East Clare is a beautiful and hidden corner of the west of Ireland with a landscape of rugged hills and picturesque valleys intertwined with rivers, lakes, woodlands & bog lands. This is a circular route, taking in the Slieve Bernagh mountains, Lough Graney, the Slieve Aughty mountains and Lough Derg. The region has a rich heritage of historic sites, folklore, traditional music, song and dance with regular events and festivals.
This is the land of the Great King, Brian Boru and the great poet and hedge schoolmaster, Brian Merriman, who wrote the epic The Midnight Court, as he sat overlooking Lough Graney.
The Route – Killaloe, Broadford, O’Callaghans Mills, Tulla, Feakle, Flagmount, Whitegate, Mountshannon and Scarriff.
Distance – 43km (21 mls)
Recently refurbished, this is one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. And it no wonder why, you are invited to explore two wonderful experiences – the acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle and 19th century Bunratty Folk Park. The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former glory. Bunratty also run a Medieval Banquet that we can book at your request.
The Cliffs of Moher are a stunning natural feature and well worth a visit. Standing at 214m at the highest point, they range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. With a breathtaking panoramic vista, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South can all be seen.
The Burren, from the Gaelic word Boireann is an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams making it one Clare's top attractions. With an almost spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again.
Doolin Cave and the Great Stalactite
Doolin Cave is one of Europe’s most compelling cave attractions. It is a truly authentic experience. No visit is complete without checking out ‘The Great Stalactite’. From the moment you descend over 80ft into the first tunnel, with your guide, you will enter a world carved by water. When you come into the stunning, cathedral-like dome that houses the huge stalactite, you will be briefly plunged into a world of primitive darkness. Then, in a flash, you will be awed as the subtly-lit stalactite appears before you.
At Craggaunowen-The Living Past, we come to the arrival of the Celts in Ireland. The story is told of how they lived, farmed, hunted and died. See a replica of a Crannóg (Lake Dwelling), Ring Fort and “An Iron Age Roadway.” Craggaunowen Castle which was built around 1550 is also situated on the grounds.
A major feature is the “Brendan Boat” built by Tim Severin who sailed from Ireland to Greenland, re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan, reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus.
Unlike the vast caverns you may have encountered, Aillwee cave is unique to the geology of the Burren and it enables you to explore a little of what lies under the exciting landscape. 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.
The story of the Aillwee Cave began millions of years ago when streams sinking underground on Aillwee Mountain started dissolving channels through the lines of weakness in the limestone. The Aillwee cave is well worth a visit during your stay at the luxurious Lakeside Hotel Clare, and is the perfect day out for all the family.
Located on the promenade of Lahinch, County Clare, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Lahinch Seaworld & Leisure Centre boasts one of Ireland's largest indoor aquariums as well as a full sized swimming pool with Jaccuzi, Sauna, Tanning Room and other amenities.
Explore the amazing marine life of the West coast in our Atlantic Aquarium, where you can see and experience the many beautiful and unique species of our region. Be sure to check this out when booking your next family break at our beautiful Clare Hotel.
For Further information and updates on activities & events in the Clare area log onto www.clare.ie