Nestled along the banks of the River Maigue, the picturesque village of Adare is a hidden gem located just 18 kilometers southwest of Limerick city. Steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, Adare offers a fascinating blend of ancient heritage and modern charm.
Explore the Architectural Marvels
Adare’s rich past is evident in its diverse architectural styles. Step back in time as you visit the medieval Desmond Castle, a fortified stronghold built in the 13th century. While public tours are available only between July 1st and September 30th, a glimpse of the castle from the road still offers a sense of its grandeur.
The Trinitarian Abbey, founded in the 13th century by the Fitzgeralds, is another stunning historic site. Today known as Holy Trinity Abbey, this Roman Catholic church welcomes visitors to explore both its interior and exterior. Just a stone’s throw away, you’ll find the Augustinian Friary, a 14th-century structure that now serves as the local Protestant church. Both abbeys are prime examples of medieval craftsmanship and the resilience of history.
Wander Through a Living Postcard
The charm of Adare extends beyond its historic landmarks. As you stroll through the quaint streets, you’ll encounter thatched-roof cottages, brightly painted doors, and beautifully manicured gardens. The village offers a delightful setting for a leisurely walk, with each turn revealing a new picturesque scene.
Adare’s natural beauty is also on full display along the River Maigue. Starting at the Augustinian Friary, a serene riverbank walk meanders through the lush Irish countryside, offering glimpses of local wildlife such as herons, egrets, and otters. This short, peaceful stroll provides a perfect opportunity to soak in the enchanting atmosphere and unwind.
The History of Adare
Adare’s beginnings date back to the 13th century when it was founded as a strategic location and market town along the River Maigue. The original Old Town was destroyed during 16th-century wars, but its modern layout was later planned by the Earl of Dunraven. Adare Manor, a stunning 19th-century mansion, was also built by the Earl and now operates as a luxurious five-star hotel.
We checked the prices to stay at the manor (as of April 2023), it wasn’t cheap at €2,500+ per night for two:
Though there were cheaper options – a one night stay and activity package at €1,540 in June for 2 people.
Reaching Adare is straight forward by car or public transport.
If driving from Limerick, follow the N21 road southwest for around 18 kilometers. For those coming on public transport, several buses connect Limerick to Adare, with the journey taking about 30 minutes.
Once you arrive, the Adare Heritage Centre offers ample free parking for those coming by car and serves as an great starting point for your adventure.