Ballingarry, Co. Limerick, Ireland

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2. Things to do in Adare

Adare (13km) is one of Ireland's prettiest villages. The heritage centre (www.adareheritagecentre.com ) will provide you with the local history and there are several craft shops to browse in. There are several historic ruins to explore. The Trinitarian Abbey, now the Catholic Church, dates back to 1230. The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1325, was restored in 1807 and now serves as the Church of Ireland. The Franciscan Friary, Desmond castle and the Church of St. Nicolas are located in the heart of the Adare Manor Golf Club. Along the main street, there are some well preserved, inhabited thatched cottages, one of Adare's best known features. 

Curraghchase forest park is 15 minutes drive from Adare. This state forest and park has nature trails, forest walks, and a lake and picnic area. Curraghchase House, an 18th century building was the home to poet Aubrey de Vere. It is now a picturesque ruin having been destroyed by fire in 1941.

Limerick City (www.limerick.ie ) is 20 minutes drive from Adare. Here you can visit the hunt museum (www.huntmuseum.com ) and also King John's Castle (www.shannonheritage.com )

Finish the day by discovering the pre Celtic history at Lough Gur (www.shannonheritage.com/loughgur.htm ) or finish the evening at the medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle (www.shannonheritage.com/Bunratty_Ban.htm ) for authentic entertainment.

An alternative to travelling to Limerick City the N69 route from Adare will take you along the coast road heading west. Stop in Askeaton (www.askeatonbynet.com ) one of Ireland's oldest villages, to explore the ancient ruins. From there travel to Foynes where the famous Irish coffee originated and visit the aviation museum. (www.flyingboatmuseum.com ). Next stop is Tarbert, the link for the car ferry to Co. Clare. If you yearn for a swim in the sea water on a summer's day or take a walk on the beach during the winter continue on the R551 to our nearest sea side resort of Ballybunion, home of the renowned golf courses. Branch onto the R523 and continue to Listowel.

Listowel, a good shopping town is famous for its literary heritage and birthplace of John B Keane. The route home to Ballingarry is the R555 to Abbeyfeale and N21 to Newcastle West where you branch onto the R520 to Ballingarry.

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