Clare Day Trips
Top day trips to do while in Clare
- Aran Islands
- Bunratty Folk Park
- Cliffs of Moher
- Cragguanowen Living Past Experience
1. Aran Islands
Step back in time to an Ireland long forgotten on the main land with a trip to the Aran Islands. This is a place where everyone is greeted as a long lost friend and if the locals aren’t sure that you’re a tourist you will be addressed ‘as Gaeilge’ (in the Irish native language). This is a place where surnames are superfluous and people’s last name are still called after their Father, Grandfather and Great grandfather.
The Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann) are a band of three islands swimming in the waters of Galway Bay, County Galway. The Islands are names Inis Mór (Inishmore), Inis Meáin (Inishmaan), andInis Oírr (Inisheer). These islands are believed to have once been an extension of The Burren Region, County Clare. The Aran Island ferries operates from Doolin in County Clare which is the closest crossing point by sea to the Aran Islands. O’Brien line ferries have been operating from Doolin to the Aran Islands for over 45 years and are the Original Doolin Ferry Company. Founded in 1970 by Bill O’Brien and now operated with his son Liam O’Brien.
Choose from the 3 Aran Islands
Ferries depart from Doolin. Co Clare, less than 30 minute drive from Hazelwood Lodge.
For sailing times from Doolin and return times please click here.
2. Bunratty Folk Park
Located one hour’s drive from Hazelwood Lodge, step back in time in Ireland and see how people lived here over one hundreds years ago!
When you visit Bunratty Folk Park you experience a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting.
Rural farmhouses, village shops and streets are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time according to their social standing, from the poorest one roomed dwelling to Bunratty House a fine example of a Georgian residence for the gentry built 1804 home of the Studdarts, the last family to occupy Bunratty Castle.
The Village Street
Prepare to experience village life in 19th century Ireland! The village houses and shops in the Folk Park have been chosen from many different areas, to form a collection of typical 19th century urban Irish buildings including the School, Doctor’s house, Pawnbrokers, Pub, Drapery, Printworks, Grocery, Hardware shop, Pottery and a Post Office.
In the early 19th century the country people provided for most of their own needs in food, clothing and supplies and bought only luxuries such as sugar, salt and tea. Fairs and markets at the Village gave the farmers and the rural craftsmen an opportunity of selling their products for cash, while shops provided for the rural dwellers needs.
MacNamara and Sons at the top of the village street is a fully licensed working pub in the style of an old fashioned hotel bar and provides modern catering facilities. Be sure and drop into Mac’s for a pint! The pub is furnished to reflect the lifestyle of the time and the fact that the publican not only sold drink, in former times, but also traded in groceries and hardware.
Costumed characters recreate the traditions and lifestyle of a bygone age and animate the Folk Park. Among these well known and loved characters are the Bean a Ti (woman of the house), RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) policeman, Schoolteacher.
Traditional jobs and crafts are also represented, milling, the forge, pottery, printing, baking, farming etc.
For more information please click here
3. Cliffs of Moher
Located 30 minutes’ drive from Hazelwood Lodge, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland and are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of up to one million visitors every year. A visit to these cliffs should not be missed during your stay with us at Hazelwood Lodge!
Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O’Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years.
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and the site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps.
For opening and booking times please click here.
4. Cragguanowen Living Past Experience
A highlight of any visit to Ireland is the Living Past Experience in Cragguanowen, Ireland’s original award winning Pre-historic Park. Come and explore the roots of the people, homesteads, animals and artefacts of our Celtic ancestors of over 1,000 years ago which have touched and shaped how we live today.
Can you imagine what life was like for people in the Bronze Age? How did they adapt? At Craggaunowen you will experience the resilience and fortitude of these early Bronze Age settlers.
Explore the Crannog – an artificial island dwelling defended by a hidden pathway in the water. Marvel at how the Celts fed large numbers of hunters while on hunting missions deep in the forest. These were skilled hunters who adopted highly sophisticated cooking techniques involving a large pit, a length of rope and of course fresh meat!
Travel back in time to the life of the hunter-gatherer in the Ring Fort. You will see how the Celts carried out their every-day activities as they cooked over open fires or in pits; ground corn for making bread or porridge on hand-powered querns; or made pottery, wooden bowls, goblets and platters.
Do you know who really discovered America? Visit the Brendan Boat – a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across mid-Atlantic, re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan and the early Christian monks reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus!!
Explore Craggaunowen Castle the 16th century restored Medieval Castle built in 1550 standing defiantly on a crag overlooking the lake and enjoy magnificent views of the countryside. Observe rare and really interesting animal breeds such as wild boar and Soay sheep - specimens of the pre-historic era.
Visit one of Ireland’s earliest roadways or ‘togher’ dating to 148 BC. Exploring the Souterrain is fun - designed to store food but these were often a welcome escape route when under attack from the enemy! Good place for hide and seek!
Enjoy the fresh air and lake walks in a most enjoyable rural setting. Savour our wonderful homemade fare in the charming farmhouse tea-room.
Click here to see more
Admission is from Easter Saturday to September 22nd 2015 10am - 5.00 pm, last admission 4.00pm.