Limerick City has a population of about 50,000. It boasts many tourist attractions, including King John’s Castle (from 1205), St Mary’s Cathedral (about 1175) and the Civic Museum (which is particularly good on the development of commerce and manufacturing in Limerick since 1700). The architecture of Limerick is predominantly Georgian (early 1800’s) in style, and modern developments are required to be consistent with this theme. Shopping in Limerick City is excellent, with a choice of covered malls and open streets. Some of the malls are in the suburbs, and the largest, The Crescent Shopping Centre, is about a mile and a half from Avondoyle.
Avondoyle’s Top Ten Holiday Entertainments in Limerick!
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
This magnificent 15th century castle of dramatic history was once the stronghold of the O’Briens, kings and later earls of Thomond. Now splendidly restored, it reflects the lavish style and power of the Great Earl. In the delightful grounds of the castle is the Folk Park, recreating a living experience of rural Ireland dating from 1900. This attraction is strongly recommended by Avondoyle. It presents a fully restored 15th century castle, complete with restored village and houses. Here you can spend the day wondering around the castle and village houses with their many rooms and imagine the living experience of the lavish lifestyle of the 15th century lords and ladies to that of village dwellers of rural Ireland of the 1900s. You may even get to meet a few of the locals and sample some of their apple pie! (It is also possible to reserve a place on one of the castles night-time banquets, with singing dancing, food and drink from the 16th century. See below for details.)
9 miles from Avondoyle
Bunratty Mediaeval Castle Banquet
Enjoy the sumptuous mediaeval feast with fine food and wine as guest of the Earl of Thomond. Experience the sweet music and singing of the world famous Castle Entertainers, presented in lavish period style. An enchanting evening is promised, from the moment of arrival. (Ask your hostess about reserving a place for you here)
9 miles from Avondoyle
Bunratty Traditional Irish Folk Night
Experience the warm welcome of the Fear an Ti (Man of the House) to the Great Barn close to his prosperous Golden Vale farmhouse. In the heart of the folk park, the barn comes alive with its nightly cheili of top class traditional music and dancing, Irish song and story. Dine on simple but delicious farm fresh food, including the famous Irish stew. 9 miles from Avondoyle
Craggaunowen- the living past
What was it like to live in early Celtic Ireland? Come and see the prehistoric lake dwellings, Iron Age road, replica of the Brendan, a sixth century vessel, and a ring-fort. From a later era there is also a restored 16th century tower house.17 miles from Avondoyle
Granted to the O’Briens by King John in 1209, the present castle was built by Brian Dubh O’Brien in 1449. It had a stormy history and was finally destroyed in 1691 during the time of the Siege of Limerick. The ruins are easily accessible and give an insight into how a fortified village of the mediaeval times was laid out. Carrigogunnell is in Ballybrown, about five miles southwest of Limerick city. Here it is possible to walk along the substantial ruins, climb the remaining tower stairs and imagine the glory of the castle in its living time! Beautiful views of Limerick’s countryside and castle and tower network.
4 miles from Avondoyle
St. Mary’s Cathedral
The site, once his former home, was donated by Donal Mor O’Brien in 1172 as a means of buying his entry to Paradise! The front door of the church is reputed to be the original door of Donal’s house. The cathedral incorporates many architectural treasures in its construction and furnishings. This cathedral is still in use for weekly services. It is a truly beautiful and peaceful building.
