We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Whole family enjoyed this”
Review of Craggaunowen

Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience, Ireland’s original award winning Pre-historic Park. Come and explore the roots of the people, homesteads, animals and artifacts of our Celtic ancestors of over 1,000 years ago which have touched and shaped how we live today. **Please note this attraction is open APRIL TO SEPTEMBER ONLY**
Reviewed 4 September 2013

We took a detour off the main motorway to come here when driving from Galway to Cork. The park is located just north of Limerick, and although our tour books said it was well-signed, we did not find that to be the case. A GPS or written directions would have been helpful.

However, we did arrive. Based on the website, I was expecting a park with a larger footprint and staff dressed in period clothing while re-enacting activities of daily living. Apparently, they do that one or two days per summer, and on the day we visited two women were spinning wool. Not the most exciting, and a little disappointing given our expectations, we we enjoyed the rest of the heritage park nonetheless.

The tower and the craggaun are explained so well in the reviews below that I won't attempt to improve upon the descriptions here. The small campfire in front of the craggaun contributed to the atmosphere. Be sure to go through the claustrophobia-inducing cellar of the craggaun and climb the ladder to the main living space. The replica of St. Brendan's boat that was constructed by the team re-enacting his voyage is housed in in a separate building. It is the last stop on the self-guided tour so be sure not to miss it.

On the Wednesday when we visited there were only a few cars in the parking lot. The park is located among lush greenery at the top of a hill, and it is hard to convey the peaceful setting. At the end of our tour, we enjoyed a pot of tea and delicious scones on the patio outside the visitor center.

3  Thank jklNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (178)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

121 - 125 of 178 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2013

This place was totally off our radar; we learned about it from our B&B hostess. We were pleasantly surprised--the whole family enjoyed it. There are several examples of structures from prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland. There is a nicely restored 1550s castle house, complete with a collection of antique furnishings--lots of fun to imagine what it might have been to live here. There are several hut-type structures--some on a crannog (man-made island) and some inside a ringfort. (This was interesting because we had seen ringforts elsewhere in Ireland, but this demonstrates what it would have been like to live in one.) One of the structures had underground passages that we had fun walking through. There are other displays, such as a cooking site and a lathe that allow you to visualize how early people made their food and possessions. The highlight is The Brendan, a boat that was built in the 1970s to test the legend that St. Brendan had found the New World as early as the 6th century.
The only thing that would improve this place would be if there were more staff around to either re-enact or answer questions. (There were two women doing a nice demonstration of spinning and weaving in the tower house--it would have been fantastic to see someone cooking in the pit or working the lathe!) Also, the walks between the display areas are beautiful, lush, green forest. We highly recommend this!

3  Thank McLinden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

If you wonder how people lived over the last thousand years or more, the examples here will give you a good feel for what life was like. The guided tour is informative but too brief to make you feel like a history major. Like many sites in County Clare it's off the beaten path, so the drive is paart of the experience.

Thank Mister_Boffo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013

I wanted to bring the family to the festival so that my fourteen year old would be able to get information and photographs so he could use them for history projects etc at school. He moaned a lot at the idea of going but he ended up really enjoying it. He got to see the weapons and armor up close see how they were made and demonstrations on how they were used. My seven year old loved seeing how the people lived and how money was made. The charioteer was very animated and interesting. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere on the day the people were very approachable and informative. This attraction is only a short distance from my home and I am ashamed to say this was the first time I had attended the lughnasa festival. I will be back and priced at 24.50 euro for two adults and up to six children there is no reason not to.

2  Thank NeedABreak2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

We visited Craggaunowen on Monday 05th August with our 3 children during the Lughnasa Festival. It was just fantastic and we all really enjoyed our day going back in time. The 13th century Anglo-Norman drill is a must see it was so interesting and informative. Our boys (aged 5 & 8) were so excited to see the knight and soldiers. The display of Anglo-Norman field equipment was great to see. The " knights and soldiers" were very happy to chat about the swords etc. It just added to the experience to meet all various characters throughout the park. We really enjoyed our day and look forward to the next Lughnasa Festival.

Thank zorofamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Craggaunowen also viewed

Bunratty, County Clare
County Clare, Province of Munster
County Clare, Province of Munster

Been to Craggaunowen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing