I just thought I'd post this up so that others might get an idea of what is possible as a day trip to Co. Clare from Limerick.
Last Sunday was Easter Sunday. The sun was shining and Grandma was away and elder daughter was studying for final exams in Cork so it was just the four of us. We'd been to a fabulous Easter Vigil Service the night before and got up late. Well, three of us got up late, the fourth (aged 17 and three quarters) - after much persuasion and a number of threats - emerged after mid-day. A picnic was packed, rolls and the Sunday Newspapers were bought.
We finally left home at 12.40. There were two BIG matches on in the Gaelic Grounds (Galway v Kilkenny and Clare v Tipperary) and the traffic around the Condell and Ennis Road areas was crazy. There was a traffic jam on the Ennis Road out as far as Setrights Cross (for those of you who know the area, thats a LONG traffic jam). We drove up the M18 - N18 as far as Ardrahan and then turned off to the left and went over to Kinvara.
Kinvara is one of my favourite places and we normally call in if we're on the way home from Galway. However, the day that was in it, it was packed. We took a walk around the town (beautiful as ever) and decided to head down the coast.
We drove as far as New Quay, which is a beautiful little area on the sea, and went down to the beach area. We had a lovely picnic in the car, overlooking the sea and took a walk. Part of the road near the beach has been damaged and the loop road out to Finvarra from the beach in New Quay is impassible - damaged irreparably, I'd think. So we went to Finvarra Martello Tower via one of the "inland" roads. It is still beautiful and the sea was an incredible colour. Very calm as well despite the winds.
We then drove down to the Burren Perfumery, arriving at about 4pm (closing time at the moment is 5pm) - which I recommend a lot here www.burrenperfumery.com Had a lovely cuppa and scones in the little coffee shop. Then we took a walk around the herb garden and then visited the perfumery shop. Lots of lovely scents to try and grumpy 17 and three quarters year old actually smiled when she bought a lovely vanilla and lavender scent. Male thirteen year old liked the scents a lot too (particularly the very masculine ones) but asked me not to mention it as boys/teen-men aren't supposed to express appreciation for such things. It really was nice. And was very busy.
We then drove to the nearby Poulnabrone Dolmen which was very busy. Here you can get to see some of the Burren limestone up close. The light was good and I got some nice photographs. Again very much worth a visit.
We then drove down towards Lahinch, arriving at about 6.15. We wanted to see how the repairs were going. Some of you may not be aware that Lahinch Prom was totally damaged by the winter storms. We were very pleasantly surprised to see that Clare County Council had done some wonderful repairs and many of the businesses were back in operation. The playground is also back in operation. Sea World, sadly, is not. And you could see how strong the storms had been by the damage to some of the metal shuttering.
We then returned home to Limerick and were lucky enough to get a table in the Cornstore on Thomas Street, on spec. This is easily one of our favourite restaurants and the food was, as usual, spectacularly good. We've NEVER had a bad meal here and the staff are always extremely pleasant. Even if you don't want to eat there, they have a lovely cocktail bar.
We had a very enjoyable day and for those of you without a grumpy 17 and three quarter year old (for hire - reasonable rates, please PM me!!) you could visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in the morning and still manage the rest in a relaxed and easy manner.Edited: 23 April 2014, 10:16