Adare is a top tourist destination for visitors to Ireland - just 10 miles (25 minutes drive) from Limerick city and set in stunning countryside with lakes, castles and parks. It was recently designated a heritage town with its own heritage centre, museums, arts and crafts shops, antiques, restaurants, golf courses and luxury five star accommodation. It also has several guesthouses, budget B&Bs, campsites and self-catering accommodation, making it a good choice for a family holiday.
Heritage in Adare
Adare was a major settlement in the Middle Ages with its own castle and three monasteries. The formalised street planning that gives it charm and neatness was laid out by the Earl of Desmond in the 19th Century. A historic market town, it is surrounded by several cultural sites and is a good base for a day trip or longer stay to explore the surrounding counties and countryside. It has two golfing centres, one of which is in the grounds of a luxury hotel and is a popular destination for weddings and parties.
Nearby historic sites of interest include Desmond’s Castle - one of the last remaining Norman castles in Europe, the Augustinian Priory, Franciscan Friary and Ireland’s only Trinitarian Priory, which is next to Adare Heritage Centre and has been restored and renamed as Holy Trinity Abbey. St Nicholas’ Old Graveyard is on the outskirts of Adare along with 13th century and 16th century churches.
Sports and Fitness in Adare
A rural setting means there’s plenty of space for organised sports and outdoor activities. Adare Manor Golf Club was established in 1900 and is set in grounds of a luxury hotel. Close by you’ll find Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Limerick Racecourse, Kilcornan Karting and an equestrian centre in Clonshire. You can take fishing lessons on the River Maigue, on the outskirts of Adare. It is also on the calendar for the West Limerick athletics scene with events such as the Adare 10K run taking place every February.
Music and Culture in Adare
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants in Adare to listen to live Irish music and Limerick city is just half an hour’s drive away with regular traditional music nights in popular bars. Adare’s heritage centre is the first port of call for finding out what’s happening in the town. St Nicholas’ Church holds a Festival of Faith and Flowers in May to celebrate its anniversary and tell the story of Adare village with floral displays, music, poetry and historical tours. Traditional arts and crafts are on sale in the high street.
Adare is a must visit on a trip to Limerick - a relaxed, pretty village just half an hour’s drive from the city centre. It has a good choice of accommodation to suit all budgets from friendly guest houses, stylish barn conversions to a stay in a luxury 5 star castle in its own grounds. From here you can explore the bordering counties of Kerry, Clare, Clare and Tipperary.