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Heritage attractions in Clare

Aillwee Cave and Burren Birds of Prey

Visitors to Aillwee Cave are guided on a 30 minute stroll through beautiful caverns.

The Burren Birds of Prey Centre has the largest and most varied collection of birds of prey in the country.

Brian Boru Heritage Centre, Killaloe

The imaginative exhibition charts the history of Killaloe and its Celtic and nautical significance.

Further information is available from Shannon Heritage, Bunratty, Co. Clare (061) 711200

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland.

Caherconnell Stone Fort

Only fort in the Burren scientifically excavated and developed for tourism.

Centre - Environmental Living and Training (CELT)

CELT is a community group and registered charity involved in:

  • Ecology
  • Nature conservation
  • Traditional skills
  • Environmental education
  • Renewable energy
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Native trees
  • Agroforestry
  • Coppice crafts
  • Native tree nursery and planting

Clare Heritage Centre and Genealogical Centre

The Clare Heritage and Genealogical Research Centre was founded in 1982 by the late Dr. Ignatius (Naoise) Cleary and is now recognised nationally and internationally as the leading Centre of it's kind in the country. The centre offers a professional service to persons wishing to trace their Clare ancestry.

Clare Museum

The riches of clare - its people, places, treasures - occupy two galleries of the Clare Museum. The concept of the exhibition is thematic, focusing on the lives and experiences of the people of Clare through the themes of earth, power, faith, water and energy.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park.

Coillte

Coillte own several areas of woodland in County Clare that are accessible to the public: 

  • Doon near Broadford
  • Cahermurphy near Lough Graney (some of which is a nature reserve) 
  • Gragan's Wood
  • Ballycuggaran on the shores of Lough Derg (South of Scarriff)
  • Kilrush (Vandeleur Walled Gardens) 

The community park in Mountshannon "Aistear Iniscealtra" (4.5 acres) is a wonderful example of community involvement of a project at a local level with thousands of trees and shrubs being planted in a large green area with a fantastic maze as the focal point.

Other woodland sites worth visiting include: 

  • Dromore Nature Reserve (North of Ennis)
  • Keelahilla (Slieve Carron) Nature Reserve in the Burren

 For additional information and maps of the trails, see www.coillteoutdoors.ie

Craggaunowen

Craggaunowen is Ireland's original award winning pre-historic park. Situated on 50 acres of wooded grounds, the park interprets Ireland's pre-historic and early Christian eras. It features a stunning recreation of some of the homesteads, animals and artefacts which existed in Ireland over 1,000 years ago.

Doolin Cave

Doolin Cave is home to the "Great Stalactite" which is one of the largest free hanging stalactites in the world.

Dromore Wood and Visitor Centre, Ruan, Ennis 

Dromore Wood was established as a nature reserve because of the diversity and richness of its flora and fauna.

Dysert O'Dea Castle and Archaeology Trail

The centre is a restored 15th century Gaelic tower house. It includes an extensive museum, bookshop, tea room, toilets, car park, audio - visual presentation (English and German) exhibition rooms (varied) and a wall walk at top of castle. The archaeological trail takes in 25 monuments and is 4 kilometers long.

East Clare Heritage Centre, Tuamgraney

The centre is based at the 10th century St. Cronan's Church in Tuamgraney, which was refurbished for use as a Heritage Centre in the early 1990s. It offers extensive information on the historical past of East Clare. Follow in the footsteps of Brian Ború High King of Ireland, 1002 – 1014.

Ennis Friary

This 13th century Franciscan friary, founded by the O'Brien's of Thomond who once ruled much of North Munster, has numerous 15th and 16th century sculptures carved in the local hard limestone.

Irish Seed Savers

Irish Seed Savers, Scarriff, Ireland are dedicated to the preservation of traditional native varieties of fruit and vegetables.

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle was built in 1467 by Sean MacNamara, and is a magnificent example of a medieval tower house. It has a long and varied history from a battle field to a dwelling place. In 1571 the castle became the seat of the MacNamara clan - earls of West Clancullen.

Lahinch Seaworld

Located on the promenade of Lahinch, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Seaworld and Leisure Centre is one of County Clare's top tourist attractions.

Michael Cusack Centre

Michael Cusack was born in Carron in 1847. In 2006, the centenary of his death, the Michael Cusack Centre was opened to honour the founder of the GAA - Gaelic Athletic Association. The development houses the restored Cusack Cottage as well as the new visitor centre which traces the life and achievements of the GAA founder.

Scattery Island Centre, Kilrush

Located approximately one mile off Kilrush, Scattery Island is home to a monastic settlement founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan who was born locally.

Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (SDWF)

The SDWF has been established to develop and provide educational awareness and conservation of the Shannon dolphins and other wildlife in the region. The SDWF offices can be found in the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Centre (formerly the Scattery Island Centre) in Kilrush, adjacent to Kilrush Creek Marina.

The Burren Centre

The story of the Burren is captured at the Burren Centre through its "A Walk Through Time" exhibition.

Vandeleur Walled Garden

Set amongst 420 acres of native woodland, the sheltered walled garden was formerly part of the Vandeleur family demesne. The garden has been restored around the old path system with a horizontal maze and contains many beautiful tree specimens and shrubs.

West Clare Railway

The West Clare Railway has been restored to provide a fun day out for families and school tours.

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 24/10/16