Some twelve kilometres west of Limerick, bypassed by the main N18 Ennis road, lies the village of Bunratty whose castle and folk park form one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. A castle was first built here in 1277 during the Anglo-Normans’ brief occupation of southeast Clare, though the present version dates back to the mid-fifteenth century and was constructed for the MacNamaras, a branch of the O’Brien clan. Majestically restored in the 1950s, its keep contains an impressive array of artwork and furniture, mostly dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the evenings “medieval” banquets are staged here, their entertainment consisting of a somewhat twee form of traditional dance, music and song. The expansive castle grounds host the folk park, a recreation of a nineteenth-century village, replete with post office, shops, a church and a pub, all populated by actors in contemporary dress.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

With its remote beauty, rugged landscapes and windswept coastlines, Ireland is a photographer's dream. Here, Philip Joyce shares some of his best pictures of…

23 Aug 2016 • Philip Joyce insert_drive_file Article
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

15 Aug 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 Jun 2016 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month