These are a few places to visit in Clare – jus a few of the numerous interesting destinations in the county – more later.
This is situated in the the village of Mountshannon, between the main street and the harbour and includes a children’s play area and a fascinating maze which is a journey through time.
The origins of Aistear Iniscrealta can be found in a Rectory Field, saved by local inhabitants who didn’t want it to swallowed under bricks and mortar. This was the last green space in the area, and they wanted it to remain as an amenity for the community, visitors and their children’s children to come. This was achieved with the opening of Aistear Park on June 21, 2000. An image of the Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) can be seen on the arch of the entrance gate, if you look closely. Inis Cealtra is classed as one of Ireland’s premier monastic sites, and is located on Lough Derg, which is down the road from the village.
Aillwee Cave consists of a kilometre-long tunnel which stretches as far as Aillwee Hill. Bear Haven, Mud Hall and the Cascade Chamber are the three chambers which together comprise the original show cave. Beyond this is the Highway, the largest cavern in the Burren with a length of 90m and a height of 20m. It starts at a sharp dip in the floor where the show cave runs out. Where the Highway ends, the River Cavern begins. From here the roar of the cave river echoes around the caves.
AirVenture Aviation Centre
Anyone who has ever asked themselves what it feels like to fly an airplane should head to the Atlantic AirVenture Aviation Centre for an unforgettable, incredible experience. Unique in Ireland, this is the home of a Boeing 737-80 Flight Simulator, which consists of the cockpit of a genuine retired airplane. Kids of all ages, solo or in groups, can experience the wonder of flight in this most educational of environments. The original control columns and throttle, amongst many other original Boeing parts, are still intact on the flight deck, making this as authentic an experience as possible.
The tranquil Ballyalla Lake is only 4km from Ennis. Ramblers who use the lakeside walking area can admire the huge variety of wildfowl (approximately 5,000 individuals) who make use of this wildlife sanctuary during the winter months. The sheer numbers have resulted in Ballyalla Lake being listed amongst Europe’s prime lakes for observing wildfowl. The River Fergus flows through this 60 acre lake, off the Gort Road. Pike, tench, rudd, perch trout and salmon are all found here.
Everything created by Ballymorris Pottery is dishwasher and microwave safe. It is also lead free. The workshop in Cratloe, situated in a 17th century farmhouse, produces exceptional hand thrown pottery. They also teach beginners’ pottery classes in their friendly and welcoming workshop. Here, creativity is encouraged – don’t be afraid to keep trying! It is a good way to gain experience of building by hand, or throwing on the potters wheel. They also create children’s hand prints, and hold children’s classes. Pottery parties are always popular, and are a unique way to celebrate an occasion. Many of their creations, such as their stoneware ceramic angel bell, have a meaning and symbolism. In ancient times, the Celts looked upon angels as protectors, friends and good talismans. These beautiful hand made bells feature a porcelain clapper.