County Clare Journals

expectations exceeded

An October 2000 trip to County Clare by g3

The Burren Photo, County Clare, Ireland More Photos
Quote: As an Irish-American, I had long dreamed of visiting my ancestral home. As an avid and frequent traveler, I have been to some of the world's great destinations. This combination put a lot of pressure on the 'homeland' to meet my extraordinarilly high expectations, and she did not disappoint.

expectations exceeded

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
We spent our first two nights in the town of Doolin, which is really more of a collection of pubs and b&bs with no real town center in the traditional Irish sense. It's proximity to the Cliffs of Moher as well as the quality of the 'trad' music jams played nightly in the pubs is not to be missed. Doolin is also well-positioned for venturing into the Burren, one of the most surreal landscapes we have ever experienced, and well worth exploring for its plethora of ring forts and prehistoric dolmen as well as the picturesque little towns scattered thoughout the region. You could easily explore the Burren by car and foot during the day and be back in Doolin in time for a late dinner and a pint in the ev...Read More

Cullinan's

Hotel

Quote:
Situated at the crossroads of the town, Cullinan''s is right in the center of the ''action'' in a town consisting of half a dozen pubs, a few restaurants and more hostels and B&Bs than you can count. We had booked a room here for our first night in-country and decided to stay an additional night given the proximity to so much that we wanted to see and to the quality of the accomodations. The breakfast was the best we had during our visit. Cullinans was the only b&b we stayed at that actually gave us a menu to order from! While I stayed with the classic Irish breakfast, Raina isn''t much of a meat eater and opted for pancakes one morning and eggs the next. The rooms are all non-smoking and the pine...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2001

Cullinan's
Crossroads of R478 and Fisher Street
County Clare, Ireland

The Doolin Inn

Restaurant

Quote:
Located on the north side of town, this casual restaurant was our first meal in Ireland and set the stage for the rest of our trip; that is, many more good meals. The atmosphere was eclectic and artsy with acoustic folk music and candle-lit tables. The food was very good and the menu quite varied, ranging from pastas to seafood with a mediteranean flair and contemporary treatments of Irish favorites. An enjoyable and reasonable option among the pub grub that the other Doolin establishments featured.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

The Doolin Inn
R478
County Clare, Ireland

O'Connors Pub

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
'Trad,' or traditional, Irish music is known throughout the world, and Doolin has become one of the best places in Ireland to enjoy live trad in it's authentic environment--the pub. While all of the town's pubs feature local and regional musicians who gather nightly to play, we went to Gus O'Connors. The pub itself is like almost any other in the West; smokey, dark and filled with a combination of locals and tourists. We had explored the Burren all day and eaten dinner in the nearby town of Lahinch, so we didn't get to the pub until around 9PM. No problem, since the sessions usually don't get going till aroung 10pm most nights. The music is truly improvisational and depends enti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2001

O'Connors Pub
Doolin, County Clare, Ireland
County Clare, Ireland

The Burren

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

The Burren Photo, County Clare, Ireland
Quote:
Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle" and the many shades of green that prevail in most parts of the country make it clear that the nickname is accurate. The Burren does not lend its support to this description, but it is one of the most unique geological areas in all of Ireland. Almost waterless and sparsely populated, the Burren is a seemingly endless gray, treeless landscape of limestone. It contains prime examples of prehistoric Ireland and other well-preserved archaelogical sites that can be seen in a day or could be the focus of an entire vacation. While the grey limestone dominated our October visit, the remarkable variety of wild flowers that grow here during the spring and summer attract...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

The Burren
Bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay
Northwest County Clare

Craggaunowen

Attraction

Quote:
This is an interesting project designed by a noted archaeologist who was inspired by his nearby excavations to recreate the way of life of prehistoric and early Christian era inhabitants of the region. A highlight of the tour is the reconstructed ring fort (very helpful to get a perspective of what these looked like since ruins of ringforts are almost as prevalent in this part of ireland as cows). Perhaps the most interesting site is the replica of a crannog, an artificial island on which people built thatched-roof huts and traveled to and from in dug-out canoes---seemed more like Polynesia than 14th and 15th century Europe! We spent about three hours here and left feeling we had a deeper understan...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Craggaunowen
R469 near Quin Abbey
County Clare, Ireland

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Attraction | "Bunratty Castle & Folkpark"

Quote:
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, so don't go expecting to get off the beaten path. Do go if you are interested in the history of the Irish people and want to see outstanding recreations of the Irish way of life at the turn of the last century. The anchor of this area is the fully restored Bunratty Castle that is well worth spending an hour or so in. I truly had a sense of what life was like in a castle--and glamorous does not come to mind! In the evenings, mock medieval banquets are held in the castle's great room. We opted out of this event since it was too high up the tourist scale, but we did spend the balance of the day wandering around the folk park that...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Village
County Clare, Ireland