Peter hopped across the pond and then some to get to his next radio show location: Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland.
Although Ireland’s southwestern region is certainly on the map, that doesn’t mean American travelers are familiar with all that it has to offer.
From lively pubs to spectacular scenic hikes, we’ve got the story of County Clare and County Limerick, straight from the locals.
Tony Kirby, Heart of Burren Walks
The Burren Way is a waymarked trail along the coast from Ballinalacken (north of Doolin/Lisdoonvarana) to Ballyvaughan offers stunning vistas of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands, South Connemara and the majestic rocky Burren itself.
The Mullaghmore, a 600-foot hillwalk in Burren National Park, is pretty memorable as well. Along the way, walkers will encounter a large turlough (seasonal or vanishing lake), lots of limestone pavement (known as “crazy pavements”), an Arctic/alpine and Mediterranean mix of wildflowers, herds of feral goats, a hilltop cairn (estimated to be 4,000 to 6,000 years old), and finally, summit views of much of Counties Clare and Galway.
A great pub for a pint and music is the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna. It is also home to the multi-award-winning Burren Smokehouse and the Burren Tolkien Society!
Cassidys of Carran is another pub with lots of character. It has a stunning situation overlooking the Burren’s largest turlough. The pub serves very good food including Shorthorn steaks and pizzas. The fresh fish night on Friday evenings in high season is not to be missed. There is also fine traditional music to be heard weekly.
Finally, the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna is making waves for its great food. It also has a tasty interior. The owner/chef Aidan McGrath has recently won a coveted Michelin bib for serving great food for under €40.
Traveling Ireland? Try the Off the Brochure Travel Guide: Dublin, Ireland.
Margaret O’Shaughnessy, director of Foynes Flying Boat Museum
Restaurants and pubs abound in County Limerick, including some of these local favorites…
The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, sitting on 10 acres of countryside in County Limerick, is one of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in the region, with items sourced from the property’s own organic garden.
In Limerick City proper, Hamptons Grill on Henry Street is all about straightforward-yet-upscale dining, encompassing Asian, Italian and Irish cuisines.
The Wild Geese Restaurant at Rose Cottage in Adare is a highly regarded restaurant that relies on local ingredients like Bluebell Falls goat cheese and Castletownbere scallops.
Check out the Guest List – PGW Radio from Dromoland Castle, Ireland
O’Shaughnessy’s Bar (no relation) in the village of Glin sits just outside the walls of Glin Castle. It’s been in the same family for several generations, and the welcoming, traditional atmosphere attracts as many locals as visitors.
Next to the River Maigue is O’Dea’s De Bucket in Kildimo, ideal for settling down over a pint and some home-style food.
Fans of author Frank McCourt will have to stop by South’s Pub. It was a favorite haunt of the author’s father and the pub where McCourt himself had his first pint. In fact, it’s even part of the Angela’s Ashes walking tour, hosted by Limerick local Michael O’Donnell.
Although Dublin is known for its thriving art scene, Limerick City Gallery of Art is one of the leading contemporary art galleries in the country. The gallery is home to an extensive collection of Irish works, spanning the 18th to 21st century.
Also in Limerick is The Hunt Museum where you’ll find a huge private collection of art and artifacts owned by the Hunt family, with items dating back to the Neolithic period.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Great Southern Trail is a converted Limerick – Tralee railway line turned 53-mile trail in West Limerick and North Kerr.
Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails are made of of a large network of biking paths, comprising about 60 miles of loops ranging from easy to very challenging.
Edited by Sarika Chawla for PeterGreenberg.com.
Related links on PeterGreenberg.com:
- Off the Brochure Travel Guide: Dublin, Ireland
- 97 Years Later, Titanic Travel Adventures Live On
- Luck o’ the Irish in the USA: Activities for St. Patrick’s Day
- Guest List – PGW Radio from Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland