Birr Castle Demesne and Historical Science Centre
Birr Castle, Co. Offaly
Includes one of the most amazing gardens in the country with Formal Garden and River Garden. It is a parkland with thousands of rare trees and plants collected all over the world, rivers, a lake and waterfall. In the grounds is the Great Telescope, built by the third Earl of Rosse in the 1840s. It was the largest in the world for 70 years. The Historic Science Centre is a superb visit. It contains astronomical instruments, cameras, photographs and photographic equiptment used by the third and fourth Earls and Mary, Countess of Rosse, in the middle and late 1800s.
The Rock of Cashel
One of the most spectacular archeological sites in Ireland. It sits on the outskirts of Cashel on a large mound of limestone bristling with ancient fortifications. Mighty stone walls encircle a complete round tower, a roofless abbey, a 12th century Romanesque chapel, and numerous other buildings and high crosses. The Rock of Cashel is composed four structures which are the Hall of the Vicars Choral, the cathedral, the round tower, and Cormac's Chapel. Hore Abbey is about one kilometer north at the base of the rock.
Tipperary Crystal Design Centre
Situated in Birdhill, the Design Centre boasts a magnificent display of Tipperary Crystal on the ground floor whilst in the Food Hall, a mouth-watering array of fine preserves, chutneys, oils and hand-made chocolates are available to tempt one and all. The Gift Department on the first floor offers a mix of Irish made products including Eden Pottery, Newbridge Cutlery and Jewellery, Linen, Rhynhart Bronze, Louise Kennedy Clothing, Scarves, Soaps and Candles. THe choices are endless.
Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan.
Discovered in Jack McCann, a local farmer, in 1944, the 1000 feet long cave is one of the oldest of the Burren Caves having formed millions of years ago. Guided tours, lasting 30 minutes, allow you to observe beautiful caverns, bridged chasms, underground waterfalls, weird mineral formations and the hibernation chambers of brown bears which have been extinct in Ireland for centuries.
Facilities include a restaurant, craft shop, information desk and outside, 'The Hazelwood' crafts village.
Dún Guaire castle, Kinvara.
A 16th century castle that stands out prominently on the seashore. Named after the 7th century King of Connaught, Guaire whose palace had occupied the same site, the castle was built by the O'Hynes and later passed into the hands of the O'Shaughnessy and then the Martyn clans. It was sold to John Gogarty a poet and writer in 1924 who subsequenty sold it to Lady Christabel Ampthill.
The castle is open to the public and hosts medieval banquets with traditional Irish music and story telling.
Originally built in 1277 by Thomas de Clare, the Norman-Irish Castle was destroyed and rebuilt more than once in the centuries that followed.
It was captured by the O'Brien in 1355 and remained their headquarters until 1712. The MacNamara's, a sept of the O'Briens erected its present form in 1460 but time took its toll upon the building until Viscount Gort bought it in 1954 and, with the aid of Bord Failte, had it restored by the Office of Public Works.
The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland and boasts one of the finest collections of 14th-17th century material in these islands. The castle and its contents are now held in trust for the nation. The establishment is managed by the Shannon Development Company, which arranges medieval banquets on a year-round basis. The castle is open to visitors daily during the year. Admission charge.
Bunratty Folk Park
Features a complete reconstruction of a 19th century village street, including craft shops, general stores and post office. There are examples of houses representing a variety of districts from west Clare to the rich farmlands of Limerick. Traditional crafts of an earlier age may be observed in action basket weaving, farriery, candle making and the home-baking of bread. A collection of early agricultural machinery is also on show. In the folk barn country style meals are served and entertainment provided music, story telling, Irish dancing and songs.
Knappogue Castle, near Quin.
Originally a MacNamara stronghold, (built 1467). Restored in the 19th century by Lord Dunboyne. The castle passed to the Land Commission in the late 1920s and was re-sold in 1966. The new owner refurbished the interior in 15th century style. The castle is open to visitors and medieval banquets are served from March to October. Admission charge.
Burren Smokehouse, Lisdoonvarna.
Burren Smokehouse produce oak-smoked Irish Atlantic Salmon. The ancient tradition is explained in their new visitors centre. Gourmet and Craft Shop. Audio-visual in English, German, French and Italian.
Burren Exposure, Ballyvaughan.
castle passed to the Land Commission in the Located in the unique Burren, this new visitors' centre provides visitors with an overview of the area and its unique landscape, its rich human history and its famous flora. Elaborate audio - visual presentation synchronised large scale slide panoramas with soundscapes in 3 specially created environments.
Clare Heritage Genealogical Centre, Corofin
Portrays the traumatic period of Irish Culture, which includes famine and emigration. It offers a professional genealogical service to persons wishing to trace their ancestry.
Open year round.
Cratloe Woods House
Dating from the 17th century this is the only example of an Irish longhouse which is still lived in as a family home. The house is steeped in history and features works of art, curios and, in the yard, horse drawn farm machinery and a pets corner.
Open daily (except Sun) June to mid-Sept.
Craggaunowen, near Quin
'The Living Past'
Ireland's original prize-winning centre dedicated to interpreting the Pre-historic and early Christian eras. Exhibits range from Bronze Age homesteads to Celtic Chieftain's residences. The "Brendan" boat is located here. 'The Brendan', a recreation of the type of leather currachs used by St. Brendan the Navigator in 6th century Coffee shop.
Open daily, Mar. to Oct. and during the weekends of Nov. to Feb.
Clare Archaeology Centre, Dysert O'Dea Castle, Corofin
Museum of local artifacts, an audio visual presentation on the history of Dysert from ancient time. English and German exhibitions, tea room and souvenir shop. A developed trail covering 25 sites of archeological and historical interest is within a 5 mile radius of the castle. The trail includes the National Monuments - Dysert O'Dea church with romanesque doorway and 12th Century High Cross. Guided tours are available if advance notice is given.
