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  • Writer's pictureJay Hicks

Ireland this Year?

Why not Visit Clare and Tipperary?

There is nothing like a thrilling visit to County Clare in Ireland! Known by many for its breathtaking views and landscape, rich history and vibrant culture, this enchanting area promises everyone an unforgettable experience. Strolling along the Cliffs of Moher, with the feel of sea breeze on your face you will marvel at the dramatic vistas and crashing waves. Rising to over 700 feet tall, these cliffs have been the backdrop for many movies, such as Harry Potter, Ryan's Daughter and Leap Year.

The renowned Burren National Park is another must-see attraction that captures the imagination. With its exotic landscape adorned with wildflowers and ancient monuments, exploring this unique ecological panorama transports you to an entirely different and ancient realm.

Make sure not to miss the Poulnabrone Dolmen situated on high ground on one of the most desolate points in the Burren.  The dolmen consists of three standing stones which support a heavy capstone, dating to Neolithic times between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. This is perhaps the best-known dolmens of the 172 known in Ireland.

After exposure to the cold, you must not forget to indulge in traditional Irish music in one of the local lively pubs and sip a pint of Guinness. Pub is short for "public house" and provides additional living space for you during your journey. After all, if Rick Steves indulges in pubs, then they should be part of your Ireland experience as well. County Clare's warm and jovial locals are sure to make you feel right at home during your adventure.

Not far away, Quin Abbey sits atop a early site that burned down in 1278. A Norman castle was built soon after by Thomas de Clare, a military commander.

The stones from castle's enormous corner towers can still be viewed.  Sixty years later, the castle was rebuilt as a church by the MacNamara Clan. Expanding to its present form, an abbey was built in the early 1400s, using the south wall of the old castle. In 1541, during the Reformation, King Henry VIII confiscated the friary, bequeathing it to Conor O'Brian, Earl of Thomond. In the late 1500s the MacNamara Clan regained control, repairing the monastery in the early 1600s.

The Rock of Cashel

Visiting the Rock of Cashel is an enlightening experience for travelers and history enthusiasts. Known locally as, St. Patrick's Rock, it is situated atop a limestone outcrop in County Tipperary, Ireland, allowing 360° viewing from miles away.  The UNESCO World Heritage Site has centuries of rich cultural heritage, with a round tower dating from the 12th-century and dramatic façade with a magnificent panorama.

The Rock of Cashel was formed when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel.


Providing a testament to the Tipperary’s early Christian roots, the Rock of Cashel is an outstanding example of medieval ecclesiastical architecture. Many parts are expertly restored, with the structures displaying intricate stonework and superb stained glass windows. Makes sure to visit Cormac's Chapel, St Patrick's Cross and the Gothic cathedral, where elaborate frescoes will transport you back in time to Ireland's medieval glory.

Bunratty Castle is a 5th-century Tower in County Clare, Ireland. It is located near Shannon making it an easy stop on the way to the Airport, should you be flying by RyanAir. The center of Bunratty is situated along the Limerick/Ennis road, and the castle is easily visible. Adjoining the Bunratty Castle is a folk park, with a historic village displaying life from earlier times.

While wandering through the ruins and green surrounds of the historic region, you feel a deep sense of reverence for past generations who once walked these hallowed grounds. Visiting County Clare and Tipperary offers the traveler an unparalleled glimpse of Irish history and a captivating journey through many centuries.


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