If you’re looking for a quiet base to explore Limerick from, Castleconnell is well worth considering.
This charming little village is just a 20-minute drive from the city, yet it feels a world apart from the hustle and bustle.
Throw in some tasty places to eat and some excellent trad pubs and you’ve a wonderful base to explore from.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Castleconnell
Although a visit to Castleconnell in County Limerick is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. A lovely, quiet base
If you’re looking for a quiet base to explore from, Castleconnell is worth considering. It’ll particularly appeal to those looking to experience a small Irish village with buckets of charm and character.
3. Close to endless attractions
Although there aren’t many things to do in Castleconnell itself, the village is surrounded by many of Limerick’s top attractions. It’s also a stone’s throw from many of Clare’s heavy-hitters (the Cliffs of Moher, for example, are under 1.5 hours away).
Finely plonked on the glistening banks of the River Shannon, Castleconnell is a mighty little base for an adventure.
The village takes its name from Castle Connell – a castle now in ruins that overlooks a bend in the Shannon.
The castle was destroyed at the end of the 17th century by the 1st Earl of Athlone’s army (Godert de Ginkell) who was supporting William of Orange’s army.
If you happen to visit, keep an eye out for a big chunk of stone around 50 feet away from the main structure. This is part of the castle wall and it was catapulted to to point by cannon fire during the battle.
The village boasts several beautiful buildings that are well worth having a nosey at. One such example is the former schoolhouse which played home to the Irish Harp Centre for a number of years.
Castleoaks House Hotel is another one worth checking out – this building was once the village’s convent. There’s also Mountshannon House, just south of Castleconnell.
Although now in ruin, it was once a lavish Palladian mansion.
Fishing and sport
Castleconnell is a popular fishing destination thanks to its position on the Shannon. In fact, anglers have been visiting the town since the 19th century.
The town also has an active rowing club that’s on the go since 1983 and it’s home to Limerick’s most successful hurling team (Ahane Hurling Club).
Things to do in Castleconnell (and nearby)
So, there’s a handful of things to do in Castleconnell and there’s endless things to do nearby.
Below, you’ll find everything from historical sites and scenic drives to some of the best walks in Limerick.
1. Tackle the Castleconnell River Walk
The Castleconnell River Walk is 6 km in length and should take you around an hour and a half to complete it. The path starts near the car park next to Castleconnell Castle.
From here, walk east towards Castleconnell leaving the ruins of the castle behind you. At the T-junction turn left and you will soon see woodlands appear in the distance.
As you walk, you’ll be treated to wonderful views of the Shannon. Follow the road passing next to Charco’s Pub and then turn left to return to the car park where the walk began.
2. Or the nearby Bog Walk
Another option is to tackle the nearby Bog Walk. As the name suggests, this trail takes you to a large area of raised bog.
This trail stretches for 6km and will take you around an hour and a half to finish. You start this walk at McGill’s Garden Centre and, with great care, cross the N7 and aim for the bog road.
We’d advise avoiding this one if you visit during winter, as it can get waterlogged and very muddy. It’s gorgeous in summer when the bog comes alive with flowers and wildlife.
3. Take the kids to the Fairy Woods
A trip to the Fairy Woods is a handy option for those of you looking for things to do in Castleconnell with kids. You’ll find it to the south of the village, on the banks of the river.
There’s a car park near the play area and there’s plenty of little fairy houses along the way to lookout for.
The trail follows the river and each fairy house has its own name (keep an eye out for The Log house, The Flower house, The Dutch house, or even The Look Out House).
4. Visit Killaloe and take one of the river cruises
Killaloe is a handy 20-minute spin away it’s arguably one of the most picturesque towns in Ireland.
While this is a lovely spot for a stroll around, it’s arguably best-known as the departure point for the Killaloe River Cruises.
They last for around 1 hour and give passengers an alternative view of the surrounding towns and the Shannon.
5. Conquer the mighty Clare Glens Loop
The Clare Glens Loop is a 10-minute drive from Castleconnell and it’s one of the more popular walks in the area, so it can get busy at the weekends.
There are two different routes to tackle here – the 2km Nature Loop and the 4km Glen Loop. Both walks are suitable for families and should suit most levels of fitness.
Along the way you’ll see plenty of lush woodland, bustling rivers and bridges that look like a scene from Lord of the Rings.
6. Climb Keeper Hill
Keeper Hill is, at 2,277 ft the tallest of Tipperary’s Silvermine Mountains and it’s home to a tough aul trek.
There’s a 14km walk here that’ll show you the best the hill has to offer over the course of 3 to 3.5 hours.
On a clear day, the views are outstanding with everywhere from the Silvermines and the Tipperary countryside to the distant Limerick landscape visible.
7. Head for a saunter around Glenstal Woods
Glenstal Woods is a forest situated in Murroe, around a 20-minute drive from Castleconnell and it’s a fine place for a ramble.
Now, this is another toughish trail and it stretches for a lengthy 15km and has an ascent of 300 metres (it takes roughly 4 hours to complete).
If you’d rather a shorter walk, nearby Glenstal Abbey has some gorgeous grounds that you can explore.
8. Explore Limerick City
Pubs and places to eat in Castleconnell
There’s some great pubs and restaurants in Castleconnell for those of you that fancy a bite or a sip. Here are our favourites:
Bradshaw’s is a cosy pub situated in the heart of Castleconnell. This is a trad-style bar with plenty of nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away in for an evening of yapping and drinks. There’s a nice big beer garden, too!
2. Guerin’s Pub
Guerin’s Pub is another trad bar (look for the yellow exterior – you can’t miss it!) that’s worth moseying into. With plenty of dark oak and comfy seats, it’s a nice little bar to perch yourself in for an hour or four.
3. The Acorn
The Acorn in Castleoaks Hotel is one of the more popular restaurants in Castleconnell. On the menu, you can expect everything from a 10oz Chargrilled Sirloin Steak and Goats Cheese Bruschetta to Smoked Salmon & Prawn Linguini and more.
4. Protea Cafe
Protea Cafe is another mighty place for a bit of grub. located on Main street, they do everything from brekkie and morning bakes to soups, toasties and sambos and some very tasty coffee.
Accommodation in Castleconnell
There aren’t many places to stay in Castleconnell, but the accommodation in the village packs a punch. Here’s a speedy overview:
1. Castle Oaks
Castle Oaks is a three-star hotel featuring a spa as well as a swimming pool. Here you can choose from double rooms, twin rooms, family rooms and a number of suites. This hotel also includes an on-site restaurant.
2. Rivergrove House Bed & Breakfast
This B&B is located on the banks of the River Shannon. All of the bedrooms are ensuite and include wifi, a television and tea and coffee making facilities. Reviews online are exceptional.
FAQs about visiting Castleconnell in Limerick
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Castleconnell worth visiting?
If you’re nearby, yes. However, this village’s biggest draw is that it makes a wonderful, quiet base to explore Limerick and Clare from.
Are there many things to do in Castleconnell?
There’s the River Walk, the Bog Walk and the towns more notable buildings (see above). There’s also endless places to visit a short drive away.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).