The Franciscan Friary was founded by The O'Brien kings of Thomond in the 13th century.
The chancel has very fine tomb carvings dating from the 15th century.
Fun for all the family. Features include pool, lazy river, crystal tower, flume, gushers etc.. The Waterworld also has a restaurant, individual and family changing facilities and children's play facilities.
Open Apr. to Oct.
Kilrush Heritage Centre
"Kilrush in Landlord Times" depicts the story of Kilrush from its establishment as an Estate Town by the Vandeleur Landlords at the end of the 18th Century. Starting point of a heritage walk through the streets of Kilrush.
Open daily, Jun. to Sept.
The Hunt Museum, Limerick
Situated at the National Institute of Higher Education complex at Plassy. This is a collection of over 2,000 original works of art and antiquity, personally collected by John and Gertrude Hunt.
Killaloe Heritage Centre
Regal Killaloe, once the capital of Ireland as the 11th century seat of heroic King Brian Boru is at the south-west tip of Lough Derg. The heritage centre comprises a tourist information office, crafts centre and an exhibition tracing the history of Killaloe from the 10th century to the present day including it's strong nautical links with Lough Derg, the largest of the River Shannon Lakes.
Burren Display Centre, Kilfenora
"A Walk through time"
The Burren Display Centre (Brú na Bóirne) has a new design which will bring to life the dramatic and fascinating story of the Burren through models, slides, artifacts and information. Admission charge.
Gregan Castle, near Ballyvaughan
An occupied tower house part dated from the 13th century, originally owed by the O'Loughlin-Martin family. It was restored in 1940s preserving its existing fabric but adatped for the 21st century. There are 10 acres of woodland in the grounds.
National Aquarium of Ireland, Salthill, Galway
Presents a comprehensive view of the world of water through clear and interesting displays, informed helpful staff and exciting live presentations.
Lahinch Sealife and Leisure Centre
See and experience the underwater life of Clare's Atlantic Coastline - sharks, rays and conger eels can all be viewed in a giant aquarium. A leisure centre forms part of Seaworld complete with a 25m indoor swimming pool, kidies pool, sauna, jacuzzi, sea-view cafe, souvenir and beach shop. Separate childrens play area.
The Riches of Clare, Clare Museum, Ennis
Clare is a remarkable county and the story of its people stretches from 6000 years ago to the present. Its incredible history is excitingly captured at 'The Riches of Clare', Clare Museum. Beautifully displayed artifacts, original works of art, enthralling audio-visual and interactive experiences, and drama images all combine to provide a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of Clare. Open all year round, admission charge.
Royal Tara China, Galway
Tara Hall is a historic 17th century mansion, only minutes from Galway City centre. Free guided factory tours.
Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan
A distinctive 6th century fortified tower house built originally for a branch of the O'Brien's. The first three floors exhibit many defensive features such as narrow slit windows, gun loops and murder holes. Open daily.
The Burren Perfumery and Floral Centre
Ireland's oldest perfumery Shop, outstanding audio visual and photographic exhibition.
The Liscannor Stone & Rock Shop
Liscannor Stone is the name given to a variety of 300 million year old flagstones and sandstones that are risen from the lands around the Cliffs of Moher and Liscannor on the Western Atlantic sea-board of Co. Clare. The stone bears the fossil tracks of Marine animals thar lived millions of years ago. The Visitors Centre includes: an audio-visual display that highlights the fascinating history of Liscannor stone and the 'Rock Shop' which displays precious and semi-precious stones from Ireland and all over the world. Almost everyone of the Earth's natural treasures is on sale here.
The Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor
They will love the exciting 16ft free These majestic cliffs stand almost 200m above the Altlantic and stretch 8 km from Hag's Head to a point beyond O'Brien's Tower.They are also the home of a wide varity of birds. From the Cliffs one can see Loop Head to the South, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and to the north Connemara. There is a vistors centre.
Peterpan Fun World
Galway and Limerick
Let the kids run loose in safety. They will love the exciting 16ft free fall slide, 60ft snake slide, diving into our enormous ball pond. The Coco Cola giant bouncing castle, tunnel slide, the haunted cave, aerial glides, rope bridges, scrambling nets, roller challenges, log climbs, boulder canyon, crazy cubes, biff bags and much, much more.
Cresent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Limerick and Corbett Commercial Centre, Wellpark, Galway.
Aughrim Interpretive Centre
Tells the story of the Battle of Aughrim and its significance in Ireland and Europe.
The Centre is open Easter to October, seven days a week.
The Little Ark, Kilbaha.
The Little Ark is a portable wooden shelter devised in 1852 by Fr. Michael Meehan to enable mass to be celebrated on the foreshore between high and low water where harsh property laws could not be enforced. He thus foiled the efforts of the bigoted local landlord to prevent mass being sad in the area.
Scattery Island Visitor Center, Kilrush.
St. Senan founded a monastery here in the 6th century, which suffered greatly from Viking Raiders in the 9th and 10th centuries. Brian Boru recaptured the island from the Vikings.
Atlantis Gallery, Kilshanny
Balleycasey Crafts Centre, Shannon
Biddy Early Brewery, Inagh
Bunratty Mead and Liqueur Company
Bunratty Village Mills
Doolin Crafts Gallery
DeValera Museum, Ennis
East Clare Heritage Centre, Tuamgraney
Fortified Farm, Killimer
Inis Gallery, Ennis
McKernan Handweavers, Tuamgraney, Newmarket on Fergus
Shannon Crystal Ennis
Spa Wells Health Centre, Lisdoonvarna