What to See
The Magic of Then and Now in ENNIS
While you’re with us at Elmdale House, be sure to plan at least one day in the town of Ennis – just an 8 minute drive away from our front door. One of Clare’s most character-rich and charming centres, Ennis is situated at the heart of County Clare and is the region’s capital. As an historic town, it’s defined by its myriad of winding streets, lanes and alleyways typical of the Medieval style – while a wealth of historical buildings, places of interest and a very lively market town atmosphere make it a must-see.
One of the unique things about Ennis is its unusual mix of old and new. If you love history, Ennis won’t disappoint, with highlights including the Franciscan Friary that dates back to 1242, the Clare Museum . Poor Clares Monastery and O’Connell Monument. At the same time, there’s something very ‘now’ about this picture-perfect town.
If you’re in the mood for some shopping, you’ll find Ennis (the Boutique Capital of Clare) a real treat – offering everything from traditional Irish
woolens and crafts, to designer fashion. There’s also a treasure-trove of restaurants and eateries, making Ennis a popular foodie destination – while the many pubs and bars offer a warm Irish welcome and live, traditional Irish music.
Find out more www.visitennis.com
The Culture and Colour of GALWAY
We’re big on ‘feeling at home’ at Elmdale, it’s part of who we are – and we think you’ll find this a similar warmth in the city of Galway – a jewel of a place with so much to offer, just 45 minutes from our home. Cultural, bohemian, a little bit quirky and a whole lot unusual, Galway is great because it offers you a wonderful city experience combined with beautiful beaches and a long, winding promenade.
Spend the day here and you’ll quickly lose yourself in the winding cobbled streets with their colourful shop fronts and buzzing street café culture. The shopping is top class, offering everything from international brands to local Irish designs – and you’ll be kept entertained by talented buskers, street theatre and local artists of every kind, all the way. As a cultural hot-bed, the city is famous for its manyfestivals – so be sure to check out what’s on while you’re visiting. The annual Galway Arts Festival and the Races are just some of the town’s big events.
Find out more www.galway-ireland.ie
A World of Wonder in THE BURREN
Dramatic, haunting and fascinating, the Burren national park is the pride and joy of our region – and we can’t wait to share it with you. Derived from the Gaelic word ‘Boireann’, which means ‘a place of stone’, the Burren is an incredible karst landscape defined by vast limestone pavements which would have covered most of Ireland some 350 million years ago.
A historical and geographical wonder with more than 90 megalithic tombs and portal dolmens, the Burren also has an abundance of wildlife as well as beautiful wildflowers that are indigenous to the area. One of the most popular ways to take it all in is The Burren Way walking trail, running from Doolin to Ballyvaughan. Remember too that free guided walks are held daily in the summer months, departing from the Burren National Park Information Point in Corofin.
Find out more www.burren.ie
Views of Forever at CLIFFS OF MOHER
It’s simply impossible to come to Clare and not experience the Cliffs of Moher – especially as they are just a 40 minute drive away from Elmdale House. Ireland’s most visited natural attraction , the Cliffs offer one million visitors the most incredible of views every year and are a Signature Discovery Point in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. They stretch for 8km as the crow flies, along the Atlantic coast of County Clare, and reach 214m at their highest point.
From here you can see the Clare coastline, the Aran Islands and the beautiful mountains of Kerry and Connemara, stretched out before you. Once at the Cliffs, you’ll find there’s so much to see and do: perhaps follow one of the many walking trails, visit the impressive Visitor Experience Centre and learn the history of the Cliffs, or go in search of some of the 60 000 nesting sea birds that live in the area.
Find out more www.cliffsofmoher.ie
A Hidden World at AILLWEE CAVES
To explore Clare in a completely different way, head for Aillwee Caves: a mysterious underworld of caverns, chasms, strange formations, awesome stalactites and a mighty waterfall. You can also see the hibernation chambers of the brown bears that once roamed this region.
Right next door is the fascinating Birds of Prey Centre which is a real treat for the whole family. The Centre has one of the largest and most varied collection of birds of prey in Ireland, including eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures. There are daily flying displays while expert bird handlers, audio guides and information boards provide detailed information on all the birds you’ll see.
Find out more www.aillweecave.ie
History Alive at BUNRATTY CASTLE AND FOLK PARK
A pleasant 15 minute drive takes you to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, both of which really do offer something for everyone. The much-acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland, dating back to 1425 and restored in 1954.
Then there is Bunratty Folk Park – a wonderful recreated experience of village life in the 19th century. The new retail emporium here also offers a premium shopping experience – featuring some of the best in Irish craft and design.
