County Clare

Ireland's award-winning prehistoric park features rarities such as crannóg dwellings (artificial islands), re-created Celtic farms, and a 5th-century ring fort, as well as authentic artefacts, including a 2000-year-old oak road. You'll also encounter Craggaunowen Castle (a small, well-preserved medieval fortified house), a souterrain (underground passage) and animals such as wild boars and rare Soay sheep. Craggaunowen is some 10km southeast of Quin.

In a specially built display hall, the Brendan Boat is a leather-hulled vessel built by Tim Severin and sailed across the Atlantic in the 1970s to re-create St Brendan's reputed journey to America in the 6th century.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Clare attractions

1. Quin Friary

3.05 MILES

Impressively intact, this Franciscan friary was founded in 1433 using part of the walls of an older Clare castle built in 1280. Despite many periods of…

2. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

7.88 MILES

Dating from the 15th century, square, hulking Bunratty Castle is only the latest of several edifices to occupy its location beside the River Ratty…

3. Clare Museum


At this diverting little museum, the 'Riches of Clare' exhibition tells the story of Clare from 8000 years ago to the present day using authentic…

4. Ennis Friary

8.31 MILES

North of the Square, Ennis Friary was founded by Donnchadh Cairbreach O'Brien, a king of Thomond, between 1240 and 1249. A mix of structures dating…

5. Ennis Cathedral

8.32 MILES

Consecrated in 1843, this impressive structure had its tower and spire added in 1874, and was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1990. A highlight…

6. Daniel O'Connell Monument

8.33 MILES

Set on a soaring column, a statue of Daniel O'Connell (aka the 'Great Liberator') presides over the Square.

7. Dromore Wood

11.1 MILES

Extending along a lovely river, Dromore Wood encompasses some 400 hectares of picturesque Irish woodland as well as the ruins of the lakeside 17th-century…

8. Thomond Park Stadium

11.39 MILES

From 1995 until 2007, the Munster province rugby team was undefeated in this legendary stadium; it was also the venue for their famous victories over New…