Adare, County Limerick
One of Ireland's prettiest villages
Adare is a village in County Limerick, Ireland. Renowned as one of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare is designated as a heritage town by the Irish government.
Adare is 15 km south-west of Limerick city on the principal Kerry-Limerick road (N21). It can be easily accessed by bus or taxi from Limerick, although a car would be an advantage. As a village, Adare is best explored on foot.
All accommodation in and around the village is of the highest quality. There is a wonderful choice of hotels, comfortable family run B&Bs and self-catering cottages.
Image: Adare high street
Adare is a good location for onward touring around the southwest of Ireland as Tralee and Killarney are about 1hr 30 min away by car. Adare is a nice location to cycle around and from as the local roads are generally quiet.
What to see
The best place to start viewing Adare is from the Adare Heritage Centre. The principal sights include:
Desmond Castle - stands on the north bank of the Maigue. An extensive renovation has been in progress on the castle since 1996 and supervised tours are offered in the summer months.
Augustinian friary (now the Church of Ireland) - The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1316 by John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare. The Priory was suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII. In 1807, the church of the Priory was given to the local Church of Ireland congregation as the parish church. In 1814, the refectory was roofed and converted into a schoolhouse. Between 1852 and 1854, a second restoration of the church was undertaken by Caroline, Countess of Dunraven.
Trinitarian friary (now the Catholic Church) - The Trinitarian Order established their only monastery in Ireland in Adare in 1230. It is believed that the Trinitarian monks who came to Adare may have come from Scotland. The Abbey was restored in 1811 by the first Earl of Dunraven as the Catholic Parish church.
Franciscian friary (ruin) - The Franciscan friary was founded in 1464 by Thomas Fitz-Maurice, 7th Earl of Kildare and his wife Joan, and completed two years later. It is currently a ruin and is located inside the Adare Manor Golf Club. Every Easter Sunday a dawn mass is celebrated in the Abbey.
Thatched cottages - throughout the village.
Adare has two golf courses, the Adare Manor Golf Club and Adare Golf Club. The Adare Golf Club, home to the 2007 Irish Open, also boasts a driving range.
Clonshire equestrian centre is a must for show-jumping enthusiasts.
There is a medium-sized park in the center of the village for walks.
The library is located next to the Heritage Centre (across from the Village Hall).
Knockpatrick Gardens, an award winning 3 acre garden overlooking the scenic Shannon Estuary is located 2 Kms from Foynes on the N69 from Limerick
Food & Drink
Adare is an ideal location for quality food and drink with a choice of superb restaurants. The bars also serve excellent food and hold traditional music nights.