Road trip! Limerick to Waterford

A journey from the historic city of Limerick on the banks of the River Shannon to the beautiful wilds of County Waterford takes you on an adventure through the breathtaking Irish landscape. On this trip, you’ll pass ancient mountains, beautiful lakes and historic castles, journey through three Irish counties and experience the best of Irish hospitality!

River Shannon in Limerick | © William Murphy/Flickr

Before you leave the lively, medieval-era city of Limerick, have a traditional Full Irish breakfast at The Locke Bar and Restaurant; or try what’s on offer at local favourite Hook & Ladder. If a full breakfast isn’t to your taste, they also have a wide selection of pastries and pancakes to tempt you!

Once fortified, take your car and head southeast out of the city. First, you’ll go through quaint Tipperary town. If you need a tea break, try the French Quarter Cafe, a foodie favourite!

Just over an hour of easy driving will bring you to Cahir, home to one of the largest and best preserved medieval castles in Ireland.

Continuing on, past the beautiful, blink or you’ll miss it village of Bansha, we recommend taking a small detour to explore the Glen of Aherlow. This stunning 50 acre national park has a wonderful hotel right on its doorstep, the Aherlow House Hotel and Lodges, offering uninterrupted views of the countryside.

Or why not take a coffee break at Kilcoran Lodge Hotel & Leisure Centre, nestled outside the town in the foothills of the Galtee Mountains. Enjoy your break with  views of the Knockmealdown mountains and impressively lush gardens surrounding the hotel.

Continue your journey through the Knockmealdown Mountains, come to the spectacular Vee Pass with its breathtaking panoramic views.

Image from www.clogheen.net

Close to the Vee is the burial place of Captain Grubb, who was buried standing up, with his gun and dog, forever overlooking his estate.  A mere five minutes later, you’ll also pass a quaint historic church tucked away just off the main road.

At the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains, right where the N72 road crosses the River Blackwater and not far from the Tipperary/Waterford border is the town of Lismore. Lismore is heaven for history buffs with its castle, cathedral, towers and heritage centre. It also has a wealth of great wining and dining options- try Foleys on the Mall for lunch, housed in a building that dates to the 1870s, or Lizzie Brien’s café for some sweet treats! If you want to stay longer to enjoy this lovely little town, we recommend the Ballyrafter Hotel– full of character and charm, it’s the perfect country stay!

Your next stop will be the compact, cultural and historic city of Waterford! Look our for our next post on what to see, eat and do in Waterford city.

The Best Surfing Spots in Ireland

Ireland is one of the worlds top surfing destinations! The skies are often grey so you need to be hardy to surf Irish waters but with amazing waves hitting the Western and Southern shores, it’s worth it! And the windy weather is a great excuse to warm up with a hot whiskey after.

Wetsuits at the ready, here’s our Top 5 Irish Surfing Spots for pros and amatuers alike!

5. Inch Strand, Dingle Penninsula, Co. Kerry

Although often a bit crowded in Summertime, Inch Strand is perfect for beginners as the waves break over soft sand. It’s a beautiful location, a 3km spit jutting out from the mainland and a top surfing spot!

4. Strandhill, Co. Sligo

The NorthWest is a real adventure hub with plenty of activities to keep adreneline junkies happy and Strandhill is Sligos surf central. Although Easkey, our No 2. Choice, is favoured by more experienced surfers, Strandhill has great waves and plenty of surf schools if you’re not quite a pro just yet!

 

3. Lahinch, Co. Clare

Lahinch is one of Ireland’s best known surf spots. With plenty of surf schools, it’s a great option for beginners and in Summertime, the beachside town has a lovely, low key, welcoming vibe . It’s also a great base for more experienced surfers to explore nearby beaches towards Fanore or Doonbeg.

2. Easkey, Co. Sligo

One for experienced surfers, Easkey has two reef breaks and year round surfing. Popular with serious surfers, Easkey is home to the Irish Surfing Associations HQ.

1. Bundoran, Co. Donegal

Known as the surf capital of Ireland, our No. 1 has to be Bundoran! The legendary Peak is the best known wave in Ireland and the real draw here; essentially it’s a reef break which breaks both left and right, meaning it suits all surfers. With ten surf schools to choose from and playing host to the excellent Sea Sessions music festival in June, Bundoran is our top choice for a surfing break in Ireland!

Top Things to do in The Burren

The Burren is a region in County Clare; a karst landscape made up of glacial-era stones stretching all the way to the Cliffs of Moher.

This stark stone landscape and geological marvel has evolved into a vibrant lanscape and community with plenty to offer every visitor! From archeology to adventure, with yoga retreats and foodie trails too, there really is something for everyone in the Burren whether you prefer to be outdoors in all weathers or tucked in by the fire!

Get adventurous

Photo from www.adventureburren.com

This unique landscape provides a plethora of adventurous opportunities! Go climbing or hiking, abseiling or walking; take a surf lesson, go for a cycle; get out in the beautiful landscape and really experience your environment! With three adventure centres in the area, there’s plenty of outdoor options.

Explore the Burren Food Trail

Photo from www.kilshannyhouse.ie

The Burren Food Trail is all about quality local produce and discovering the journey our food takes to get to our plate! Encompassing a range of food producers and providers, our faves include Ireland’s only bean to bar chocolate factory Hazel Mountain Chocolate , St. Tola Goat Farm and Burren Food & Wine.

