East County Limerick & The Golden Vale Drive

  • Lough Gur, Co. Limerick

This driving tour takes you 13km north-east of the city on the N7 Limerick to Dublin Road, to the lovely village of Castleconnell. Visit the Heritage Centre or perhaps try a spot of angling. 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 (Note – Private property, however, visitors are welcome to walk in the grounds and to visit the church).

Close by is the Clare Glens - a peaceful, wooded, walkers paradise. Enhance your East Limerick experience even further and check out the electric bikes from Go-Eco bikes in Cappamore. 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. 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. While you’re here, actively engage with over 6,000 years of history at the fascinating Lough Gur Heritage Centre.

Ballyhoura Mountain

For lunch consider stopping off in the charming town of Bruff or check out what it was like to live in the 1900’s at Old Irish Ways. Continue on to picturesque Bruree, famous for being the place where former President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera grew up. Make sure to stop off in 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.

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.

Brush away the cobwebs on the longest trail network of its kind at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, try go-karting, go hill or mountain walking where the scenery really is a sight to behold or saddle up on the forest trails and mountain paths with Ballyhoura Horse Trails. If you have any budding environmentalists with you, make sure to visit Griston Bog Outdoor Classroom.

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