Limerick City offers shopping, entertainment, sport, history, culture, family fun and more but it doesn’t have to mean a break from outdoor and adventure activities. Both city and county boast a range of attractive sights and active pursuits to enjoy.
Visitors can enjoy the mighty River Shannon in all its glory with a Limerick City Kayaking Tour from GetWest (061-278747) or Nevsail Watersports & Rock Climbing (086- 3308236). Both companies also offer activities like sailing, stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing, coasteering, powerboating and outdoor rock climbing at locations in Limerick and Clare.
Kilfinane Outdoor Education Centre in east Limerick has a range of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy from canoeing to orienteering, abseiling to basketball (063-91161). Team challenges are a speciality!
For face-paced mountain biking, the Ballyhoura area has over 90 km of cross country trails where you can get muddy on forest road climbs, get high on the steep inclines and try to keep steady on the tracks.
Ballyhoura Trailriders in Ardpatrick (087-2717330) has the exclusive permit from Coillte to operate the Coillte Mountain Bike Trail here (the largest network of its kind in Ireland) and provides bike rental and other services too. Hiking and orienteering are also popular in Ballyhoura.
For lovers of all things equestrian, you can engage in horse-riding, trekking and other variations at many sites including Clonlara Equestrian Centre in Clonlara (061-354172/087- 6892373); Boskill Equestrian Centre in Caherconlish (085-7673468) and Clonshire Equestrian Centre in Adare (061-396770).
Limerick has several great angling locations. Plassey and Annacotty (both close to the University of Limerick) are popular fishing spots, as is Castleconnell. Bleach Lough, between Kildimo and Pallaskenry in county Limerick, is a trout fishery (087-1845736). Brown trout are also on the menu at Glasha Lake in Athea (068-42295).
Millbank House in Murroe (061- 386115) has an angling centre on-site and is located close to sites for trout and salmon fishing, course and game fishing. Celtic Angling (069-68202) offers guided angling tours around county Limerick and Kerry. Don’t forget to enquire about seasons and permits before casting your hook!
To enjoy nature in all its glory, Cratloe Woods (061-337322) just over the border in Clare overlooks the estuary of the river Shannon and contains walking/hiking trails, a picnic area and viewing points. A climb up Woodcock Hill in the same parish offers spectacular views of Limerick and the surrounding countryside
The 777 acre Curraghchase Forest Park in Kilcornan (061-337322) has picturesque scenery, a multitude of walkways and nature trails, a lake, a playground, a picnic area and the remains of grand, Curragh Chase House. There are a number of looped way marked trails in the park to suit all visitors.
They vary from the multi-access trails suitable for wheelchair users and family walkers to the longer Curragh and Glenisca trails suitable for those looking for more demanding walking and cycling. The large area of mixed forest has stands of mostly beech, ash, oak and Norway spruce trees. For naturalists, try Aughinish Alumina Nature Trail, a self-guided nature trail near Askeaton (061-604000). The area offers observation areas, bird-watching, wild fowl and butterfly sanctuaries.
The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s spectacular coastal driving route, which stretches 2,500 kilometres all the way along the west coast from Donegal to West Cork. Limerick’s close proximity to both Shannon Airport and the coastline means that you can access the route from here by travelling a reasonable distance by car.
The Wild Atlantic Way is illustrated by signs bearing a symbol with a blue background and a white representation of waves. The pretty village of Foynes in west Limerick is featured on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum (069-65416) explores the fascinating role played in the establishment of passenger flights across the Atlantic, which is superbly captured in this museum. Limerick has very good rail and road links for travelling to Clare, Kerry, Cork, Galway and even farther. The coast is never far away, particularly in Clare and Kerry, and opens up a world of stunning sea views, days at the beach and activities like swimming and surfing. For more information see www.wildatlanticway.com.
Download the full Limerick Guide here.