Look out for our upcoming post on our absolute top pick of the Burren- Kilshanny House! A traditional pub steeped in history, serving high quality local produce, hosting great events and all done with a genuinely warm welcome- it’s the very best of Irish hospitality! Coming soon!

Stretch it out

There are two yoga retreats in the Burren region. The community oriented Burren Yoga is a great place to connect with locals, enjoy beautiful vegetarian food and recharge your batteries. If you want something a little more luxurious, YogaTraveller’s Cliffs of Moher retreat, set in a restored old farmhouse, is for you! With a purpose built yoga studio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this is a truly stunning setting to relax, revive and do some exercise!

Visit Ailwee Caves

The name ‘Ailwee’ is derived from the Irish ‘Aill Bhui,’ which means yellow cliff. A thirty minute guided tour of one of Ireland’s oldest caves is a unique experience not to be missed! The Centre also has a little cafe, craft shop and very popular Bird of Prey Centre- always a hit with the little ones!

The majestic Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland

Ireland’s number 1. tourist attraction, no visit to the Burren is complete without a trip to view the stunning Cliffs of Moher. Stretching for five miles along the coast, the best way to really experience the cliffs is to walk there from the nearby villages of Liscannor or Doolin. There’s a safe, well marked trail from both villages which bring you alongside the stunning coast and too the cliffs. A must see,

The Best of the Wild Atlantic Way

The world’s longest road trip means you can travel the entire length of Ireland’s stunning Western coast. The route is 2,500 km long and has 157 signature points along the way- stop to admire Donegal’s rugged beauty or Sligo’s craggy coastline; sample amazing seafood in Galway or to spend a night at Loop Head Lighthouse. The route literally has something for everyone!

For adrenalin junkies, the West of Ireland has some of the world’s best surfing; there’s hiking and trekking. Foodies are covered too with features like the Burren Food Trail and farmers markets highlighting local produce like the Milk Market in Limerick or Cork’s famous English Market.

One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Cliffs of Moher are a must visit as are the Skellig Micheal sea stacks- which feature prominently in the latest Star Wars film.

Visiting from North America and not sure where to start? Fly into Shannon Airport; right at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way route! Shannon has direct flights to and from New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Chicago and Philadephia. Rent a car and explore County Clare, known for its traditional music and the Burren, a stunning karst region, and then head south to experience the food, culture and scenery of Co. Kerry and Co. Cork.

Stay tuned for our exciting Road trips feature, detailing the very best road trips you can take in Ireland, on the Wild Atlantic Way and beyond!

Your Perfect Limerick City Break!

 

If you’re visiting from North America, Limerick is the perfect first stop for any Irish holiday- the historic city is just 25 km from Shannon Airport. Or if you live in Ireland and haven’t visited the Treaty City yet you’re missing out! Limerick is a compact, vibrant city with an excellent foodie scene which makes it a great choice for a weekend getaway!

Stay at No 1. Pery Square

Housed in a beautiful Georgian terrace house overlooking a tree lined park, No 1 Pery Square is an impressively well designed boutique hotel with an award winning spa. The rooms are named after Irish literary figures and stocked with Voya organic seaweed based products. The Park Room Lounge downstairs is a cosy spot for tea, coffee or lunch. Fancy something stronger? No problem. There’s an excellent selection of Irish beers, ales, whiskeys and lots more besides too!

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Or try these great options!

The Savoy

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The Savoy is a luxurious hotel with a great central location. With excellent facilities, a great steak restaurant downstairs and the standard of service one would expect from a 5 star hotel, the Savoy is a top choice to stay! They have some amazing value offers available on their website.

The George Boutique Hotel

the george

The George has a great central location at a very affordable price. The double height glass entrance will impress design lovers and the in-house Italian restaurant overlooking Limericks main street is a great people watching spot! A great urban hideaway, the affordable price makes the George perfect for any kind of city break, whether it’s a girls shop ‘til you drop trip or a family break!

Fancy some Brunch or wondering where to go for Lunch?

Hook & Ladder

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Hook & Ladder is Limericks top breakfast spot- although they do great food throughout the day! We love the bright, Scandi style interiors and the strong coffee! Go for the Full Irish- there’s no greasy fry-ups here just tasty, well prepared Irish food.

Aroi

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Aroi is a hugely popular Asian street food restaurant, with a menu serving up Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese specialities. Try to visit after the lunchtime rush to be sure of bagging a table and don’t even think of trying to get in on a weekend night without a reservation. Top choices? The Duck Red Curry and the Thai-Style Calamari are amazing!

 

Doing dinner?

Cornstore

Cornstore is open for lunch too but really, it’s the perfect dinner restaurant. It’s beautiful, dark panelled interior and cool tiled floor just look better in the evening! They do a great three course early bird menu for only 28 euro Friday and Saturday, or all night Monday-Thursday. Bargain. The standard of food is extremely high; the menu is well thought out and brilliantly executed. The service is always extremely friendly and remarkably efficient. Try the Pork Belly; it’s beautiful!

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Chocolat

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Chocolat is a local favourite so make sure you book a table to avoid disappointment! With a varied menu and attentive service, Chocolat always serves up a great meal in luxe surroundings. Try the Lamb Shank and if people watching is your thing, request a table upstairs – it’s cosier but downstairs is often buzzier!

Visiting at the Weekend?

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Then the Milk Market is a must visit! With plenty of stalls selling all kinds of tasty, locally produced food, there’s also crafts, accessories and homeware to buy- plus a welcoming, fun atmosphere. Grab a coffee and go for a wander around but be sure to nab yourself some delicious samples too!