3 miles from Avondoyle
Curraghchase Forest Park
Curraghchase Forest Park is set in the parklands of the stately home of the DeVere family. The most famous member of this family was the poet Aubrey De Vere. However other family members left a legacy which will also endure – the arboretum at Curraghchase and the splendid park itself; open every day of the year, and is an ideal outing for a breath of fresh air even on drizzly winter days. This is a truly beautiful place to get back to nature and go for a walk. The house, although now closed up, is still present in its entirety. The gardens are substantial, with a duck and swan filled lake, massive ancient trees, huge rockery mazes and little wooden bridges. You couldn’t but be happy here.17 miles from Avondoyle
Dolan’s Traditional Irish Music Pub
Dolan’s is a family owned and run pub and restaurant with traditional Irish music every night during the summer. You can hear the finest local and visiting traditional musicians playing in an informal setting in the bar with many well known Irish and international musicians make a point of including Dolan’s Pub in their itinerary for the un-equalled atmosphere. Music starts around 9:00pm nightly. There are set-dancing classes during the winter months on Tuesday nights at 8:00pm – “Everyone’s welcome, young or old, beginners to experts!” So “C’mon in for a pint, you’d never know who might be there…..”3 miles from Avondoyle
The Clare Glens
The Clare Glens is a river side, woodland walk along the Clare river near Murroe. The Glens, despite their name, are not in County Clare, but form the boundary between the counties of Limerick and Tipperary. They are a very picturesque red sandstone gorge through which the Clare River flows and displays numerous waterfalls. The scenery here is breathtaking, with wild dense forest combined with the calm rushing of the crystal clear waters. This is the perfect spot for a lazy picnic.18 miles from Avondoyle
Dromore Lake and Castle
Dromore Castle, the former home of the Earl of Limerick, is an Edward William Godwin designed masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The 134 year old building has been described as a classic Victorian Castle and is probably one of the most important Victorian buildings in Ireland. Situated high on a limestone ridge overlooking 100 acres of woodland and 50 acres of water, Dromore Castle forms an imposing and hugely impressive silhouette against the Irish sky. Located in the countryside of County Limerick, Ireland, Dromore Castle represents one of the most ambitious endeavours of the renowned architect and engineer Edward William Godwin.9 miles from Avondoyle
Unfortunately there is neither time nor space to go into details of many more places to visit – so here are just a few short summaries of some more ideas.
1- 5 Miles from Avondoyle
Limerick Civic Museum – John’s Square
This museum is run by the Corporation of Limerick. The two main sections of the museum display (i) the early Bronze and Iron age remnants which were found in hoards near Lough Gur (see separate entry above), and (ii) the development of trade and commerce in Limerick City since the peace following the siege of Limerick in 1691.
The Hunt Museum
A representative collection of priceless objects, bequeathed to the Irish nation by John and Gertrude Hunt. The museum is renowned for its decorative art and antiquities, Irish and European. http://www.ul.ie/~hunt/ King John’s Castle A dramatic city fortress of Norman times standing guard over Limerick on the river Shannon. With an imaginative exhibition, multi-vision show, excavations, war machines, 800 years of history unfold within its battlements.
University of Limerick Concert Hall
The University has an acoustically perfect 1000 seater concert hall in which world renowned orchestras, stars and bands perform regularly. It also includes the largest permanent exhibition of self-portraits in Europe. Do not miss the opportunity of enjoying a concert in such wonderful surroundings. http://www.ul.ie/~uch/
5- 15 Miles from Avondoyle
Lough Gur Heritage Centre
With its lake sheltered by limestone hills, this tranquil place of prehistoric mystery and story is notable for the variety of its bird life as well as for the wealth of antiquities. A Neolithic house has been imaginatively reconstructed for the visitors’ centre.
Croom Mills Waterwheel and Heritage Centre
This is the story of an Irish country mill from the glorious days of its success to its demise in the late 1940’s. It is the story of the family who built it, and the local community who supplied the grain, or worked the mill; the life of the village that revolved around the Croom Mills.
Bruree and the DeValera Museum
Bruree is about 2 miles off the Cork road, about 8 miles south of Croom. It is a very attractive little town, renowned as the home place of Eamon DeValera, freedom fighter of 1916, statesman, and ultimately president of Ireland. The DeValera Museum is a most interesting exhibition ranging back to pre Christian times, as well as showing artefacts of the life of rural Ireland of 100 years ago. http://www.bruree.net
Killaloe Heritage Centre
Discover this scenic navigation location where the river Shannon flows out of Lough Derg. Christian Antiquities grace the charming town-land of Killaloe-Ballina. With an imaginative exhibition.
15 – 20 Miles from Avondoyle
A beautifully furnished 15th century castle. Knappogue was once the seat of the McNamara clan. Restoration of the main tower house and its 19th century castellated additions is brilliantly achieved. Its colourful history is retold in a sound and vision exhibition. Knappogue Mediaeval Castle Banquet In a courtly 15th century setting, enjoy a sparkling good-humoured evening with delicious food and wine in the best tradition of the castle’s hospitality. Story, song and dance form a captivating pageant of colour woven around the famous Celtic women of Ireland’s past.
Celtic Folk Park Kilcornan
The Celtic Theme Park and Gardens at Kilcornan give visitors a perspective on the way of life of the pre-Christian Celts, and help them to visualize the background to the legends of the Fianna.