From villages to stone circles, here are five hidden gems in county Limerick that you have to discover on your next visit.
Limerick is a rich and varied county that attracts many from far and wide. Limerick boasts a rich and valuable history that entrances many, from its loughs to its museums.
There’s much more this beloved county has to offer than you may think. With an abundance of idyllic villages and landmarks rich in history, it’s no surprise that there are a few things that you might overlook.
5. The Frank McCourt Museum – a symbol of Limerick’s struggle in the 1930s
Anyone planning a visit to Limerick should first sit down and read the autobiography Angela’s Ashes. Written by the late New York-based Irish-American Limerick author Frank McCourt, it won a Pulitzer Prize.
McCourt was part of a large Limerick family living around the 1930s. They lived in abject poverty and were treated with nothing more than contempt by the authorities.
The autobiography caused controversy throughout Limerick when it was first published. Many local people wished to forget or deny the dark hard days that the city suffered during the period.
However, the school Frank attended as a child has now been successfully turned into a museum.
It’s been hailed for its simple and accurate remembrance of the economic and social conditions of 1930s Limerick. This makes it a great contender as one of the best hidden gems in County Limerick.
Address: Lower Hartstonge St, Limerick, Ireland
4. Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum – step into a revered piece of history
Foynes has a history of making the traveller feel welcome. It was here that the first flying boats landed and departed to and from America.
Located in the original airport terminal building, the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum contains an array of memorabilia from those early days of aviation.
Here, you can board and marvel at the luxury of a full-size B314 flying boat replica and even sit in the captain’s left-side seat or sit at the table in the 14-seat dining room.
In addition to the many interesting aviation artefacts on display, the museum also remembers and acknowledges the role Foynes played during World War II.
From Allied military personnel to royalty and refugees, all would have travelled through Foynes.
Address: Aras Ide, Main St, Ballynacragga North, Foynes, Co. Limerick, Ireland
3. Adare Village – one of the best hidden gems in County Limerick
This picturesque country village which lies to the south of Limerick City has it all. Adare Village boasts three ancient monasteries, a world-class golf course, a noble 19th-century manor house, and a luxury five-star hotel.
As well as this, Adare’s main street — in actuality, its only street — is dotted with architectural gems. This is definitely one of the best things to do in County Limerick.
From the Desmond Castle built during the 12th century to the tiny thatched cottages once inhabited by the Manor’s workers, a walk along the beauty of this village is sure to leave you feeling invigorated.
Address: Co. Limerick, Ireland
2. Lough Gur – transcend into a lost world
This lough is noted as one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites. This makes it not just one of the best hidden gems in County Limerick but one of the best hidden gems in Ireland.
The complete history of the human race from the Stone Age to the present day can be traced to the area surrounding Lough Gur in County Limerick.
The Lough Gur Visitor Centre is a hub for its deep history. Here, you can listen to mystical stories, view Neolithic sites, savour Bronze and Iron Age household items, and take a look back at medieval life.
A walk towards the lough will bring you to the mystical Grange stone circle and the remains of Stone Age dwellings.
The lough is the perfect stop to transcend you into a lost world and captivate what was and might have been around Limerick.
Address: Co. Limerick, Ireland
1. The Plassey River and the University of Limerick – a hub for music, dance, and sport
A short bus hop from Limerick’s city centre will bring you to the heart of Limerick’s university campus. The university is home to the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
The university is famous for its state-of-the-art and internationally respected sporting facilities. The complex — Ireland’s largest — hosts many acclaimed sportspeople and teams who use the training facilities each year.
A casual walk around this area can often offer the opportunity to view many sports being practised at the highest levels.
If and when you tire from the cultural and sporting activities, take a walk over the Living Bridge — Irelands longest pedestrian bridge — which links both sides of the campus.
Enjoy the relaxing views of the wooded islands, which are home to a multitude of wildlife. The shaded riverbank will offer you an oasis of calm and beauty.
Address: Dromroe, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Other notable mentions
King John’s Castle: King John’s Castle is situated in the heart of Limerick City. Built on the boundary of the River Shannon, it’s a must when you visit the city.
The Hunt Museum: Dating from the Neolithic to the 20th century, this former customs house has one of the greatest collections of old art and artefacts in Ireland. You’ll find works from the likes of Jack B. Yeats to Pablo Picasso.
Abbeyfeale: Deserving of a mention is the historic market town of Abbeyfeale, located on the border of County Kerry. Situated in West Limerick, you can brush up on your history at the Abbeyfeale Heritage Trail.
Limerick Street Art Trail: Not so much of a hidden gem, but a definite recommendation when you’re visiting Limerick City.
FAQs about hidden gems in County Limerick
What is County Limerick famous for?
Limerick Lace is one of the things the county is famous for as its one of its biggest exports. Plus, there are lots of famous people from Limerick, like Michael D. Higgins and Richard Harris.
What is the little town outside of Limerick?
Galbally is one of the small towns outside of Limerick. It is a tiny, picturesque village in the south of County Limerick in the Glen of Aherlow.
What is the walled town in County Limerick?
Killmallock is a walled town in County Limerick. The town walls of today are thought to date back to the late 14th/early 15th century.