County Limerick Holiday Guide

County Limerick, part of the province of Munster, is located in the south-west of the Republic of Ireland and is an inland region with no coastline. Limerick City, the third largest in the country, is the administrative capital, set on the banks of the River Shannon at the point where it widens before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Limerick's name comes from the Irish word luimneach. There are a number of possible translations, one being “grassless field of the horses” and “the flat area”. It is the latter definition that characterises a large part of the terrain — a limestone plain, some of which is rolling pastureland, as the area is famed for its dairy farming. The plain is encircled by mountains, the Slieve Felims, Galtees and the Ballyhouras.

Things to Do in County Limerick

Limerick City is a great place to immerse yourself in history, with St John's Castle and two cathedrals, one with the tallest spire in the country, at an impressive 280 feet. At the museum you can delve into Limerick County's intriguing past, or, 40 minutes away by road, there is the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum for a glimpse into a fascinating side of Second World War aviation, part of which you can view on screen in the original 1940s cinema.

Travelling south from Limerick to Lough Gur, you will find an extraordinary Neolithic archaeological site with an informative visitors' centre.

If you are keen on outdoor activities, you could head off to Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, one of which is a demanding 35 miles in length, but there are gentle options too. There is a beautiful arboretum and nature trail at the Curraghchase Forest Park. Limerick County has a number of golf courses, or if you fancy an adrenalin rush, you could go powerboating on the Shannon, or paintballing at Shanagolden.

Staying in County Limerick

There is something for everyone in County Limerick, from a 5 star luxury castle with golf resort to small, family-run hotels, guesthouses and B&B accommodation. For self-catering, there is also a vast range — how about a mountain lodge, a 100-year-old cottage or a restored 18th century farmhouse?

For eating out, the choice is yours, with nearly 200 restaurants listed in Limerick City alone — everything from fine dining with locally sourced ingredients to fast food from all over the world. Away from the city, again, the range is enormous, with country inns serving good old Irish fare washed down with a pint of stout, to country hotels with menus to attract gastronomes from all over the country.

Getting to County Limerick

The county is served by Shannon Airport, which is only half an hour away from Limerick City by road. Dublin is about two and a half hours away via the M7 and Cork is around 90 minutes away, using the N20. If you are travelling to the Republic of Ireland by ferry to Rosslare, the drive is three hours.

Guide to Exploring Limerick

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