Find out more www.shannonheritage.com
Sheer Beauty at LOOP HEAD PENINSULA
Nothing beats the drive out to this beautiful peninsula that forms the most westerly point of County Clare – and once there, there’s so much on offer. The cliff views are just breathtaking and there are plenty of beauty spots to simply stop awhile and enjoy the moment. Here you’re in the land of seafood, and there’s an abundance of excellent eateries serving up the tastiest of fare, fresh from the fishing boats.
If you’re feeling active, there are lots of water sports on offer too, along with walking trails and wonderful opportunities for cycling.Loop Head is a 1 hour 20 minute drive from Elmdale House – and the incredible drive there is part of the experience.
Find out more www.loophead.ie
What to Do
Enjoy the craic with TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC
County Clare is very proud of its cultural traditions and our musical roots run deep. From the street to cosy restaurants and bars you’ll find impromptu music ‘sessions’ taking place – and everyone’s invited to join in. Small, unexpected places like Lisdoonvarna come alive with music during the summer months – while Doolin is recognised as the home of the traditional Irish sound.
Perhaps the most important event on the traditional music calendar though is the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann which Ennis is honoured to host in 2016 and 2017. A time for all amateur musicians from around Ireland and across the globe, to come together and share their passion for music, their skills and their talents – and to compete for the coveted All-Ireland champion title.
For a list of nightly sessions, find out more www.visitennis.com
The West coast of Ireland is a dream destination for fishing folk, offering just about every variation of the sport. Right on your doorstep at Elmdale House, the River Fergus is a noted dry-fly river and in the lower lying areas it is a rewarding spring salmon fishery. The Shannon Estuary is a popular course angling spot, offering pike, roach and bream – while the Atlantic gives you some of the best pier, beach and cliff fishing opportunities.
Bass, plaice, flounder, turbot and mackerel can all be enjoyed. For great salmon, bass, mullet and sea trout fishing, check out Doonbeg Bay. Just ask us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction – and arrange a packed lunch for your trip too!
Find out more www.clare.ie
See Clare ON FOOT
Whether you’re into strenuous cross-country treks, an invigorating hike or just a relaxing walk through the countryside – our county has it all! A highlight for you has to be The Burren Way – a 123 km walking trail which brings you inland from Lahinch on the Western side of the Burren to Doolin on the coast and on to Ballyvaughan.
It’s simply beautiful countryside, panoramic views and coastal splendor all the way! The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walking Trail takes you up over the cliffs, from Liscannor to Doolin, incorporating some of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland. Or, if street walking is more your style, the Medieval Walking Trail guides you through the winding streets of Ennis and provides a fascinating look at the town of old.
Find out more www.clare.ie
Take a BIKE RIDE
Clare is your cycling heaven – with a million country roads and pretty lanes leading you to hidden seaside coves, rural villages, towns, castles and historic sites. You’ll find there is little or no traffic, so it’s always a safe and enjoyable experience too. Favourite routes include The Burren Cycleway, the Rock Garden of Clare, the Loop Head Cycleway and the West Clare Cycleway.
If you’re up for the competitive stuff, the area also offers some longer, more challenging routes and several competitive races are held here, including the An Post Tour de Burren and The SKODA Granfondo Hibernia race.
Find out more www.clare.ie
Get with the GOLF
Elmdale House makes the perfect base for a golfing holiday – putting you within easy reach of premium golf courses that rank among the world’s best. Most of the courses are links, combining premium golfing with world-class locations and views.
Close to hand is Ennis Golf Club – a perfectly manicured 18-hole, Par 70, parkland course with tree-lined fairways and tight greens that provides a good challenge to players, while also being perfect for the holiday golfer. There’s also a very fine clubhouse with a large, modern lounge bar and dining room.
You can find out more here Ennis Golf Club
Dromoland Golf Course has been described as an ‘experience never to be forgotten’, set on 410 acres of shady woodland and open rolling pasture with lakes and streams. The course plays 6,824 yards for men and 5,242 yards for ladies and is easily one of the finest 18 hole parkland golf courses in the country.
You can find out more here Dromoland Golf Club
Lahinch Golf Course is a world-famous course and is known as Ireland’s Saint Andrews – a links course with a heritage that stretches back to 1894 when it was first designed. The Club is steeped in tradition and history and combines a premium golfing experience with the incredible backdrop of the Atlantic Coast. Exactly what you want for an on-vacation game.
You can find out more here Lahinch Golf Club
Beautifully located in Doonbeg, Trump International Golf Links was designed by Greg Norman and has been voted Best New International Golf Course’ by Golf Digest. It combines ancient sand dunes with soft, rolling hills for a challenging and rewarding game.
You can find out more here Trump International Golf Links, Ireland