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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.
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.
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.
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.
Located in Limerick City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Frank McCourt Museum and St. Mary's Cathedral. The Treaty Stone and King John's Castle are also within 1 mile (2 km).
Located in the heart of Limerick, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cresent Shopping Centre, Frank McCourt Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art. Thomond Park and University Concert Hall are also within 9 mi (15 km).
This family-friendly Limerick hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Arthur's Quay Park and The Treaty Stone. King John's Castle and St. Mary's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Limerick City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Frank McCourt Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral and The Treaty Stone. King John's Castle is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) away.
This family-friendly Limerick hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Roxboro Shopping Centre, Limerick College of Further Education and Sarsfield Memorial Statue. St. Mary's Cathedral and King John's Castle are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in the heart of Limerick, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Childers Road Retail Park, St. Mary's Cathedral and King John's Castle. The Treaty Stone is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.
Situated in the suburbs, this spa hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from University Concert Hall and within 3 miles (5 km) of St. Mary's Cathedral and King John's Castle. The Treaty Stone is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.
Situated in Limerick, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Gaelic Grounds and within 3 miles (5 km) of The Treaty Stone and King John's Castle. St. Mary's Cathedral is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.