The Burren, Co.Clare

About

The Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning “great rock”) is a karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare. It is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north, respectively.

A small portion of the Burren has been designated as Burren National Park. It is one of only six national parks in the Republic of Ireland and the smallest in size (15 kmĀ²).

Burren is rich with historical and archaeological sites. There are more than 90 megalithic tombs in the area, portal dolmens (including Poulnabrone Dolmen), a celtic high cross in the village of Kilfenora, and a number of ring forts – among them the triple ring fort Cahercommaun on the edge of an inland cliff, and the exceptionally well-preserved Caherconnell Stone Fort. Corcomroe Abbey is one of the area’s main scenic attractions.

The rolling hills of Burren are composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as “grikes”, leaving isolated rocks called “clints”. The region supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. The blue flower of the Spring Gentian, an alpine plant, is used as a symbol for the area by the tourist board. Burren’s many limestone cliffs, particularly the sea-cliffs at Ailladie, are popular with rock-climbers.

Burren has a long history of traditional Irish music. It is particularly known for the “West Clare Style” of concertina playing and the music festival in Doolin.

(Wikipedia)

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