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Trip Ideas at Limerick

Trip Ideas

From walks by tranquil canals and fast-flowing rivers to great urban attractions, Limerick and the River Shannon will keep you captivated.

Day 1

Stand on the magnificent 12-arched O’Brien’s Bridge in County Clare with the Shannon rushing underneath and you’ll find yourself on a river crossing that reaches back in time. The first bridge was built here by Turlough O’Brien – first Earl of Thomond – and his brother, the Bishop of Killaloe, in 1506, and today it’s still an important river crossing linking Montpellier in County Limerick with the village of O’Briensbridge in County Clare. It’s also a great starting point for a discovery of the River Shannon. Beautiful walking trails here reach out into the scenic countryside, along the Headrace Canal and by the River Shannon – offering a delightful mix of scenery, nature and history. The Old Barge Walk is a good hearty trek of around 12km, but if you’re short on time try the Parteen Weir Loop, which runs to about 3km and brings you upstream on a looped walk to the dam. Fancy getting out on the water? Head north to the UL Adventure Centre beautifully situated on the shores of Lough Derg. Here, you can have a go at stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing.

Close to O’Briensbridge is the super-scenic village of Castleconnell, where the River Shannon is at its most picturesque. There’s a delightful riverside walk here where you can admire the cascades of water, tree-strewn islets and, if you’re here in winter, migratory Icelandic Whooper Swans. Castleconnell is also a great place for anglers, so if you’re into a quiet afternoon by the river then there’s no better place to be. 

Pop into Charco’s in Castleconnell for hearty pub lunch, before making your way down to Limerick city for dinner at The French Table, and authentic French restaurant, and an overnight stay.

Day 2

Limerick is a city defined by the River Shannon. This mighty, powerfully flowing river has been central to Limerick’s social, cultural, political and military history from its origins as a Viking settlement and to its brutal 17th century sieges. Today, it’s a place of pure pleasure – with gorgeous riverside cafés, watersports and walks. To get a great feel for the city, try the Three Bridges Walking Route – a 3.5km trail that starts at Arthur’s Quay Park, which connects you with both the city’s past and present as you pass the historic rowing club building, the Treaty Stone and the Hunt Museum.

The Hunt Museum is a good place to stop off at next – as it’s one of Limerick’s most intriguing visitor attractions. This small but astonishing collection of art, artefacts and antiques was collated by John and Gertude Hunt and is filled with unique treasures and fabulous curios. Take the tour to get the most out of the experience, as guides unveil the amazing stories behind the collection.

It’s a short walk from here to the lively Milk Market, where at weekends a real buzz unfolds underneath the all-weather canopy. There are tons of places to grab a bite to eat here, which you can enjoy within the market, or down by the river.

After lunch, head to Limerick’s big attraction – King John’s Castle – a huge hulk of a castle that sits right at the edge of the Shannon. Dating back to the 13th century, the castle now houses an excellent interactive exhibition that sweeps through a history of bloody battles, brutal sieges and colourful characters.

For dinner, go casual with a hearty Italian feast at La Cucina Centro in Henry Street, with a tasty array of pastas and pizzas.

Day 3
The River Shannon may get all the attention, but Limerick also boasts a canal that has been developed over the years as a great city centre amenity. You could rent a bicycle and pedal along this route quite easily, but it also makes a great walk. Follow the canal towpaths down to the River Shannon and you’ve an option of following further routes by turning left along to the Shannon Fields or right towards the University of Limerick.

Right beside the Hunt Museum is where you’ll find
Nevsail’s Limerick Adventures, which runs both kayaking and boat trips along the river. Whether you opt for paddling yourself or jumping on a boat tour, it’s a great way to see the city’s landmark’s and the banks of the Shannon. Tours range from 90 minutes to two-and-a-half hours.

Take a walk across Thomond Bridge, Limerick’s iconic river crossing and stop by the Treaty Stone on the western side. The stone commemorates the Treaty of Limerick, which ended the ferocious Williamite War in Ireland in the late 17th century. From here, it’s a short hop to the
Curragower Bar & Restaurant, located right on the banks of the Shannon – a perfect spot for lunch.

Newtown Pery, Limerick’s Georgian quarter is next up. Built in the late 18th and early 19th century, it’s home to some of Limerick’s most important buildings, including the beautiful row of houses along Pery Square, overlooking the People’s Park. Here, you’ll find the
People’s Museum of Limerick, which aims to reflect the diverse lives of Limerick locals. It also gives you a chance to have a peak inside one of these beautiful buildings with its high ceilings and gracious views over the park.

If you’re feeling in need of a quick recharge, talk a walk over to the nearby coffee shop of Canteen for a great coffee and cake. Just down the road is the Limerick City Gallery of Art, which is housed within a light and spacious building and houses changing exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection.

Enjoy dinner that night at Alex Findlater & Company Food & Wine Hall in the city centre. The emphasis here is on fresh local produce, served in a casual but buzzy environment. It’s a good place to sit back, relax and reflect on a three-day Limerick adventure.

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