Twenty minutes south of Limerick City on the River Maigue is Ireland's prettiest village, Adare. It's a small town, pleasantly quiet even in mid July, at the height of the tourist season. There was a celebrity classic golf tournament going on at the exclusive Adare Manor Golf Course during my visit. But thankfully, this did not bring in the crowds.
At Bill Chawke's the kegs are full and ready to be served. But before saying your first "sláinte!" (to your health), consider walking the extra mile or so to the ruins of Desmond Castle, north of Adare Manor. It dates back to the early 13th century and was once the property of the Earls of Kildare until forfeited to the Earls of Desmond during the 1536 rebellion. On the way, stop by the Augustinian priory which was built in 1315 (it is now The Church of Ireland) and take a peep at its cloister through gothic inspired windows.
Cloister at the Augustinian Priory
(There were no visitors at the priory and I found myself completely alone. It was so eerily still that I got goose bumps and nearly walked away towards town but decided to stay and see the church as well. Then just as I was leaving, it started to rain. No wonder Ireland is so green!)
Adare Town Park
For more information about Adare, check this site: http://www.adarevillage.com/.
To get to Adare from Shannon Airport or Limerick City, take Bus Eireann from the airport (#51) and change to Bus # 13 (to Tralee) at Colbert Station in Limerick. Check this link for bus schedules: http://www.buseireann.ie/. The bus picks up passengers returning to Limerick in front of the tourist office which is right across from the park.
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Images by Charie