Get a real sense of Limerick city and enjoy spectacular views of the River Shannon along the Three Bridges walking route, a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike.
The Three Bridges Slí na Sláinte is a 3.6km looped walk beginning at Arthur's Quay Park and following a stunning route along the banks of the River Shannon and passing some of Limerick's most iconic landmarks, striking street art and picturesque parks!
With over twenty points of interest to explore, this handy downloadable guide makes an excellent companion for those out and about on Limerick’s renowned riverside route.
A Brief History of the Three Bridges Walk
The popular Three Bridges Walk circles the Shannon River by crossing it twice and the Abbey River once. Although known as the Three Bridges Walk, the option is to use three of the following five bridges,
- Thomond Bridge
- Sarsfield Bridge
- Shannon Bridge
- Sylvester O'Halloran Bridge
- Mathew Bridge
The only Thomond Bridge must be passed over. Thomond Bridge stands at the oldest crossing of the Shannon River in Limerick. The first permanent bridge on this location was constructed in 1185. This was replaced only a handful of times in the following centuries. Finally, the modern bridge, designed by the Pain brothers, opened in 1840.
The next option to cross the Shannon River is at Sarsfield Bridge. Designed by Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo an opened in 1835, Sarsfield Bridge connected the Newtown Pery to the north bank of the river. The bridge was originally called Wellesley Bridge and contained a swivel section to allow ships to access the Custom House. The swivel section was permanently closed in 1923.
If taking a longer stroll, Sarsfield Bridge can be bypassed continuing to the newest crossing on the river, Shannon Bridge. Opened in 1988, this bridge connected the Dock Road with the Condell Road. Soon after it was opened it was dubbed the "Whistling Bridge" by residents, as it emitted a high pitch squeal when strong winds would pass through. Although, this was quickly remedied, the name remained in local lore.
The Abbey River must be crossed to complete the loop. The two options to do so are via the pedestrian Sylvester O'Halloran Bridge or Mathew Bridge.
The Sylvester O'Halloran Bridge was designed by architect Hugh Murray. The bridge was named in honour of a local pioneering surgeon and historian Sylvester O'Halloran. O'Halloran who developed new techniques for cataract surgery lived close to where the bridge stand today.
The other option to cross the Abbey river Mathew Bridge was designed by W.H. Owen and opened in 1844. Mathew Bridge replaced an eighty year old structure known simply as "New Bridge". This connection across the Abbey River was created after the demolition of the old walls of Limerick in the 1760s.
Starting Point: Arthur's Quay Park, Limerick