Shannon Dolphin Centre

County Clare

The 170-plus bottlenose dolphins swimming out in the Shannon are monitored by this dedicated research facility. In addition to learning about its latest work, you can listen to acoustic recordings and watch a 20-minute film about the playful cetaceans, a population unique to the area.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Clare attractions

1. St Senan's Church

0.38 MILES

St Senan’s Catholic church has a lovely rose window as well as four stained-glass windows by well-known early-20th-century artist Harry Clarke.

2. Vandeleur Walled Garden

0.88 MILES

Within a 170-hectare forest 800m south of the centre, this stunning 'lost' garden was the private domain of the wealthy Vandeleur family – merchants and…

3. Scattery Island

1.66 MILES

This uninhabited, windswept and treeless island in the estuary 3km southwest of Kilrush was the site of a Christian settlement founded by St Senan in the…

4. Tarbert Bridewell Courthouse & Jail

6.61 MILES

If you're catching the ferry between Tarbert and County Clare, take time to visit the renovated Tarbert Bridewell Courthouse, which has exhibits …

5. Doonbeg Castle

6.72 MILES

The ruined 16th-century tower next to the graceful stone bridge over the River Doonbeg is all that remains of Doonbeg Castle – its entire garrison was…

6. Doughmore Bay

7.62 MILES

A long, sweeping 2km stretch of golden sand, Doughmore Bay is 4km north of the village. There's often good surf here; rent equipment in Lahinch.

7. White Strand

8.06 MILES

Secluded White Strand (Trá Ban) offers relatively safe swimming sheltered from the Atlantic swells. With a Blue Flag rating, the 250m beach is patrolled…

8. Lartigue Monorailway

12.87 MILES

Designed by Frenchman Charles Lartigue, this unique survivor of Victorian railway engineering once ran between Listowel and Ballybunion along the coast…