Home to Ireland’s third-largest city, and the heartland of Munster Rugby, Co Limerick has so much to offer. From a city break to historic haunts, you’ve plenty of choices if you’re looking for a break with friends or family. Check out our 48-hour guide to the Treaty County.
Day 1 – Limerick City
Visit the Home of Munster Rugby
Limerick has a reputation as a great sporting city and nowhere is this more evident than Thomond Park, the home of Munster Rugby. If you’re fortunate to be visiting Limerick when Munster is in action, try to get yourself along to a game at Thomond Park, and look forward to one of the premier sporting experiences anywhere in Ireland. Indeed, the Thomond Park atmosphere is like nothing else in Ireland. Whether or not there’s a rugby game on during your visit to Limerick, be sure to check out the Thomond Park Museum and stadium tour, a surefire winner regardless of whether or not you’re a rugby fan.
Explore the Medieval Past
From Thomond Park, make your way towards the centre of Limerick and get to know the city a little more intimately. Take a tour of the city on foot, by boat or by bus and take in the famous attractions on offer in Limerick. Celebrate the medieval past of the city by visiting King’s Island, home of King John’s Castle and the nearby St Mary’s Cathedral and Hunt Museum.
The Georgian Quarter and Greystones areas of the city are popular for bars, cafes and restaurants – perfect for lunch or dinner. Foodie fans, be sure to visit the iconic Milk Market, one of Ireland’s finest indoor artisan food markets. The city has many great boutique shops and high-street brands should you wish to enjoy some retail therapy on your break, while the eye-catching art dotted around the city will transport you to a trendy city in mainland Europe.
You can find out more about the city’s past by paying a visit to the Limerick Museum, or if maritime and aviation is your thing, make the trip to the town of Foynes and visit the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum.
Relax on the Banks of the Shannon
After exploring the medieval heartland of the city, enjoy a relaxing walk along the banks of Ireland’s longest and most iconic river, the River Shannon, which flows through the heart of Limerick City. When it comes to tranquillity and an escape from the city, look no further than the People’s Park.
A real cosmopolitan city, with so much on offer, set off on foot and let the streets of Limerick simply guide you on a journey that will no doubt deliver with a bang.
Limerick has a bustling nightlife, so if you are looking for music, entertainment and a taste of nightlife in Limerick, you’ll not have to venture far to sample the famous Limerick atmosphere.
Day 2 – Historic Limerick
Depart from Limerick City for your second day in the Treaty County, as you explore some of the historic highlights of the east and west of the county.
6,000 Years of Irish History
Begin your second day in Limerick on a voyage of ancient discovery as you head east to Lough Gur, and 6,000 years of Irish history. Begin with a walk around the scenic lake before visiting some of the historic attractions at Lough Gur. Ireland’s largest stone circle is located at Lough Gur, while the Heritage Centre at Lough Gur helps to tell the story of 6,000 years of history both at Lough Gur, and indeed wider Ireland. Join a guided tour of the area or explore on foot by yourself.
From Lough Gur head south towards the Ballyhoura Mountains where you can hop on two wheels and check out the popular mountain bike trails. If mountain biking isn’t for you, Ballyhoura has several scenic walking loops to enjoy. With wonderful views over the Limerick countryside, escape from it all at Ballyhoura. The Ballyhoura Mountains form part of the Munster Vales, a new tourism initiative promoting some stunning landscapes including Cashel, The Galtees, Lough Gur, Mitchelstown Cave and the Waterford Greenway.
Explore West Limerick
From ‘The Ballyhouras’, head west towards the medieval town of Askeaton and the 15th-Century Franciscan Friary. From here head towards the town of Glenquin and visit the 14th-Century Glenquin Castle, before making your way towards the town of Newcastle West. Desmond Hall is a highlight in Newcastle West, and from here make the town of Foynes your next stop and visit The Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum. This museum will give you a great insight into the maritime influence on Limerick, an area that was occupied by the Anglo-Normans for long periods.
Onwards to Adare
Finish up your day with a visit to the picturesque village of Adare, whose thatched cottages and medieval buildings have made it a popular holiday destination for many. Home to the famous Adare Manor, the village attracts keen golfers across the year as they seek to test their swing on the Adare Manor Golf Course.
As with Limerick City, the wider county has some wonderful pubs, cafes and restaurants, with plenty of variety whether you’re travelling alone, with a loved one or with kids.
As you explore West Limerick try to set aside some time to visit Scattery Island, an island with huge significance in both Limerick and Munster’s history. It was here that Ireland’s greatest king, Brian Boru defeated the Viking king Ivar of Limerick to regain control of the area, and ultimately regain control of Munster.
Plan Your Limerick Break Today
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Images via Fáilte Ireland