment where education and fun combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience. Whatever the weather, there’s lots of fun to be had at ‘Award Winning’ Moher Hill Open Farm, the friendliest run ‘open farm’ in Co. Clare. Winners of the FBD ‘Best Tourism Hospitality Award’ 2013, 2014 and 2015. We cater for Birthday Parties and School Tours. Opening Times – Summer Season Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 12 noon to 6pm. April and October weekend opening only, extra opening for Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Guided tours and birthday parties can be arranged by appointment.
Doolin Cave – www.doolincave.ie T. 065 707 5761 A secret kept for thousands of years – that’s the Great Stalactite of Doolin. Staring from a single droplet of water, it has been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years. Deep down, particle by particle, this wonder of nature has reached a length of more than 7.3 metres (approx. 24 feet). It is your only opportunity to see such a large free hanging stalactite anywhere in the world. Only discovered in 1952 by cavers exploring the honeycomb of caves tunnelled by the rivers that run underground through the soft limestone of Ireland’s famed Burren Country, the Great Stalactite has been opened up to the eyes of the world. Doolin Cave is one of Europe’s most compelling cave attractions. It is a truly authentic experience!
the rock shop
The Liscannor Stone Story & Rock Shop – St. Brigid’s Well, Liscannor. Tel: 065-7081930 – Liscannor Stone; beautiful natural stone in various natural colours and characteristic textures available from the quarries in the Moher area can all be seen under one roof at Lough, Doolin, where the stones are cut and dressed with the latest stone working machinery, and small or large contracts are completed quickly and efficiently. This unique stone is available in forms suitable for all natural stone work, dressed walling stone, kerbs, sills, flagstones several varieties for paving, cladding, coping, steps, tiles, fireplaces, etc. Apart from its natural beauty this stone has the highest mechanic properties. It is an extreme hard (87% silica) and durable close grained sandstone of the Carboniferous Period. It holds its colour well and resists all weather. The Moher Flagstone with its textured surface bearing the fossil tracks of marine worms provides an excellent non slip property for paving, colours vary from blue grey to black with occasional bronze tints. www.rockshop.ie