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Adare

Overtouted as 'Ireland's prettiest village', Adare's fame centres on its string of thatched cottages built by 19th-century English landlord, the Earl of Dunraven, for workers constructing Adare Manor. Today the pretty cottages house craft shops and fine restaurants, while prestigious golf courses nearby cater to golf enthusiasts. The Irish name for Adare is Áth Dara – the Ford of the Oak.

The village is 16km southwest of Limerick. Tourists arrive here by the busload, clogging the roads (the busy N21 is the village's main street). As it's thronged with visitors at weekends, book accommodation and restaurants in advance.

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