The Meeting of The Wild Atlantic Way
Kilrush is situated by the River Shannon and on the Shannon Estuary Way and Wild Atlantic Way. It is located just half an hour from Ennis, one hour from Limerick and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport.
The designation of Kilrush as one of only 15 Heritage Town in Ireland recognizes its legacy as a landlord estate town with a rich maritime tradition. The town is focused around a market square at the centre, all routes radiate from this point. Many old shopfronts remain and are of a high standard in design and materials. The town has a strong urban core containing a concentration of shops, pubs, restaurants and visitor accommodation, including several tourism-related retail outlets.
Kilrush offers you a range of beautiful beaches that are perfectly surrounded by unspoilt, natural environment. Kilrush Marina is perfectly located for exploring the exciting west coast with its dramatic scenery and enticing anchorages and range of water based activities perfect for all the family. Whether you choose to stay in Kilrush or close by, you’ll find a wealth of exciting activities in and around the area for anyone of all ages.
Cappa is a small rocky beach just by Cappa Pier & Village and is located on the Wild Atlantic Way. Whilst the pier has been extensively used since 1764, today you are more likely to find locals and visitors alike jumping off the pier enjoying the sea at the Shannon estuary’s only blue flag beach. The beach is lifeguard patrolled during the bathing season. There are a range of cycling and walking routes that surround the town.
The West Clare Railway
The West Clare Railway, the shortcomings of which were immortalised in the words of the Percy French song “Are ye right there, Michael”, eventually closed in 1961. However, nearby Moyasta Junction is now home to the West Clare Railway Museum, which runs the original steam locomotive “Slieve Callan”, during the summer season, for steam enthusiasts to enjoy. Close to the town of Kilrush you will also find the coastal town of Kilkee, with it large sandy beach and stunning cliffs walks. Further West lies Loop Head with its imposing lighthouse and quaint coastal villages of Carraigaholt and Kilbaha.
History of Kilrush
The heritage town of Kilrush, was originally a market town and is at the centre of the rich and diverse coastal landscape of the West Clare Peninsula. Set in an unforgettable seascape that features the grand River Shannon, the islands of Hogg and award winning Scattery Island in addition to the picturesque village of Cappa.
The Vandeleur Walled Gardens
The historic Vandeleur Walled Gardens feature beautiful old stonewalls which enclose a sheltered 2.158 acre walled garden, which is set among 420 acres of native woodland and formerly part of the Vandeleur Family Demesne, who designed the town of Kilrush.
A short distance away is Scattery Island which is accessible by ferry transfer; this hidden gem was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Ireland by ‘Irish Independent Readers’ and the best visitor experience in Co. Clare in 2019 (Clare Business Excellence Awards). The island has also been awarded the prestigious EDEN Award (European Destination of Excellence) in 2017. It is home to a monastic settlement, founded by St. Senan and its history stretches from the 5th Century right up to the 19th Century, when the last of the islanders left the island to move to the mainland.
The town features a Marina, with a range of water based activities to enjoy including a ferry service to Scattery Island, Dolphin Watching trips RIB Adventures and an Aqua Park. The town also features the Irish Rural Museum and the Vandeleur Walled Gardens, blue flag beaches and a range of walking and cycling trails to enjoy!
- Vandeleur Walled Gardens- Manicured walled gardens
- Scattery Island Tours – Ferry service to Scattery Island
- West Coast RIB Adventures – Explore the Shannon Estuary and the majestic Ballybunion Cliffs
- Discover Dolphins – Dolphin watching trips on the Shannon Estuary
- West Coast Aqua Park – Family fun on the water!
- The Irish Rural Museum – A museum featuring artifacts from the 1950’s- 1970’s
- St. Senan’s Church – Visit the Harry Clarke Stain Glass windows
- Cappagh Beach – Blue Flag swimming beach
- Coastal Walks & Cycling Routes