This may be a controversial statement but I really do believe that County Clare, the Banner County, is the most beautiful county in Ireland! For all non-Irish who are reading, the Republic of Ireland is made up of 26 counties, and the whole of Ireland is 32 counties (includes Northern Ireland), each is unique in it’s own way. But Clare has the most to offer and the best to offer, quantity and quality. Maybe I’m being bias as I grew up here, I’ll let you decide after you read this article!
- Bunratty – Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a major tourist spot for obvious reasons. The folk park is full of old Irish cottages from all over the country as well as the very impressive 15th Century Castle. After a day at the folk park a pint in Durty Nelly’s is a must!
- Doolin – Doolin is quite a small village but it’s a lovely place to stop while driving along the Wild Atlantic Way. Doolin hosts an annual folk festival during the summer and as they put it ‘powerful music in an intimate setting’. Doolin Caves are also worth a visit as they have impressive stalactites.
- The Burren – The Burren is karst landscape unique to County Clare. Here you have cliffs, caves, fossils and beaches. My favourite beach is Fanore which is where I spent all my childhood summers. Aillwee Caves and the Birds of Prey Centre are worth a stop while in the Burren too.
- Father Ted’s House – Who knew Craggy Island is actually in the middle of County Clare? Sure that’s mad, Ted!
- Lisdoonvarna – A place so good it has it’s own song and a world famous matchmaking festival held annually! Need I say more?
- Loop Head – Cute little lighthouse and a really lovely cliff walk!
- Willie Clancy Week – This is a music festival held in Miltown Malbay. A week of craic agus ceoil!
- Dromoland – Dromoland Castle is a 5 star hotel and golf course where some celebrities have stayed. The grounds of the Castle are pretty huge and the public are welcome to go for walks and feed the ducks.
- Kilrush – Another great place to stop while driving the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s a nice coastal town with a lovely marina.
- Lahinch – Lahinch is a lovely surfers town with loads of water sports on offer and plenty of pubs to relax in after.
- Poulnabrone Dolmen – This is an ancient portal tomb dating somewhere between 4200 BC and 2900 BC, older than the Pyramids and older than Newgrange!
- Cliffs of Moher – The Cliffs are Ireland’s most visited natural tourism spot and for good reason. Over a 1 million people visited the Cliffs last year. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
I know I left out a few things here, so I might have to do a part two! If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear. If you want to visit County Clare or if you agree that it is the most beautiful County in Ireland I would love for you to share this with your friends.