From walks by tranquil canals and fast-flowing rivers to great urban attractions, Limerick and the River Shannon will keep you captivated.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
dinner, go casual with a hearty Italian feast at La Cucina Centro in Henry Street, with a tasty array of pastas and
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
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
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 &
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
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.
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.
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.