Quick Bio: Roisin here! I’m lucky enough to say that my job for the last three years has been telling people how amazing Ireland is. Now I have the chance to let you in on Ireland’s best kept secret; my native County Limerick.
She’s been celebrated as ‘a lady’ in song and has reigned as European City of Sport; now in 2014 Limerick will be crowned Irish City of Culture. Limerick city and its beautiful surrounding county enjoy convenience to many other iconic parts of Ireland, yet there are more reasons than ever not to simply rush through without taking in all it has to offer.
Rolling Through the Landscape and Heritage
Amidst the rolling hills and lush valleys to the east of the county, straddling the Limerick and Cork border, there’s plenty of activity to keep you busy in Ballyhoura. The area has been praised as a dream mountain biking destination with an impressive network of breath-taking trails. It’s not just great for two wheels though; walkers, horse riding enthusiasts and anyone hungry for heritage will not want to leave this natural and cultural heartland.
The Scenic Routes
Two routes, both scenic, take you from Limerick to Kerry, but there is so much to discover along the way that you might just want to linger a while longer in Limerick before heading further afield …
If you take the coastal route, a stunning drive along the Shannon as it flows towards the wild Atlantic, make sure you stop off in the picturesque estuary towns and villages. Traditional culture can be heard in the music of local pubs and beautifully preserved history still lives in Glin Castle.
A journey along this route would not be complete without a stop in the town of Foynes. Learn the unknown and amazing stories of the Foynes air terminal and the aviation world in the 30s and 40s at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum. Don’t forget to stop for refreshment! The Irish Coffee was invented here one stormy night in 1943.An alternative route west from Limerick city takes you through Ireland’s prettiest village and the home of one of our more famous manors – Adare. Family history and local culture are interpreted wonderfully at Adare Heritage Centre. If all this history gets your appetite going, enjoy the village park with a picnic available to go from the centre’s restaurant. Perhaps affordable fine dining is more your style? You’ll find some of Ireland’s most celebrated restaurants in the villages of Adare and nearby Ballingarry.
What better way to remember a great trip than with something beautiful and unique you can wear? Newcastle West was always a market town, and indeed you will still find local farmers selling their produce in the Medieval Square, but today the heritage and literary town of Newcastle West is also a hotbed for cutting edge design and luxury boutiques, bursting with inspired fashion for you to take home and treasure – or flaunt!
Lots to Love
Although Frank McCourt made Limerick’s rain famous, you might not have known that it’s soaked with heritage, brimming with culture and overflowing with nature. Best of all, the city and county’s authentically Irish experiences make you feel like it’s ‘off the beaten track’, yet the more I travel away from Limerick, the more I realise how blissfully easy to is to get there, from anywhere! Once you enjoy the Limerick welcome leaving will be the hard part.