Below are just some of the endless possibilities to Discover More locally while you stay with us. This area “The Ballyhoura Region” is the Activity hub of Ireland with Europe’s largest Mountain bike park, 5 Road Cycling Loops through almost traffic free lanes and 10% of Ireland’s looped walking trails not to mention the water activities and shooting, there is no better area – just to get out there!!
On Saturday a trip to the Milk Market to enjoy the modern tradition of the market with the varied and many stalls is highly recommended. On Monday mornings, the Kilmallock livestock mart is an experience of sounds and smells with the transfer of cattle from farmer to another. The evenings won’t be boring either with strong festivals and events locally on a monthly basis (see our event calendar for more details).
The following day trips prepared for you to enjoy
Visit the world famous archaeological site Grange Stone Circle and the visitor centre at Lough Gur – being one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. Visitors to the Heritage Centre can find out about the rich heritage of Lough Gur by visiting the interactive multimedia exhibition that brings to life over 8,000 of archaeology and history. The exhibition brings the visitor on a journey through the history of Lough Gur starting during the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) Era and progressing until the 19th century (1800’s), when the Farm By Lough Gur was written. The exhibition is suitable for all ages and abilities. Visitors can learn about the history and archaeology of Lough Gur. They can find out more about many of the area’s archaeological sites, including some that are not publicly accessible.
Explore an impressive collection of antique, historical and novel items dating from Pre-Famine times to more nostalgic items from our more recent past at Old Irish Ways. Returning through Bruff make sure to visit The Thomas Fitzgerald Visitor Centre this wonderful centre is a fitting tribute to the world-famous family. Including the Fitzgerald family tree mural, a John F. Kennedy 1963 Limerick visit photo exhibition, and an exhibition from the Caroline Kennedy visit of 2013 as well as the plaque Caroline unveiled on her visit. A life-size bronze statue of John F Kennedy was unveiled here in May 2019. The bible that is part of the statue is the one his great-grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald, brought with him when he emigrated from Bruff to Boston in 1852, and it was the same one that was used by JFK when he was inaugurated as US President in January 1961. You can also download the free audio guide to Bruff as it leads you around this lovely town, immersing you in the history of the town and its surroundings.
Leaving Bruff a short drive bring you to Terra Nova Gardens a dynamic space full of the unexpected. Home to an exotic Thai House with tropical plantings, a magical woodland where pixies, fairies and other elementals live in shady places, sensational seasonal planting throughout the garden, a Hobbit Tea House based on Bilbo’s Bag End and Ireland’s Largest Fairy Gift Shop. This garden is just one of 5 garden stops on the Ballyhoura Garden trail.
A short drive is Kilmallock Medieval town once a major centre for religion and subsequently for trade and commerce. It was also politically significant as it was a stronghold of the Earls of Desmond. This dominance is evident in the wealth of medieval buildings that survive to the present day creating a unique urban landscape. These include the 13th century Collegiate Parish Church and the Dominican Priory, over 1200m of the medieval town wall, including a town gate, the 15th century King’s Castle standing astride the main street and 16th-century houses of the wealthy town merchants. You can download the free audio guide that leads you on a historical walk around the town. If you prefer to get a guided tour of Kilmallock, contact Kilmallock Museum or one of our local volunteer guides such as Guiseppe Gordano.
Leaving Kilmallock stop at the Eamon De Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Centre is dedicated to Eamon de Valera [1882-1975], First and former president of Ireland and one of the country’s most famous statesmen, it houses a unique collection of personal belongings of this historic figure, as well as a wide range of articles which record life in Bruree in the early 20th century. This visitor centre is located where Eamonn de Valera grew up. The De Valera Cottage in which he lived is now preserved and the national school he attended houses a museum dedicated to his memory. The Heritage Centre uses audio visuals, graphic panels, set pieces and displays of personal memorabilia to tell the story of the village’s greatest son and of the area which is credited with forming his character.
Doneraile Court is the stunning centrepiece of one of Ireland’s most beautiful estates. Located on the banks of the Awbeg river in north Co. Cork, the house dates from the 1720s, when it was built by Arthur St. Leger, the first Viscount Doneraile and father of the renowned Lady Freemason. The house was modified extensively in the 19th century by later generations of St. Legers, creating the imposing and characterful building that can be enjoyed today. The kitchen wing from this period now serves as the home of the Doneraile Court tearooms and is a perfect way to start or finish your visit. The estate and surrounding Park lands have wonderful trails to walk or cycle which criss cross over the meandering river and a large playground for the children to enjoy. Nearby is The Donkey Sanctuary– Visitors are welcome to visit the donkeys at their Open Farm in Knockardbane. The farm is nestled in the beautiful hillsides, outside Liscarroll village. Take a stroll along around beautiful walkways, enjoy a picnic or buy a snack at their Visitor Information Centre.
In Limerick City is The Frank McCourt Museum– which is dedicated to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt which is based in Frank’s former school in the Georgian Quarter of Limerick City. Make sure to visit Bunratty Medieval castle & folk park, a large 15th-century tower house in County Clare, Ireland. The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon Heritage as a tourist attractions where 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated in this top visitor attraction. It is located in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis enroute to the Cliffs of Moher and visitor centre, The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They run for about 14 kilometres, take a trip out to the Aran island’s
Just 8 km outside Cork is Blarney Castle and Woollen Mills. the home of the Blarney Stone. Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftain’s, Cormac MacCarthy, Anyone wishing for Eloquences leans over backward from the castles tower and kisses the Blarney stone, and you will never be lost for words again as the legend goes. From Blarney lose yourself among the winding streets of Cork or continue on your quest of discovery with a trip to the Jameson experiences at the old Middleton Distillery The Jameson Experience Tour is a fully guided tour around the original Midleton Distillery which brings the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage to life.
A short drive is Cobh an island in Cork city’s harbour. It’s known as the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912. Titanic Experience Cobh is a themed attraction in the former White Star Line ticket office. More displays on the liner are in the Cobh Heritage Centre, which also explores how Cobh became an embarkation point during Ireland’s mass emigrations. A short and scenic ferry ride from Cobh brings visitors to Spike Island, Formerly the world’s largest prison, today you can explore several museums, .North of town, is the huge Fota Wildlife Park on Fota Island.
The Dingle Peninsula loop trip is about 30 miles (47 km) long and must be driven in a clockwise direction over the Connor Pass, It’s easy by car to drive through the Gap of Dunlow enroute to Killarney. Killarney is a town and it is the start and finishing point on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive, The town’s 19th-century buildings include St. Mary’s Cathedral. Across the bridge from the cathedral is Killarney National Park. Victorian mansion Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms and Torc waterfall sits in the park. Take a drive up past Ladies view enroute to Molls Gap. ( Make sure you ask Miriam for Maps)
It’s a long way to Tipperary, but not so from our home. Sarfields Rock is 3km form our home and tells the story of the destruction William’s siege train led by Patrick Sarfield which intended to aid the capture of Limerick city. The Rock of Cashel is only 7 miles from Tipperary town and is one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. Cahir Castle is beautiful and make sure you allow enough time to walk along the river to Swiss Cottage. Mitchelstown Caves guided tour you will visit caverns in which you are surrounded by indescribable and awe inspiring cave formations. Guides will explain about the history and geology of the cave. Tours are conducted through one kilometre of well-lit passageways. The temperature may surprise you as it is constant at 12 degrees Celsius making it seem warm in winter and cooler in the summer months. Bring a picnic along and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views across the Cork and Tipperary Countryside and the highest in-land mountain range in Ireland the Galtee Mountains