Limerick Greenway Family Day

  • Alan and Lisa Ruttle with their children Sarah (10), Emma Noreen (5) and Will (2) at Barnagh on the Limerick Greenway. Photo: Seán Curtin, True Media.

Carving a 40km path through the local countryside, the Limerick Greenway offers an authentic experience of rural Ireland and is a perfect family day out.

Built along the old Limerick to Kerry railway line, the Greenway can be completed in stages, with entry and exit points every few kilometres.

For a day trip, we recommend picking one of the major towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West, and Abbeyfeale and exploring the countryside around it by bike or foot on the safely enclosed and newly resurfaced Greenway paths.

Each of the towns has shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and places to stay, as well as public parks and children’s playgrounds.

Rathkeale

Limerick Greenway. Photo: Sean Curtin

At Rathkeale, you can visit the ruins of a 13th century abbey and learn about the German Palatines at the Irish Palatine Museum. Stop for a bite to eat at Bloomer’s Café or head to Rathkeale House Hotel for an authentic Irish food experience or overnight stay. The countryside around Rathkeale is rural Ireland at its best, and the Greenway is the perfect way to explore it. Take a walk or cycle through Limerick’s authentic farmland, or you can even head to Ardagh, where the iconic Ardagh Chalice was discovered.

Newcastle West

Castle Demesne, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

Newcastle West is home to Desmond Castle, which has stood in the town since the Middle Ages. Free, guided tours of the castle are available, and make sure to check out the Castle Demesne public park too, which is full of family-friendly amenities, including a skatepark. There’s plenty of places to stop for food or a treat too. Try out the homemade Belgian waffles at Marguerite’s Bakery or traditional food at Dan Cronin’s Bar & Bistro.

Barnagh is only a short hike away, where you’ll see the cast-iron railway bridge known as Ferguson’s Viaduct, walk through the 115-metre Barnagh Tunnel, and look over the whole of Limerick County and beyond from the picnic area at the peak. Also, located at Barnagh Greenway HubPlatform 22 offers barista style coffee, freshly baked goods, milkshakes and ice-cream for you to enjoy in spacious outdoor and indoor dining areas.

Abbeyfeale

Lisa Ruttle and family walking The Limerick Greenway at the Barnagh Tunnel. Photograph: Sean Curtin True Media.

In Abbeyfeale, you can take in some Irish music from the Sliabh Luachra tradition and explore the town’s history through the heritage trail. You can also check out the multi-award winning Abbeyfeale Town Park or check out some of the local eateries like the Gourmet Green or one of the many authentic local pubs and restaurants. Visit the tranquil forest of Tullig Wood to the village of Templeglantine, where the Devon Inn’s outdoor dining area is a perfect stop for an al fresco lunch.

Whichever stage of the Greenway you choose, you can expect a warm welcome from the locals and plenty of fun activities for children and adults alike.

Download the Limerick Greenway Family Day itinerary here.

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