If you are making the trip to glór from farther away, you may well want to make a weekend of it, since there so much to see and do nearby. Our staff have compiled a list of their favourite things to see on and do in Ennis and Clare, along with top attractions and places to stay, eat and explore whilst you are in Clare.
County Clare lives up to its Irish translation of ‘bright’ and is famous for its unique and varied landscape and glorious beaches as well as for its famed traditional music and wide selection of eateries, artisan foods and buzzing beach towns packed with lots of water sports.
Ennis or Inís, meaning ‘Island’ is the county town in Clare straddling the famous river Fergus, and offers a range of activities all within a within a short walk. Some of the glór team’s favourite spots in Clare for walking include a Walking tour of Ennis where you can ramble along Ennis’ mediaeval streets and discover its famous jostle stones, cobbled streets and the Franciscan Friary, which is one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions, where you can still see medieval carvings in the church and limestone cloisters. Just 1 km from Ennis town centre, the Sports and Amenity Park at Lees Road is set in 134 acres of feature-rich, biodiverse woodland and parkland and nearby Dromore Woods, now a nature reserve is home to the 17th century O’Brien Castle and offers hiking in unspoilt woodland and limestone pavement.
Of course, a day trip driving around the unique Burren landscape is a must-do while you’re in Clare. The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place and the region is internationally famous for its landscape and flora. During the season. free walks along the trails throughout the National Park covering topics such as Burren flora, fauna and geology are available whilst guided tours can also be arranged for interested groups.
Stop off at Loop Head, one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s most dramatic headlands and climb to the top of Loop Head Lighthouse, built in 1854 to marvel at the panoramic views. Next stop is the breathtakingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher situated on the edge of the Atlantic, and continue along to see the world-famous Aillwee and Doolin caves, both offering a fascinating insight into how the Burren’s landscape was formed 350 million years ago.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Clare’s unspoiled sandy beaches stretching for miles along the coastline. The seaside towns of Clare offer sea swims, surfing an Atlantic wave, kayaking, rock climbing, stand up paddleboarding, cycle trails, island day trips, beach strolls, caving expeditions, salmon tasting, boat tours, cliff cruises – an activity to suit every age and ability.
A surfing experience in Lahinch or on Fanore beaches or a long walk along The Flaggy Shore in Newquay or the Cliff Walk between Liscannor & the Cliffs of Moher (only on a still, fine day!) will work up an appetite. Time then to settle down and enjoy some of Clare’s finest local produce and artisan food in one of the county’s many restaurants and cafés. Our favourites include the Cliffs of Moher Hotel, Liscannor, the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, The Burren Perfumery in Carron, or Linnane’s Lobster Bar in Newquay.
Every golfer dreams of playing at Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club set on the magnificent 450-acre estate of Dromoland Castle. Woodstock Hotel is also the perfect base for a golf enthusiast looking to explore some of the best golf clubs Co. Clare has to offer, from Woodstock Golf Club to several other must-see courses within a short drive of the hotel.
Nearby Bunratty Castle is built on a site which was originally a Viking trading camp in 970, and the present structure incorporating the folk park is the last of four castles to be built there. Today, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a must do day out for families and kids will love the on-site playground and fairy trail.
Clare’s most famous son is Michael Cusack. Born in 1847, Cusack was to become the first leader of the Gaelic revival, and founder of the world’s largest amateur sporting and cultural organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association, (GAA). The Michael Cusack Centre in the heart of the Burren and showcases Cusack’s remarkable story in the original thatched cottage where he was born during the Famine years.
Music forms the centre of cultural life in Clare and stumbling on an impromptu session is one of the great joys of life in Clare. The colourful village of Doolin is a vibrant place full of characters with plenty of music and craic to be had every night. Closer to home, glór offers free, all welcome sessions on Saturdays in July and August, and many of the pubs are home to great trad music sessions every evening.
Time to start planning your trip to Clare! We look forward to welcoming you.