There is so much to discover in West Limerick. Hills, valleys, rivers and lakes, forests, hiking trails, canoeing, mountain biking, historic monuments and so much more. All set within forty shades of green meadows and pasture.
From Limerick take the M/N20 to 'Ireland’s Prettiest Village', Adare, stopping en route for a breath of fresh air and a walk by the beautiful River Maigue in Croom.
Adare is an old world village of quaint thatched cottages, medieval buildings and rich heritage and is truly a gem in Limerick’s crown. Antiques shops, boutiques, a Heritage Centre, cozy country pubs and other retailers jostle for space with a half dozen or so restaurants, while the ruins that surround the village add their own counterpoint of timeworn and venerable character.
Continue along the N21 to Rathkeale, 11km west of Adare. In the 18th century, Sir Thomas Southwell introduced the Palatines to the area, a group of Germanspeaking Protestant refugees who settled here. Today, the Irish Palatine Heritage Centre, highlighting the heritage of this group of people can be found here.
Get off the beaten track and explore, on foot or by bike, part of the Limerick Greenway a 40km off-road walking and cycling route along an old railway line that connects the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in West Limerick.
The Greenway is currently undergoing extensive upgrading works so some sections are temporarily closed. However, the sections from Rathkeale to Ardagh (10km) and Ardagh to Newcastle West (4km) have been completed and are a must stop for walkers or cyclists on this route.
Pedal pursuits can look after your bike hire needs if you'd rather enjoy the Greenway on two wheels.
After Rathkeale, continue through the village of Ardagh, where the world famous Ardagh Chalice, dating from the 8th century was found.
Carry on to the attractive village of Athea. Hidden away in Athea village, behind the Memorial Hall is a quirky and unique Fairy Trail, home to ten fairies who each have their own fairy door. There is also a worry-tree called ‘Croga’ which promises to take away any worries you might have if you place your hand on the plaque attached to it!
Continue through Mountcollins, Ashford and Broadford villages at the foothills of the Mullaghareik Mountains. Take note of the simple yet poignant memorial to the Great Irish Famine in the Church grounds at Broadford and the village library, which is one of the Carnegie libraries built by the American Carnegie Foundation in the early 1900’s.
Broadford Ashford Walking Trails have something to offer the amateur and the advanced walker including some challenging climbs, a variety of terrain, and beautiful views of West Limerick, with points of interests along each route.
Enjoy the majestic landscape of rolling hills & open farmland along these eight routes of varying distance and difficulty.
Finish up your scenic West Limerick Drive in Ballingarry, where the ruins of the DeLacy Castle, originally built by the Knights Templar and Knockfierna (the Hill of Truth) can be seen.
Steeped in local history and folklore, Knockfierna, or Cnoc Dhoinn Firinne, can be accessed by a number of tracks and pathways which start in Ballingarry. From the top of the mountain you can see all of County Limerick and the Shannon Estuary.
*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.