Murroe comes from the Irish Maigh Rua, meaning “red plain” referring to the local sandstone.
Surrounded by the Slieve Felim Mountains, Murroe is surrounded by outstanding scenery and, as the starting point of the Slieve Felim Way, it attracts many hikers.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything from things to do in Murroe in Limerick to where to eat, sleep and sip!
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Murroe
Although a visit to Murroe in Limerick is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Murroe is an attractive village in northeast County Limerick. Close to the border with Tipperary, it’s about 18km east of Limerick City. Surrounded by the Slieve Felim Mountains, its a gateway for hikers and the start of the Slieve Felim Way.
2. A quiet base to explore Limerick from
Murroe is a delightful place to stay, just a 30-minute drive from Limerick City attractions with an abundance of scenic walks, hiking and biking trails nearby in Ballyhoura. Keen walkers can explore Clare Glens while anglers will enjoy fishing in the Mulkear River.
3. The Slieve Felim Way
The Slieve Felim Way starts in Murroe and is a long-distance hiking trail in the Slieve Felim Mountains. Marked by yellow arrows on a black background, this National Waymarked Trail runs for 43km, ending in Silvermines. Along the way, this moderate route has an ascent of 870m and takes two days to complete.
Gateway to the Slieve Mountains, Murroe is a quiet village on the R506. The village was founded in the 1830s by the Barrington Baronets of Limerick who lived in what is now Glenstal Abbey.
However, local history dates back to 600AD when Clonkeen Church was founded in this area as a monastery.
The village has a population of around 1370 residents. Landmarks include the fortified Glenstal Abbey and the Church of the Holy Rosary.
There’s a decorative Memorial Cross in the village, erected in 1923 in remembrance of victims of the Irish Civil War and War of Independence.
Things to do in Murroe (and nearby)
There’s a handful of things to do in Murroe and there’s endless places to visit a short spin away.
Below, you’ll find everything from hikes and walks to scenic drives and much more.
1. Walk the Murroe Nature Loop
Walkers will enjoy this pleasant 2km ramble through the wooded sandstone gorge beside the Clare River.
Starting at the metal gate on the left side of the bridge, the trail is marked by green arrows. Keep to the upper path before descending to the riverbank and wooden footbridge.
Turn right, cross the river and climb steps to the sandy path which returns you to the village of Morroe. This loop walk in shady woodland passes several waterfalls and rapids.
2. Step back in time at Glenstal Abbey
Glenstal Abbey is an active Benedictine monastery on a 500-acre estate of lakes, streams, public footpaths and a walled “bible garden”.
At the heart of the estate is a castle, built by the Barringtons in Norman style. The Abbey is dedicated to Saint Joseph and Saint Columba.
It combines prayer, mass and liturgy with other operations including a boarding school for 200 boys, a guest house and a farm. Established in 1927, the abbey occupies part of the castle.
3. Whittle away an afternoon at Glenside Pitch and Putt
Family fun abounds at Glenside Pitch and Putt, an 18-hole golf course in the heart of Murroe village.
It has challenges for all levels of player with elevated sloping ground and views of the fortified Glenstal Abbey, monastic church and the surrounding countryside.
There’s free parking, club hire (€1), a putting green, rain shelter and toilets. It’s open year-round from 10am to 1.5 hours before dusk. Price is €7 for adults.
4. Head for a ramble around Glenstal Woods
From the car park at Glenstal Woods join the road towards Meentolla following purple arrows on a yellow background.
After 1km, turn right at the crossroads and continue to the barrier. Enter the woodland and climb again to reach the top with spectacular views.
Continue south and join the Slieve Felim Way (yellow arrows) back to the car park. Allow 4 hours.
5. Tackle the Clare Glens Loop
The Clare Glens Loop overlaps with the Murroe Nature Loop but is slightly longer (4km). It is named after the Clare River which runs through the pretty sandstone gorge.
There are two car parks, one with a playground, picnic area and toilets. The signposted trail follows both banks of the river in a loop through this Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Along the way you’ll pass The Bog Eas Waterfall and you may see kayakers navigating the rapids.
6. Conquer Keeper Hill
Keeper Hill is a landmark you’re not likely to miss. It’s the highest point in Tipperary and is topped with a telecomms mast.
The easiest route starts in Killoscully and follows the road uphill for 3km before leveling out.
Turn left. After 3km keep left again at the fork and ascend the track to the summit. It has fantastic views in fine weather. Allow 3-4 hours for the return hike.
7. Take a spin over to Lough Gur
Head for the 193-acre Lough Gur to discover a wealth of ancient sites including megalithic tombs, stone circles, a ring barrow, hill forts, ancient dwellings, crannogs and remains of two castles.
Pre-Celtic settlers lived in the area over 6000 years ago and the Visitor Centre expounds on the history with displays of stone age tools, pottery and a slide show. Book a guided tour for a fascinating experience.
8. Spend a day exploring Limerick City
Limerick City is just 30 minutes away by car and has plenty of things to do to fill your day. Hire a bike and explore this 9th century Viking city with its defensive walls, well-preserved King John’s Castle (13th century) and museums.
The Medieval Quarter is the place to enjoy a walking or horse-drawn carriage tour. Hop on an open-top bus and enjoy the commentary or take to the water in a kayak.
Pubs and places to eat in Murroe
There’s a handful of pubs and restaurants in Murroe for those of you in-need of a post-adventure feed (or pint!). Here are some suggestions:
1. Rua Cafe & Restaurant
Located on the Main Street in Murroe, Rua Cafe and Restaurant is an impressive historic building. It has a high reputation for serving excellent tasty meals by owner/chef Pat McKenna, all served by friendly staff. From tasty breakfast, lunch, and take-aways to celebratory meals, it has something for all occasions.
2. The Valley Inn
Located in the heart of Murroe village, The Valley Inn is the place to find live music on weekends and poker nights during the week. This family run business (since 1953) caters for all events and has pub food, a well-stocked bar and live music nights.
Places to stay near Murroe
There’s plenty of accommodation near Murroe for those of you that fancy staying near the town. Here are some recommended stays:
1. Castle Oaks House Hotel
Stay at the splendid Castle Oaks House Hotel in Castleconnell, just 13km north of Murroe. The 18th century Georgian house sits in 26 acres of mature gardens and woodland along the banks of the Shannon River. Book classic B&B with a hearty breakfast or opt for a self-catering break.
2. Kilmurry Lodge Hotel
Kilmurry Lodge Hotel offers a warm welcome to visitors visiting Castletroy, midway between Murroe and Limerick City. Plush furnishings and tastefully decorated rooms offer a luxury ambience. Hit the Fitness Studio, visit Cask – the underground cellar bar – and dine like a king at Nelligans Bar and Restaurant.
3. GN Ballykisteen Golf Hotel
Combine golf with walking and exploring Limerick history when you stay at the 4-star Great National Ballykisteen Golf Hotel. This elegant country retreat has spacious rooms with comfy beds, tea, coffee and Wi-Fi. With casual bar meals and an upscale restaurant it offers an indulgent country break.
FAQs about Murroe 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.
What are some things to do in Murroe?
You can visit Glenstal Woods, pay a round in Glenside Pitch and Putt, visit Glenstal Abbey and ramble along the Murroe Nature Loop.
Is Murroe worth visiting?
Murroe makes a great stop-off point before tackling one of the many nearby walks. It’s also a good spot for a post-hike feed (see recommendations above).
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.