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County Limerick is set in the mid south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster, and to the north of County Cork. The local landscape is one of fertile, flat and wide-open plains of limestone, the area ringed by several ranges of mountains.
The principal city, also called Limerick, and the childhood home of the great broadcaster, Sir Terry Wogan, is the third largest city in Ireland, and is situated on the River Shannon, with the shallow waters of the Shannon estuary flowing into the Atlantic to the west.
Things to do in Limerick
The Galty Mountains form an impressive backdrop to the Limerick countryside, with the verdant Glen of Aherlow and Ballyhoura Country. Galtymore is flanked by a variety of summits, offering keen mountain walkers a range of challenging environments, from the stony to the flat, and others boggy.
The Ballyhoura Way is a long distance footpath that entices walkers through the Glen over the Slievenamuck ridge, before crossing the plains into Tipperary Town and Limerick Junction.
The Ballyhoura International Walking Festival is an unusual annual event which, each May, aims to introduce new walkers to the delights of the area.
Limerick – The city of Limerick is home to the 800-year old St John's Cathedral, which has Ireland's tallest church spire. The Hunt Museum is one of the most celebrated collections in the country; housed in an 18th century Palladian-style former Custom House, the museum was formed from the collections assembled by two antique dealers, John and Gertrude Hunt; it contains a highly eclectic mix of artefacts, ranging from Stone Age and mediaeval items, through to drawings and paintings by Renoir, Picasso and Jack B Yeats. Limerick City Art Gallery also houses a fine collection of work by Yeats, as well as those of Sean Keating; the gallery is also well-known for a continually-changing programme of temporary exhibitions, and for a long-running annual contemporary art exhibition.
Foynes – A major deep-water seaport on the southern banks of the Shannon estuary, the village is home to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum. The village is also the location of the annual 'Irish Coffee Festival'; the beverage is said to have been invented in Foynes, to help warm-up aviation passengers, and the village makes much of its local connections.
Castleconnell – In an area known for its fine 19th century buildings, to the south of the village lie the Palladian ruins of Mountshannon House. The local area is a popular destination for anglers, with both a coarse and sports fishing history stretching back into the 19th century, and Trout and Salmon to be found in the local waters. Whooper Swans are just a small indication of the rich birdlife to be found here on the banks of the River Shannon.
Lough Gur – Situated near to the town of Bruff, the Lough is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. The lake itself is sheltered by the limestone hills that are such a feature of County Limerick, and the remains of an ancient farmstead draw visitors to an area that is thought to have been continuously inhabited for more than 5,500 years.
King John's Castle – The impressive fortifications of King John's Castle, on King's Island, face out to the River Shannon, and although this 13th century construction, with its massive gatehouse, was damaged many times, including by a Great Siege that took place in 1642, the grand edifice is still an imposing feature on the local landscape.
Bunratty Castle – This impressive tower house on the banks of the River Shannon, just over the county border and into County Clare, has its origins as a 13th century motte and bailey castle, but after various incarnations it is now run by a local heritage trust, providing mediaeval banquets, alongside a living museum in the form of a folk village.
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