Local Attractions and Information
The story of Limerick city and county is in many ways the story of the Shannon Estuary, for in times past it was the convenient access provided by Ireland's largest estuary - it is 80 kilometres in length - which encouraged the development of life along the estuary’s sea shores, and into the fresh water of the River Shannon itself.
Today, the area's national and global transport is served by air, sea and land through Shannon International Airport, the increased use of the Estuary through the development of Foynes Port and other deepwater facilities, improvement and restoration of rail links, and a rapidly expanding but inevitably busy road network which is being augmented by a tunnel under the Shannon Estuary immediately seaward of Limerick city.
In Limerick city in recent years, the opening of improved waterway links through the heart of town has seen the welcome regeneration of older urban areas continuing in tandem with the attractive new developments. But significant and all as this is, there's much more to the totality of Limerick county than the city and its waterways.
Inland from the river, the very richness of the countryside soon begins to develop its own dynamic. Eastern Limerick verges into Tipperary's Golden Vale, and the eastern county's Slieve Felim hills, rising to Cullaun at 462 m, reflect the nearby style of Tipperary's Silvermine Mountains.
Southwest of Limerick city, the splendid hunting country and utterly rural atmosphere of the area around the beautiful village of Adare makes it a real effort of imagination to visualise the muddy salt waters of the Shannon Estuary just a few miles away down the meandering River Maigue, yet the Estuary is there nevertheless.
Equally, although the former flying boat port of Foynes - with its evocative Flying Boat Museum well worth a visit - is seeing expansion of the nearby jetty at Aughinish to accommodate the most modern large ships, just a few miles inland we find ourselves in areas totally remote from the sea in countryside which lent itself so well to mixed farming that the price of pigs in Dromcolliher (a.k.a. Drumcolligher) on the edge of the Mullaghareirk Mountains reputedly used to set the price of pigs throughout Ireland.
The growth of the computer industry in concert with the rapid expansion of the energetic University has given Limerick a new place in Irish life in tandem with its established role as a leading manufacturing centre. The city's vitality and urban renewal makes it an entertaining place to visit, while the eclectic collection on stunning display in the unique Hunt Museum in its handsome waterside setting has a style which other areas of Limerick life are keen to match.
With newfound confidence, Limerick has been paying greater attention to its remarkable heritage of Georgian architecture, with Limerick Civic Trust restoring the Georgian house and garden at 2 Pery Square. It acts as the focal point for an area of classic urban architecture which deserves to be better known.
That said, rugby-mad Limerick still keeps its feet firmly on the ground, and connoisseurs are firmly of the opinion that the best pint of Guinness in all Ireland is to be had in this no-nonsense city, where they insist on being able to choose the temperature of their drink, and refuse to have any truck with modern fads which would attempt to chill the rich multi-flavoured black pint into a state of near-freezing tastelessness aimed at immature palates.
Adare Heritage Centre +353 (0) 61 396666
Adare May Fair +353 (0) 61 396894
Ballysteen Ballynacourty Gardens +353 (0) 61 396409
Bruree Heritage Centre and de Valera Museum +353 (0) 63 91300
Croom Waterwheel and Heritage Centre +353 (0) 61 397130
Foynes Flying Boat Museum +353 (0)69 65416
Glin Glin Castle Pleasure Grounds & Walled Garden +353 (0)68 34364
Limerick Belltable Arts Centre, 69 O'Connell St +353 (0) 61 319866
Limerick Georgian House & Garden, 2 Pery Square +353 (0) 61 314130
Limerick Hunt Museum, Customs House, Rutland St +353 (0) 61 312833
Limerick King John's Castle +353 (0) 61 360788
Limerick Limerick City Art Gallery, Pery Square +353 (0) 61 310633
Limerick Limerick Museum, John's Square +353 (0) 61 417826
Limerick Tourism Information +353 (0) 61 317522
Limerick University of Limerick +353 (0) 61 333644
Lough Gur Interpretive centre, 3000BC to present +353 (0) 61 360788
Patrickswell Limerick Racecourse (Greenmount Park) +353 (0) 61 355055