Clare

Top Attractions

Co. Clare is surrounded by the landmasses of Galway-Mayo to the north and Limerick-Kerry to the south, Lough Derg and the Lower Shannon on the east. On the west is the wonderfully varied Atlantic coast, with mighty cliffs, caverns and sandy bays. To the north this rugged coast rises nearly 700 feet above the sea in the sheer Cliffs of Moher. Clare is famous for its Irish music tradition.

Aillwee Cave

With its stalactites and stalagmites, the Aillwee Cave beneath the Burren has become one of Irelands leading attractions. An essential part of a visit to the Burren, it affords the opportunity to travel through beautiful caverns, over bridged chasms and under weird formations.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

One of Irelands top visitor attractions, Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval
castle in the country. Built in 1425, it was faithfully restored in 1954 and has furnishings and tapestries which capture the mood and style of the times.

The Folk Park, set in 26 acres, recreates nineteenth century Ireland. The Park features include a recreated village street, eight farmhouses, a watermill, blacksmiths forge, Macs pub and restaurant and a display of nineteenth century agricultural machinery.

The Biddy Early Brewery

A small pub-brewery brewing since September 1995. The pub and brewery are family run and brew only chemical-free brews. The brewery is named after Clare woman, Biddy Early, who was renowned for magical powers in the 1800s. Customers can watch brew being made and even take part.

The Burren Centre

The Burren Centre introduces you to one of the most enigmatic areas in the world – the Burren District. Models, displays and audio-visuals reveal the mysteries and complexities of this unique area. Visitors can explore the geology and geography of the areas, including the rich diversity of Burren flora and fauna and the history of man in his landscape.

The Burren Smokehouse

This Company produces Ireland’s finest Oak Smoked Atlantic Salmon. This Ancient tradition is demonstrated in the visitor centre. An audio-visual is available in English, German, French & Italian. There is also a ‘Gourmet Store’ specialising in locally produced goods.

Clare Archaeological Centre

Home of the O’Dea Clan until 1691. This castle is situated in one of the richest archaeological areas in Europe. The trail around the castle contains 25 places of historical and archaeological interest. There’s also a museum and tea room.

Clare Heritage and Genealogical Centre

The Main theme of the Clare Heritage and Genealogical Centre is “Ireland West 1800 – 1860”. It portrays the traumatic period of Irish history under such headings as land tenure, traditional ways of life, culture, famine, emigration, etc. The Centre offers a professional service to persons wishing to trace their ancestry.

Craggaunowen – The Living Past

Ireland’s original prize-winning centre dedicated to interpreting Ireland’s Pre-historic and early Christian eras. Exhibits range from Bronze Age homesteads to Celtic Chieftain’s residences.

Cratloe Woods House

Dating from the 17th century this is the only example of an Irish longhouse which is still lived in by a family. The house is steeped in history and features works of art, horse drawn farm machinery and a pets corner. The primeval Garranon Oak Wood, which provided the timbers for Westminster Hall in London, also forms part of the estate.

Cliffs of Moher

Just north of Lahinch on the coast of West Clare, are the Cliffs of Moher. Natural ramparts against the might of the Atlantic, they rise in places to over 215m and stretch for almost 8km.

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle near Quin was the pride of 42 castles built by the McNamara tribe who dominated the area for over 1,000 years. Built in 1467, it has over five troubled but colourful centuries of Irish history, given soccour to both friend and foe within its keep – including Cromwellian troops who occupied it in 1641.

Killaloe Heritage Centre

The Killaloe Heritage Centre elaborates on the theme of Celtic Ireland. 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 early times.

Lahinch Seaworld

Lahinch Seaworld, on the promenade in Lahinch is a dramatic new attraction where visitors can see and experience the underwater life of the Atlantic Coast. Sharks, rays and congor eels, starfish, lobsters and flatfish can all be viewed in a giant aquarium. A leisure centre forms part of Seaworld, complete with a 25m indoor swimming pool, kiddies pool, sauna, jacuzzi, seaview cafe and souvenir shop. Lahinch Seaworld’s proximity to the Cliffs of Moher and Aillwee Caves is ideal for group tours.

Newtown Castle

Newtown Castle is a beautifully restored sixteenth Century round towerhouse. A tour of the castle’s four floors reveals its unique architectural features and presents its social, cultural, political and historical context with rare exhibits including a limited edition facsimile copy of the Book of Kells. Adjacent to the castle is Newtown Nature Trail, a 1300m long guided walk. The trail covers an area of the Burren rich in natural and historical features. Tours of both Castle and Trail are available.

Capital of County Clare = Ennis!