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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

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  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
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    Car free in Adare

    Travel from lively Limerick city to one of the most beautiful villages on the island of Ireland… car free!

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    County Limerick
    County Limerick
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    • #WildAtlanticWay
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    Nestled in the lush County Limerick countryside, you’ll find the charming little village of Adare. Known for its iconic thatched cottages, flower-filled gardens and abundance of historic sites, it’s the perfect spot to spend a leisurely day – and it’s just a 20-minute bus ride from bustling Limerick city.

    Limerick makes a great base for your travels around this part of Ireland. The city is super-accessible by public transport. You’ll find bus and train stations in its centre and Shannon Airport is just a 30-minute bus ride away so there’s no need for a car. If you’re ready to start planning, here’s our guide for getting the most out of Limerick and Adare.

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    People's Park, Limerick city

    A morning in Limerick city

    It will take more than a morning to experience Limerick with its thriving cultural scene and host of historical attractions but you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in. The city’s compact nature means everything’s within walking distance. And there are some great spots within 15 minutes of the bus station.

    Wander through the People’s Park. Opened in 1877, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature as you walk beneath mature trees, admire the Victorian bandstand and refresh yourself at the quirky red and white drinking fountain. Right next to the park, you’ll find the Limerick City Gallery of Art which exhibits a range of contemporary work from national and international artists.

    If you have more time, visit the International Rugby Experience. Limerick is the hometown of the Munster team and they take their rugby seriously here. At the Exhibition, you can discover the origins of the haka or test your prowess at the Skills Zone. It’s a must for rugby fans.

    Grab breakfast at Rift Coffee and mosey back to catch the Bus Éireann 13 or 14 bus from Colbert Station. Alternatively, the Dublin Coach 300 Express departs from Arthur’s Quay and stops in Adare.

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    Adare village, County Limerick

    Adare village – see and do

    The first thing you’ll notice about Adare as you get off the bus is its wide main street lined with thatched cottages, craft shops, traditional pubs and cafés. The second is the atmosphere – buzzing with strolling visitors and locals about their business.

    The Adare Heritage Centre; in the middle of the village is a great place to start. The tourism information area here offers tips to help plan your visit. This is where you can learn about Adare’s past from the Middle Ages to modern times at the free historic exhibition.

    It is also where you can book your tour of nearby Desmond Castle (from June to September). This dramatic riverside ruin was an important strategic site for the Earls of Desmond until it was taken by English forces after a bloody siege in the 17th century.

    Enjoy a walk around Adare Town Park – a luscious green space just across from the Heritage Centre. While you’re here, treat yourself to a coffee from the winner of Best Café in Limerick in 2022 – Café Lógr, located in the park. If you want to explore further, head to the short but scenic Adare River Walk along the River Maigue, which runs through Adare.

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    Adare Cottage Shop, County Limerick

    Shopping in Adare

    Adare is well known for its craft shops, making it a dream destination if you’re looking for Ireland souvenirs. Head to Adare Cottage where you’ll find an array of handmade items from brands including Nicholas Mosse Pottery and John Hanly Woollen Mills.

    Another crafty spot nearby is the bright and airy Draíocht Art Gallery and Shop, which sells everything from local artwork and wooden furniture to candles and jewellery designed by Irish and international artists.

    Last but not least, Aoife’s Cottage is the home of the first B Corp-certified fashion brand in Ireland, meaning that its retail processes are responsible and sustainable… and the fashions on display from designer Aoife McNamara are sublime.

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    Adare Manor, County Limerick

    Adare Manor

    Just a short walk from the village is Adare Manor, a luxurious 5-star hotel set amidst 840 acres of lush parkland. This magnificent 19th century house, with its decorative stonework, gargoyles and turrets is a legacy of the 2nd Earl of Dunraven, who redesigned the original Georgian structure with a distinctly Gothic eye. Today, the manor regularly appears on lists of the world’s top resorts and will host the 2027 Ryder Cup golf tournament.

    While you don’t need to book a stay at Adare Manor to pay a visit, you will need a restaurant reservation to enter the grounds. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea as you admire the gallery’s vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows.

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    1826 Adare restaurant, County Limerick © Chris Hill Photographic

    A bite to eat

    When it comes to food, Adare Manor is the big hitter in the village thanks to its Michelin-starred Oak Room restaurant and the slightly more informal Carriage House. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key or you’re planning to stay in Adare a little longer, there are plenty more restaurants to try.

    A perennial favourite is 1826 Adare (open Thursday-Sunday), where the French-inspired menu offers rustic, hearty food that perfectly complements the restaurant’s cottage setting. Another thatched eatery is the Good Room Café, a tasty spot for breakfast and brunch, while Stacpoole Coffee House mixes casual dining with local artwork.

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    Mary's Organic Garden, County Limerick © Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel

    Staying longer?

    With so much to see and do in Adare, you might want to extend your stay before catching the bus back to Limerick city. In this case, you can choose from hotels such as The Dunraven, once a hunting lodge for the Earls of Dunraven, and Woodland House Hotel and Spa, which boasts its own organic kitchen garden. Or opt for the elegant country house style of the Mustard Seed, just outside the village.

    When it comes to Adare, it’s always best to relax and take your time.