Ten reasons to visit Ireland’s prettiest village

Adare has long been recognised as Ireland’s prettiest village.  We like to think it is also the friendliest!  Beyond the warmth of our welcome, there are lots of reasons to visit our village.  Here are our top ten.

1. The local history

Adare’s history stretches back all the way to the time of the Norman Conquest.  Its historical attractions include Desmond Castle, one of the best-preserved Norman castles in the country, three ancient monasteries and picture-perfect rows of thatched cottages built by the 19th Century English landlord, the Earl of Dunraven, for workers constructing Adare Manor.  The locality is also the place from which the Methodist Church in North America was born.  In 1760, Philip Embury and his cousin Barbara Heck were among a group of Palatines who emigrated from the nearby Rathkeale area and settled in New York.  With Barbara Heck’s encouragement, Philip Embury became the first Methodist Pastor in North America, founding John Street Church located in the heart of New York’s financial district and which is still used for worship today.  Many direct descendants of the original Palatine settlers continue to live in the area.

The Desmond Castle, Adare. Failte Ireland Global Greening, St. Patrick’s Day 2021

2. Food and drink

Long before Adare Manor’s Oak Room restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star, the village had built a reputation for an award-winning dining.  You can literally graze your way through the village, with places for breakfast, lunch and dinner…and everything in-between.  Some of our favourites include Restaurant 1826, The Wild Geese, The Good Room, Oak & Apple, Sean Collins & Sons Bar, Pat Collins Bar, the Maigue Restaurant at the Dunraven Arms, and Aunty Lena’s & Adare Court House. And not forgetting our own wonderful dining experiences here at Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel including Timmy Macs Bistro and our newly opened Treehouse, our outdoor food and coffee cabin.

3. Local walks and hikes

As well as our own Woodlands Walking Trail there are lots of walks and hikes on our doorstop.  Why not walk along the bank of the River Maigue along the accessible easy pavement walk which starts beside St. Nicholas Church or wander through the beautiful park in the village?  Also nearby is the Limerick Greenway, a 40km walking and cycling off-road route running along the old railway line connecting the towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale; the Broadford-Ashford Walking Trails, Curraghcase Forest Park, Glin Heritage Walks and Knockfierna mountain.

4. Golfing galore

We have two superb golf courses within a stone’s throw of the resort.  The first is the internationally acclaimed golf course at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort which is due to host the 2027 Ryder Cup.  Next door to that lies the 18-hold parkland Adare Manor Golf Course which boasts almost as many historical features as it has challenging airways, which includes the magnificent ruins of the Franciscan Abbey which dominate the centre of the course.  Other courses within an easy drive of Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa include Lahinch Golf Club, home to the 2019 Irish Open; Dromoland Castle Golf Course; Trump International Golf Links at Doonbeg and the magnificent Ballybunion Golf Club to name but a few.

5. Fishing

West Limerick is a popular spot for game and coarse fishing fanatics boasting many excellent fishing opportunities.  And, we are happy to transform whatever you land into your own fish supper!  Our neighbours, Adare Manor, have their own resident ghillie to help you navigate the stretch of river running through its grounds which is home to both trout and salmon.  Hidden away off the main road to Foynes is the beautiful Bleach Lough, a 55-acre spring water lake stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout, along with Perch, Rudd, Roach and Pike.  The Shannon Estuary has also become extremely popular for inshore sea angling with more than 30 species of fish present in the water. 

6. Retail Therapy

People travel from far and wide to shop in Adare village, particularly for fashion, art and antiques.  International designer brands are to be found in Adare’s many clothing and footwear boutiques, which offer a wide selection of casual, work and occasion wear.  We love milliner Aisling Maher’s boutique, Isobel, Lady Penelope, and Zapato Shoes as well as Draiocht Art Gallery, Adare Cottage, Annette’s Boutique and Lucy Erridge both of which are housed in a 200-year-old thatched cottages.  Also, don’t miss the shops at Adare Heritage Centre.

7. Sumptuous Spas

Our award-winning Revas Spa is the perfect haven for relaxation.  In addition to 18 tranquil treatment rooms, a hair salon, beauty rooms and relaxation lounge, Revas Spa also boasts a refreshing Thermal Suite which includes a foot spa, sensation showers, crystal steam room, herb sauna, outdoor hot tub and Havana Relaxation Lounge.  Next door, The Spa at Adare Manor is the first in Ireland to offer customised facial and body treatments from the legendary skincare brand La Mer.

Revas Spa at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel

8. Location

One of our biggest assets is our location.  Adare is close to Shannon Airport and the Wild Atlantic Way, an hour away from Kerry and Galway and less than two hours away from Dublin and Cork.  Not only is the village extremely accessible, but it makes for the perfect day-trip base to a wealth of places, all within easy reach.  We love heading to Co. Clare to explore The Burren and Cliffs of Moher, spending time enjoying the beautiful town of Killaloe/Ballina which sits on the shore of Lough Derg, and visiting the town of Birr with its imposing castle, gardens and science centre, home to the famous Great Telescope. 

9. Tying the knot

Not everyone who gets married in Adare lives in Adare.  In fact, Adare is a popular destination for couples in Ireland and overseas who are looking for a beautiful backdrop for their happy day.  We were the first hotel in the region to host civil ceremonies and since have grown to be the number one venue for civil and humanist ceremonies, blessings and ring exchanging ceremonies in Limerick and the wider mid-west region.  Adare Village is also home to three historic churches, all of which welcome couples from outside the area, and full of Instagram-worthy photo spots.

10. Spending time with the family

Adare is the perfect spot for spending time with the family.  With plenty of things to see and do, all generations are guaranteed to enjoy a break away in our beautiful village.  Castles, culture, playgrounds, parks, outdoor adventures, great food and drink and an all-important baby-sitting service awaits! 

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