County Clare in detail


Don't Miss: Finding Traditional Music in County Clare

Clare is one of Ireland's best counties for traditional music. Musicians here stick resolutely to the jigs and reels of old, often with little vocal accompaniment, without more modern influences such as rock or polkas that are often heard elsewhere.

You'll find pubs with trad sessions at least one night a week in almost every town and village, including the following:

  • Doolin A famous trio of pubs have nightly trad-music sessions. However, tourist crowds can be intense, evaporating any sense of intimacy. An atmospheric alternative is a trad session at the private home of musician Christy Barry, aka Doolin Music House.
  • Ennis You can bounce from one music-filled pub to another most nights, especially in summer, in Clare's largest town.
  • Ennistimon The charming village of Ennistimon has ancient pubs attracting top local talent.
  • Kilfenora This small Burren village has a big musical heritage on show at local pub Vaughan's, with set dancing in its adjacent barn.
  • Miltown Malbay This tiny village hosts the annual Willie Clancy Summer School, one of Ireland's best music festivals. Talented locals perform in pubs throughout the year.