The Shannon Estuary Way is a place where local lives have been shaped by the river, where stories have been shared for centuries and where you can escape on an adventure, be it on land or water. The Shannon Estuary is a place of healing and wellness where you can check in with yourself and your wellbeing while checking out nature and the outdoors. Explore the unique Shannon Estuary Way experiences below and start planning your authentic estuary journey!
Map of the Shannon Estuary Way
Explore the Shannon Estuary Way
Limerick to Clarecastle
Before departing from Limerick, the Gateway City to the Wild Atlantic Way, explore the streets through its eclectic and vibrant street art. Taste the city at Treaty City Brewery. Experience the city’s past by visiting King John’s Castle or it’s rich art and culture at the Hunt Museum or Ormston House.
Cross the border into Clare and travel on to Cratloe to escape to the woods. Your next stop is the unmissable Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Visit the animals at the Petting Zoo or step back in time as you enter the Banquet Hall and take a trip down the village. Don’t forget to re-energise at the traditional Irish pub Durty Nelly’s.
Heading onwards towards Shannon, the Shannon Aviation Museum is a perfect spot to open the minds of both kids and adults. There are plenty of walks in Shannon, such as the Shannon Estuary Looped Walk - perfect for stretching the legs. Travel on to Newmarket-On-Fergus, home of Dromoland Castle & Inn and Mount Arley Gardens and Apiary. Clarecastle is your next stop. Head to the Port of Clare and look out for birds and wildlife by the River Fergus which flows into the Shannon Estuary.
Clarecastle to Labasheeda
From Clarecastle, your next stop is the Gateway Town to the Shannon Estuary Way, Ennis. On your way, pop into Clare Abbey to viit the 12th Century Agustinian Monastery. After discovering the area, head on to roam the quaint streets of Ennis where you will be spoiled for choice for coffee shops and be delighted by the traditional music of the street artists and Custy’s traditional Music Shop.
Head on then to Ballynacally and delight yourself with some pancakes at the Estuary Café after taking a moment of reflection at the nearby grotto or disconnecting at the Shannon Estuary Way Retreat Centre. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the Estuary as you travel on to Kildysart. Pass the old church and graveyard with scenic views out to the estuary as you make your way down to Kildysart pier. Take in the spectacular views of the unspoiled landscape as you journey on and stop off at each of the piers along the way and see how time stops. These are also great stops for any angling and birdwatching enthusiasts.
The next stop is the pretty and colourful town of Labasheeda, home to the Kilkerrin Battery Fort. Take your time here and gaze out at the Estuary from Labasheeda Quay. Rent a bike at Silky Saddles, take your hand at some pottery painting or book in for the evening at either Shannon Estuary Way Glamping or Beds of Silk.
Labasheeda to Kilrush
Follow the quiet country roads and make your way towards Kilmurry McMahon and on to Knock. Stretch the legs at Knock Pier where the estuary birds can be heard singing. Travel on to Killimer and hop on the ferry to Tarbert or continue on to Kilrush, the next Gateway Town to the Shannon Estuary Way.
Take a trip over to Scattery Island from Kilrush Marina and gaze up at the island’s round tower. Learn about how the island’s rich folklore and heritage, from St. Senan to Brian Ború. Be on the lookout for rabbits and hen harriers as you step back in time and explore the island. Kilrush is a market town with plenty of places to eat and drink. Connect with nature while you walk around Kilrush Forest and visit the Vandeleur Walled Gardens.
Stop off at Cappagh Pier, take the plunge and head for a swim and look out to the peculiarly shaped Hogs Island, one of the many estuary islands you will have noticed along the way.
Kilrush to Foynes
It’s time to cross the Estuary now and make our way back towards Killimer to take the ferry over to the Kingdom of Kerry, to Tarbert. Don’t forget to head up to the top deck to take in the views of the mighty Estuary and to look out for some dolphins!
Once disembarked, make a stop at the 1831 Bridewell Courthouse & Jail Museum and learn about the cruel justice system of 19th Century Ireland. Cross the border into Limerick and stretch the legs in Glin. Make a visit to Glin Castle and take in all its grandeur by walking around the Castle Demesne. If you like a little more challenge, why not check out the Knights Walk and learn about the legacy of the Knights of Glin.
Head on then towards Loughill - a perfect stop for the family and home to the impressive Ábha Bhan Parish Playground. Take a walk along the river and try spotting some Kingfishers and jumping Salmon. Head for a splash at Kilteery Pier and dry off before heading to the next town, Foynes.
Foynes to Curraghchase
Travel on to Foynes and see the Estuary from another angle by visiting the Coillte forest and nature trails. Pop into Foynes Flying Boat Museum and learn about the history of commercial transatlantic flights, the invention of the Irish Coffee and the life of the legendary Irish-American actress, Maureen O’Hara. You may need to refuel on energy.
The Foynes Inn serves food 7 days a week. Depending on how hungry you are, another option down the road in Askeaton could be the Belfrey. For those who wish to track their own family heritage, The Askeaton Tourist Office offers a Genealogy service. Take this new knowledge with you as you make your way to Ballysteen and Beagh Castle. Then roam free in Curraghchase Forest Park.
Curraghchase to Limerick
Let the kids go wild at Curraghchase Forest Park as they follow the nature and fairy trails with an ice cream from the Café. Make a visit to see the animals at the Stonehall Wildlife Park. For those with a passion for flowers and plants, pop into the Curraghchase Garden Centre close by. Why not extend your stay and book in at the camping site?
You can meander on to Pallaskenry and visit Ringmoylan Pier. Stop off at Kildimo for a bite to eat at Quinn's De Bucket Bar & Restaurant or visit the Celtic Park Gardens. Travel on towards Clarina and make a stop at Newtown Hedge School Cottage and learn about the Sailor’s Haggard. If you are looking for a playground for the kids to run around, then Mungret playground is the one for you, an accessible and inclusive playground. Explore Mungret’s heritage by visiting the nearby monastery.
Continue on the N69 towards Limerick City and tick anything else you had left to visit like Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby.