East County Limerick & The Golden Vale Drive

  • Lough Gur, Co. Limerick

Begin this driving tour at the lovely village of Castleconnell, 13km north-east of the city on the N7 Limerick to Dublin Road. Perhaps try a spot of angling or take a walk by Worrell’s End or World’s End, referring to the fact that this quay was used during the Great Famine in the 1840’s as an embarkation point for emigrants fleeing Ireland for the New World.

From here, continue by car to the village of Murroe where you will find the magnificent Glenstal Abbey (this is private property, however, visitors are welcome to walk in the grounds and to visit the church).

Glenstal Abbey 810 x 456
Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co. Limerick

Close by is the Clare Glens - a peaceful, wooded, walkers paradise. The scenery here is breathtaking, with wild dense forest combined with the calm rushing of the crystal clear waters.

Travel back to the main N7 road toward the city and take the R512 heading in the direction of Kilmallock. The picturesque driving route you are embarking upon is known as the Golden Vale Drive, which will take you through some of the most lush, green and rolling pasturelands in Ireland.

Galbally, Co. Limerick. As we drive the beautiful country roads of south Limerick, scenes like this abound. Heaven on earth. (Tom Quish)
The Golden Vale Drive. Photo: Tom Quish

Continuing through Ballyneety and on to Lough Gur, 20km south of the city centre, is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological locations, with a number of sites and monuments ranging in date from Neolithic to Medieval times. The stunning scenery surrounding the lake make Lough Gur an idyllic spot to stop and enjoy a picnic and a lakeside stroll. Make sure to follow the 100 steps to the viewing point to find where the fairies live!

Grange Lough Gur (Munster Vales images)
Lough Gur, Co. Limerick

The next stopping off point is the charming town of Bruff where former President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera grew up. 10 minutes from here you'll find the the bustling Walled Town of Kilmallock.

Kilmallock, also known as the crossroads of Munster, is an important Norman town and was at the centre of Ireland’s political development from the 13th through to the 17th centuries.

Kilmallock (Pic Munster Vales)
Killmallock, Co. Limerick

Nearby Kilmallock are the impressive villages and towns of Kilfinane, Ballylanders, Galbally, Emly and Pallasgreen. Its no secret that this whole area is steeped in history but it is also a playground for outdoor pursuits with a whole host of activities designed to get your adrenalin pumping.

Download the Ballyhoura Trails Guides app for your personal guide to the loop walks in this region, where a world of outdoor adventure, history and cultural heritage is waiting to be explored. There are 11 walks ranging in distance from 5km to 18km, varying from easy strolls to challenging hikes through sandy roadways, woodland trails and forest paths.

Families will love the The Ballyhoura Nature Trail, located at the Ballyhoura Forest Park - a 40 minute 5km investigation of over 20 hidden creatures in the woods that kiddies have to uncover on their walk.

Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Adventure
Ballyhoura, Co. Limerick

*Embarking on a scenic drive in your own car or taking in some exercise on a new walking route are fantastic ways to safely enjoy Limerick during Covid-19 restrictions but we recommend that you follow government guidelines before you venture anywhere.

See More