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Sites and Sights Within Striking Distance of East Clare Holiday Village, Bodyke
26 Apr 2010“by Sarnia G : I Heart Ireland”
based on 0 votes
East Clare Holiday Village (aka East Clare Golf Resort) at Bodyke is a popular destination for many visitors from America.
It is located in a quiet rural area of east Clare and a rental car is essential for exploring the area.
This region is famous for its traditional Irish music; try to spend a night at Peppers pub, or Shortt's pub, both in Feakle, which is approximately 20-minute drive away.
Below, find details of places to visit on day-trips from the resort. If visiting "out of season" between mid-October through mid-March please do check opening times before setting out, as some sites may be closed or have shorter opening hours during this period.
Bodyke lies approximately 42km from Bunratty, and should take around1hr (each way) along rural roads.
Bunratty Castle is a fine example of an Irish Castle, and you will discover many interesting types of building in the Folk Park. There are also a few farm animals - and look out for the Irish Wolfhounds. Expect to spend 2-3hrs if you visit the Folk Park and Castle.
Just across the road from the Castle you will find Blarney Woollen Mills, a small complex of shops selling souvenirs and quality items: woollens, crystal etc.
Bunratty Village has several pubs and restaurants to choose from.
Open from May to September, this prehistoric park holds a variety of recreated buildings, including a ring fort, an island dwelling and a "fulacht fiadh". Craggaunowen Castle, which dates from 1550 also lies within the park.
Ensure you get an early start so you can explore some of the many interesting places on the Burren, which is a unique limestone landscape scattered with historic sites ranging from prehistoric tombs to ancient strongholds, medieval churches and monastic settlements.
In Springtime, (end of April - beginning of June are the best months) this area is covered with a wonderful display of mediterranean and arctic flowers growing side by side. These plants grow in tiny crevices in the rock, known as "grykes" and are difficult to see unless you take a walk across the limestone pavement.
On the edge of the Burren, a few minutes drive south of the little village of Doolin you will find the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. Factor in approx. 1hr to visit the Cliffs. Note: parking charge at car park, plus charge if you wish to visit the "Atlantic Edge" exhibition.
Details of some of my favourite spots in the Burren are listed on the above link.
Spend a day driving around Lough Derg, calling in at pretty towns and villages along the way: Killaloe, Garrykennedy, Dromineer (home to one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world), Terryglass, Portumna, Scarriff and Mountshannon.
In the little village of Puckane, which is not far from Dromineer you will find Puckane Crafts which sells a delightful selection of Irish craftwork, including jewellery, wooden plaques, crystal and pottery. Well worth stopping by if you're looking for something different to take home.
At Mountshannon, you can take a boat across the small stretch of water to Holy Island where you will find remains of an early Christian settlement, including round tower and several churches. A peaceful and interesting spot to spend an hour.
An hour's drive through rural countryside will bring you to the little town of Gort. Just on the outskirts (direction: Galway) on the left-hand side you will see signs to Coole Park, which became famous when Lady August Gregory held literary gatherings attended by the elite of the literary scene at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th Century: W B Yeats, G B Shaw, S O'Casey and Synge were among her acclaimed guests.
Sadly the house no longer stands, but you can walk through beautiful woodland down to the lough, and see the autograph tree where these famous authors carved their initials.
This is a lovely spot for a picnic on a fine day, or enjoy a light snack in the cafe.
Full details on above web-site.
Note: Fans of W B Yeats might also like to visit Thoor Ballylee which was his summer home for 12 years. Sign posted from the main road, it is a short distance from Gort.
For those visiting during the spring/summer months when daylight hours are longer, a visit to the Rock of Cashel could be combined with Cahir Castle, which lies a short drive away. This ruined castle lies on the banks of the River Suir and has several interesting displays inside.