COUNTY LIMERICK - INTERESTING DRIVES
This picturesque drive along the N69 offers a number of choices. From Limerick City to the riverside villages of Foynes, Loughill and Glin, this 36 mile route offers everything from medieval heritage to outdoor adventure.
Continue to Kilcornan where you will find a cluster of family fun activities. Drive a short distance west (3 miles) to the medieval village of Askeaton. Relive the pioneering days of transatlantic aviation in the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, home of the Irish Coffee drink. From Foynes, continue on to Tarbert which acts as the gateway between Clare and Kerry. From here one can continue on the N69 to the heritage town and home of famous Irish writer John B. Keane, Listowel, a distance of 11 miles and on to Tralee, Co. Kerry, or take the ferry to Killimer in Co. Clare and discover the full tour of the Shannon Estuary taking in the beautiful County Clare.
Route can be travelled in any direction and from any starting point.
Following the N21, your first stop is Adare, dubbed the prettiest village in Ireland. With so much to see and do here, you might be forgiven for lingering a while. Follow the signs along the country roads to Curraghchase Forest Park and then the R518 and N11 will bring you to Rathkeale and Newcastle West, both bustling interesting villages. Heading north on the N20 you will come to Croom, noted for its restored riverside granary and mill. A short trip through Hospital will bring you to the newly refurbished Lough Gur Heritage Center to learn about the neolithic people who once lived by the lake.Lough Derg Drive
Lough Derg is the largest lake on the Shannon and perhaps the most beautiful. Limerick is only a short distance from Killaloe and Ballina where you can drive along the lake banks. Follow the M7, signposted Dublin before taking the exit for Birdhill/Killaloe. If you want to head towards Portumna, you can take in Ogonnolloe, Scariff, Mountshannon and many other pretty villages.
The picturesque twin towns of Ballina/Killaloe, sited at the southern tip of the lake provide the perfect starting point. Travelling clockwise around the lake you'll find one of the best viewing spots of the entire drive near the village of Ogonelloe. A little further north, the pretty village of Mountshannon is one of the busiest cruising and yachting centres on Lough Derg and a great place to stop and eat.
Portumna, the town at the head of the lake, is another busy cruising centre with a delightful Forest Park to ramble in and a restored Castle to visit. Heading south along the eastern shore you come to the charming village of Terryglass. You can continue to hug the shoreline to Domineer, a great centre for fishing and boating, or head to the busy market town of Nenagh.
Travel back to the lakeside through Newtown and drink in the views from Portroe. Your journey ends back at the southern tip in Ballina/Killaloe where excellent food and drink will complete an idyllic journey.
The Clare Glens is a wooded area along the banks of the Clare River, which separates counties Limerick and Tipperary. The scenery is breathtaking, with wild dense forest combined with the calm rushing of the crystal clear waters. The Glens consist of a picturesque red sandstone gorge through which the Clare River flows and displays numerous waterfalls. These loop walks are part of the network of National Looped Walks and are marked using the standard National Looped Walk directional arrows.
Start from the village of Murroe (Moroe) on the R506 between Limerick City and Cappamore. Follow the signs for Clare Glens which take you north out of the village. Follow this road for approximately 2 miles to reach the trailhead at a car parking area on your left. Both loops start and finish here. [Note: The trailhead is signposted from Murroe].
A-B. The loop starts from a metal swing gate at the left of the bridge over the Clare River. Turn left onto a narrow trail following the purple (and green) arrows – the green arrows are for the shorter Nature Loop. The loop gains ground away from the river and stays to ‘upper’ paths to pass a stone footbridge, before veering right and downhill to reach the riverbank at a wooden footbridge. The Nature Loop turns right here – you proceed straight.
B-C. The loop takes you uphill again and follows woodland paths through mature woodlands to reach another footbridge near the Clare Falls. This footbridge marks the farthest point of the loop. Cross the bridge (passing from County Tipperary into County Limerick!) and turn right.
C-D. Continue to follow the purple arrows along a sandy woodland path to reach a path joining from your right. Here you rejoin the Nature Loop (green arrows).
C-D. Continue to follow the sandy path along your return to the trailhead.