Craggaunowen: when to visit, what to see & things to know

If you’ve never been to Craggaunowen, then this is your sign. Here is everything you need to know about visiting this exciting castle.

Craggaunowen may be a bit of a mouthful to say, but this 16th-century castle and surrounding areas are a fantastic option for people of all ages to enjoy.

Located in County Clare, a county known for its wild natural beauty and surreal landscapes, Craggaunowen Castle is particularly ideal for families, given the array of things to see and do, which will keep kids of all ages entertained – and adults of course.

If you are not familiar with this awesome Irish location and are perhaps looking for some inspiration on where to take your family on your next getaway, then we have got you covered.

Overview – a little bit about Craggaunowen

What to see.
Credit: Facebook / @Craggaunowen

Suppose this is the first time you are hearing about Craggaunowen Castle in County Clare. In that case, you are in for a treat because this open-air museum features some fun and exciting reconstructions of ancient Irish architecture.

What used to be a ruin has been transformed into an interactive historical site, which gives you a great look at what life was like many years ago in Ireland.

The castle was restored by John Hunt in the 1960s, and it is him we have to thank for what we see today and for what has made this a popular place for people to experience.

This award-winning historical site has so much to offer, and we can’t wait to tell you all about what a visit there might look like.

What to see – attractions not to be missed

What to see at Craggaunowen.
Credit: Facebook / @Craggaunowen

There are a host of informative, educational and historic features here which will captivate you while learning about Irish history and ancient life during the Middle Ages.

Here is what you can look forward to seeing at the beautiful grounds of Craggunowen Castle.

  • Crannog: You can step back in time to the Iron Age when crannogs were as popular as tiny homes are today. You will learn how exactly the Celts built them, what materials were used, and how cleverly designed they were.
  • Ringfort: There are thousands of ringfort ruins scattered throughout Ireland, given that this was a typical farmstead dating back to the 5th Century, and you will get to step foot inside a traditional farmhouse to see what life was like as a farmer all those years ago in Ireland.
  • The Brendan Boat: You can witness the real-life hulled boat which took Tim Severin from Ireland to the USA in the 1970s as he followed the ancient voyage of St Brendan the Navigator, otherwise known as the ‘Brendan Voyage’.
  • Togher: A Togher is a wooden track which was common during the Iron Age, and at Craggaunowen, you can see a reconstruction of these ancient wooden roadways, which made transportation that little bit easier once upon a time.
  • Fulacht Fia: Learn how food was made during the Iron Age with the use of a Fulacht Fia, which consisted of a dug-out rectangular hole, which was lined with wood, filled with water and heated by hot stones. The meat was then wrapped and added to the hot water to cook it. 

When to visit – the best time to see Craggaunowen

When to visit.
Credit: Facebook / @Craggaunowen

Given that this awesome historic site is open all year round, Monday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm, there is no reason not to take the plunge and visit this place when time is on your side.

In saying that, the outdoor attractions are best enjoyed when it is dry, so it is best visited between April – September when there are more chances of dry weather.

Visiting in the low season (April/May/September) means fewer crowds, which can make it more enjoyable to take your time wandering around and exploring at your own pace.

Prices are as follows:

Adult: €9.50

Child 0-3 years: Free of Charge

Child 4-18 years: €8.00

Senior: €7.75

Family (2 Adults and 2 Kids): €27.50

Family (2 Adults and up to 6 Kids): €42.75

Address: Craggaunowen, Kilmurry, Co. Clare, V95 AD7E

Where to stay? accommodation options near Craggaunowen

Where to stay near Craggaunowen.
Credit: Facebook / @TheInnatDromoland

When it comes to accommodation options in and around Craggaunowen, there are many to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences. Here are some recommendations not too far from the castle.

Budget: The Inn at Dromoland

Address: Lagoon North, Co. Clare

Midrange: Treacys Oakwood Hotel

Address: Shannon Town Roundabout, Smithstown, Shannon, Co. Clare

Luxury: Dromoland Castle Hotel

Address: Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare, V95 ATD3

How to get there? transport options to consider

How to get there.

There are a couple of ways to get to Craggaunowen in Six Mile Bridge, and here are some options.

Car: Cars can be rented from Shannon airport, and from there, it is around a thirty-minute drive to the castle.

If you are coming from Dublin, allow for 2.5 hours, and from Cork, allow 1hr 45 mins. Taking a car is the easiest way to get to and from the castle, with the freedom to explore other sites in the area too.

Bus: Bus number 343 takes you directly from Limerick to Craggaunowen, and connections can be made from Galway, Cork and Dublin to continue to Craggaunowen. The stop is just a six-minute walk from the medieval castle.

Things to know – some useful tips

Things to know about Craggaunowen.
Credit: Facebook / @Craggaunowen
  • Craggaunowen has partnered up with some other neighbour attractions, so if you know you will be travelling around, then it can be worthwhile buying a combination ticket.
  • There is a chance to spot some rare animals at Craggaunowen, so be sure to keep an eye out for wild boar and Soay-sheep specimens from prehistoric times.
  • Craggaunowen has some enjoyable and informative events, so be sure to look at their website in advance to see what interests you before booking your ticket.
  • Book tickets well in advance in the summer months, as well as pre-booking your car hire and accommodation, to avoid disappointment.

Notable mentions

Bunratty Castle and Gardens.

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Bunratty Castle & Folk Park: Bunratty Castle is one of Ireland’s biggest attractions, which you will see in all the travel guides, and you can easily visit it with a combination ticket. This family-friendly museum is an ideal addition to visiting Craggaunowen Castle.

Lough Derg: This scenic lake is a stunning place to stop off for some fishing, a boat trip, a stroll or even some lunch, while in the area and the town of Killaloe is an idyllic option to have a wander around.

Clare Glens Waterfall: These beautiful falls, which are located in Limerick, are just 45 minutes from Craggaunowen and make for a great place for a dip, a picnic or a nature walk.

Quin Abbey: Quin Abbey is another attraction in County Clare worth visiting.

Knappogue Castle: Knappogue Castle is in Ennis and is open for tours.

FAQS about Craggaunowen

What is there to see at Craggaunowen?

You can see a host of features recreated from the Iron Age Ireland, including crannogs and Fulacht Fias.

What else is there to do nearby Craggaunowen?

Bunratty Castle, Quinn Abbey and Lough Derg are all nearby.

How long would you spend in Craggaunowen?

Allow at least 2 – 3 hours to enjoy the castle and all that it offers.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.

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