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A County Clare guide – natural beauty, traditional music and cosy pubs

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Set on the stunning West Coast of Ireland, along The Wild Atlantic Way, County Clare is one of the most perfect places for a romantic weekend away or a fun-filled week with the family. County Clare has music events, food festivals and plenty of adventure activities for everyone. From the tiny streets and bustling nightlife in the main city of Ennis, to the charismatic village of Doolin, the people of County Clare will welcome you with open arms.

Gerry Lynch

My Destination local expert on

County Clare

Ennis

 

The largest town of County Clare is located in the center just 15 minutes from Shannon Airport and is an emerging business town.  Ennis offers year-round attractions like golf courses, boat trips and a large variety of live music, theatre and dance. The Clare Museum provides insight on ‘the riches of Clare, its people, place and treasures’ and the walking tours bring history alive with myths, legends, ghosts, murder and more secrets of the town.  The town is famous for its narrow streets and lane ways and is a must for all female shoppers with its huge variety of boutiques.

 

North Clare

 

Ballyvaughan is a coastal village, known for its arts and crafts, traditional music and is a perfect place for walkers. With a view across Galway Bay Ballyvaughan contains many Celtic ring forts, including the Cahermore Ring Fort that people can walk around. Traditionally a fishing village, Doolin now boasts some of the country’s finest traditional musicians and beautiful historical churches. Doolin Cave is home of the Great Stalactite, one of the world’s largest, and also in the area are the ruins of Doonmacfelim Castle. If you’re interested in ancient archaeology, Carron is scattered with stone tombs such as Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Celtic Caherconnell Stone Fort site.

 

South Clare

 

Built in 1425, Bunratty Castle is Ireland’s most authentic medieval castle and hosts a variety of banquets and also includes a model village. Bunratty Folk Park is one of Ireland’s best attractions, with over 30 buildings that include a watermill, village streets and a playground for young guests. Its location means visitors benefit from being able to see all of County Clare’s attractions as well as the surrounding counties of Limerick and Kerry. Whilst in the area fishing is incredibly popular so don’t miss the opportunity to take to the waters. The Shannon River is the best place for salmon and trout fishing, but also great for pleasure boating.

 

East Clare

 

A great holiday town in the summer, Killaloe village, ancestral home to Brian Boru the last High King of Ireland, offers a historic yet beautiful lakeside setting, popular for boat trips and also its charming network of streets. Most people take advantage of the Shannonside Activity Center at Mountshannon for their watersports such as windsurfing, water skiing and canoeing.  One of Ireland’s most famous monastic sites is located on Lough Derg, called Holy Island, and its attractions include a Round Tower, the ruins of six churches and an 18th century graveyard. The East Clare Heritage Center, in Tuamgraney, is set in a 10th century church and offers visitors an audio visual display and a folk museum, definitely worth a visit.

 

West Clare

 

Home to one of Ireland’s most amazing views, the Cliffs of Moher stand 214 meters (702 ft.)  above the ocean and stretch for eight kilometers along the Atlantic Coast. During the summer months you can hardly move around this attraction; however, a brand new visitor center means that everyone can be catered for. Also as it’s open all year round there are plenty of opportunities for you to visit. Walk the Cliffs Coastal Trail and visit The Burren and its caves. In the west you will also find Spanish Point, where the Spanish Armada floundered after a failed attempt to invade the England of Elizabeth 1st in 1588. The west coast is famous for golfing and surfing and Lahinch has a Blue Flag Beach as well as a Championship Golf Course.