County Clare Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
For the most part of its perimeter, Clare is surrounded by water – to the north is Galway Bay, west is the roaring Atlantic, south is the Shannon Estuary and east is the River Shannon and Lough Derg.
In between are some of the most stunning landscapes imaginable, such as the spectacular and majestic Cliffs of Moher and The Burren which is renowned worldwide for its exotic flora. Add to that a plethora of charming villages, ancient burial chambers, castles, churches and sites of former monastic settlements and you get a feel for the county has to offer.
History and Heritage
Clare is known as the Banner County, a name that derives from the banners carried by its men in various battles of yesteryear. Its history dates back thousands of years, as can be seen with caves, dolmens and tombs while the arrival of Christianity is there for all to see with so many ruined churches and monasteries.
The county is always associated with politics, through the likes of Daniel O’Connell in the 1800s and later Eamonn De Valera as the local parliamentary representatives.
Sites to see
Poulnabrone Dolmen in The Burren Knappogue Castle. Clare Archaeology Centre at Corofin. Bunratty Folk Park & Castle. Aillwee Caves.
Sports and Leisure
GAA – Clare’s history is rooted in the Gaelic sports tradition so hurling and football are extremely popular in the county.
Surfing – Lahinch is one of Europe’s main surfing centres.
Watersports such as sailing on Lough Derg and diving at Kilkee and Doolin.
Golf – Clare can boast some of the best courses in Ireland, such as Lahinch.
Angling – choose from river, sea or lake, Clare has them all.
Walking – tours around the Burren are strongly recommended.
Cavers and pot-holers – will be attracted to the Fisherstreet Potholes and Pol na gColm near Doolin.
Eat, Drink and Stay
Villages like Doolin, Fanore and Ennistymon are famed for their traditional music sessions while the county town of Ennis is regarded as the heartland of Irish music, renowned for superb nightly sessions, as well as some very lively annual festivals. The county is teeming with top class places to eat and drink in the aforementioned villages such as Ballinalacken Castle, Cullinans Seafood Restaurant and Byrnes Restaurant.
The Cherry Tree Restaurant in Killaloe, Baartra Seafood Restaurant in Lahinch and Flappers in Tulla are among those with a fine culinary reputation.
According to some sources, the best pubs in Clare include Eugene’s (Ennistymon), Vaughan’s (Kilfenora), Crotty’s (Kilrush) and Poet’s Corner Bar in Ennis but don’t forget one of the best known – Durty Nelly’s next to the 15th century Bunratty Castle, which itself has a reputation for its medieval banquet.
And when you’ve had your fill of drink and food, you can rest your head in one of Clare’s fine B&B establishments.
May: Fleadh Nua – traditional music festival with singing, dancing and workshops
July: Willie Clancy Irish Music Festival in Miltown Malbay
August: International Traditional Music Festival in Feakle
September: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
November: Ennis Traditional Music Festival
Things you have to see or do.
Scattery Island – visit the island and its interpretative centre
Cliffs of Moher – an absolute ‘must’ if you visit Clare
The Burren – one of Nature’s great wonders, just awesome
Watersports on Lough Derg – from cruising to kayaking
Clare Tourism www.county-clare.com
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival www.matchmakerireland.com
Clare Heritage Centre www.clareroots.com
Aillwee Caves www.aillweecave.ie
Craggaunowen Project www.shannonheritage.com
Burren Beo www.burrenbeo.ie
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