Activities in Ballyhoura Country

Ballyhoura is about an hour’s drive away from Limerick and once there, visitors will find a huge variety of things to do.

There are numerous activities such as mountain biking, walks, clay pigeon shooting, horse trails and taking various tours of the area.

There are also plenty of things to see such as the De Valera Museum, Glenstal Abbey, Doneraile Court and more. For more information on the places listed below check out the Visit Ballyhoura website

Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail

Mountain biker in Ballyhoura

Cyclist on a Ballyhoura mountain bike trail

The largest trail network of its kind in Ireland. 98 km of trails including forest road climbs, tight twisty singletrack with loads of ups and downs, board walk, tight turns and technical rocky bits are gauranteed to leave you smiling. The trails range from the moderate 6 km Greenwood loop to the demanding Castlepook loop, over 50 km in length! Facilities at the trail head include map boards, car parking, toilets, showers and bike wash facilities. On arrival there is a secure car park with monitored CCTV cameras. There is also snacks and tea and coffee also available for a reasonable price. Trail accomodation, bike rental and good food are available locally. Recently voted into the top 50 things to do in Ireland.

Trailriders Contact : 0872717330

Lough Gur

Lough Gur is a magical and mysterious place that is rich in folklore along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times. The Heritage Centre provides a fascinating interpretation of the sites associated with Lough Gur. Heritage Centre highlights include: A modern exhibition detailing over 6,000 years of history at Lough Gur, listening points, audio guides, archaeological dig, Neolithic Pot model, AV presentation and interactive touch screens. There is also a retail area and coffee dock.

The Heritage Centre at Lough Gur was re opened in June 2013 after an extensive refurbishment. The Centre now boasts a 5 star state of the art facility and received awards including the Trip Advisor Certificate Award in 2013.

Call 061-385386

Ballyhoura Loop Walks

The Ballyhoura region is renowned for its beauty and provides a range of walks to suit all abilities.

Lazy Dog Clay Pigeon Shooting

In a hidden gem of breathtaking scenery lies the best Sporting Claybird Ground in Munster. Located in Ballinatubber Kilfinane Co Limerick. We provide a range of packages including Claybird Shooting, Air Rifle and Archery, suitable for corporate, Stag & Hen parties, a get together with friends etc.

* Small & large groups catered
* One to One tuition
* Vouchers available
* Shop located in Knocklong – Guns/Ammunition etc
* Indoor Air Rifle Range

Phone: +353(0)62 – 53563 Mobile: +353(0)87 – 9079556 Fax: +353 (0)62 – 53563 Email: lazydogshooting@eircom.net

Ballyhoura Horse Trails

Horse riding in Ballyhoura

Horse riding in Ballyhoura

Specialise in safe, relaxing horse riding, catering for all levels of experience and ability. Our horses and ponies were specially selected for their mild mannered dispositions as the comfort, well -being and enjoyment of our patrons is of paramount importance to us. Hats and chaps are supplied for each session at no extra cost.

We are located at the heart of Ballyhoura Country (Limerick / North Cork) in the picturesque village of Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, with breathtaking views of the Galtee and Ballyhoura mountain ranges.

There is a choice of 3 ride outs, a 1 hour, 2.5 hour or our unique 5 hour pub trek, with breath-taking views of Galtee and Ballyhoura mountain ranges, includes a light lunch. You will enjoy spectacular scenery, good fun and banter as we walk, trot or canter along.

We also have a kids ‘Hack & Tack Club’ on Saturdays. 3 day Kids Camp during the holidays, we also cater for Birthday Parties & large groups. Our centre is open all year round and you are guaranteed a warm welcome should you decide to share with us this beautiful, unspoiled and largely undiscovered part of Ireland.
Call: +353 87 2799935 / +353 86 8094648

De Valera Museum

A celebration of Eamon de Valera, one of the greatest historical figures of twentieth century Ireland and the place in which he grew up – The picturesque village of Bruree is situated on the banks of the river Maigue in south County Limerick. It is famous as the place in which Eamon de Valera spent his boyhood. Academic, freedom-fighter, politician, statesman and one of the outstanding figures in twentieth century Ireland, de Valera lived in Bruree from the age of 2 1/2. The De Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Centre uses audio-visuals, graphic panels, set pieces and displays of personal memorabilia to tell the story of the village’s greatest son and of the area which is credited with forming his character.”

The De Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Centre is dedicated to Eamon de Valera [1882-1975], former president of Ireland and one of the country’s most famous statesmen, it houses a unique collection of personal belongings of this historic figure, as well as a wide range of articles which record life in Bruree in the early 20th century.

This visitor centre is located where Eamonn de Valera grew up. The cottage in which he lived is now preserved and the national school he attended houses a museum dedicated to his memory.
The following are the opening hours of the De Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Centre

Mon/Thurs/Fri 10.30 – 2.00
Sat/Sun 1.00 – 5.00
Tue/Wed Closed

Contact 086 3949230 Groups 087 3116008

Medieval Kilmallock

Kilmallock was one of the most important towns in Munster during the 13th and 14th centuries with the town walls, castles, gatehouses and magnificent churches were built, so well built in fact that many of them remain for you to visit. Take in an art exhibition, play, film or show at the Friars Gate Theatre which is also home to the Ballyhoura Heritage Centre. Visit Kilmallock Museum which reflects local life during the 19th and 20th centuries and houses a model Kilmallock in medieval times. Ramble around the medieval town or enjoy a guided walking tour that departs from Kilmallock Museum at 12 noon daily.

Beautiful Irish Sterling Silver pendants

Ballinvreena Rambling

Rambling in Ballyhoura

Rambling in Ballyhoura

At the turn of the century, crossroads dancing at Corbett’s Cross, Ballinvreena was one of the main social activities of the area. Locals, both young and old, came to the dance which became their weekly meeting place. Today you can still experience the magic of that traditional crossroads dancing to live music. Davy’s Cottage is the home to Ballinvreena rambling house, donated to the community by Davy Quish upon his death, the cottage continues to be a hub for music, story and dance as its owner would have wished. The cottage is situated off the Kilfinane to Tipperary Road. Follow the signpost for Ballinvreena Community Centre (approx 1.5km) Crossroads dancing takes place from May to September (the first Sunday in September) Every Sunday from 8pm- 10pm. The rambling house takes place on the second Wednesday of each month from September through to May at 8pm.

Tour Guides

Ballyhoura Country Tour Guides are community volunteers who have a love of their place and happy to share their story with you, the visiting public. Prices will vary from site to site, place to place, email reception@ballyhoura.org or telephone 063-91300 for further information.

All guides listed are trained and look forward to showing you all that the Ballyhoura area has to offer.

Old Irish Ways

Why not come and learn what it was like to live in the 1900’s at one of the best exhibitions of 19th & 20th century living in the country at “Old Irish Ways. Located in Caherguillamore, Bruff, Co. Limerick.

This is an ideal family outing, school trip, or day out for your scout or youth group, Vintage enthusiasts, Coach tours, Active Age Groups.

Once you have completed the tour throughout the exhibition areas, you can then relax in our replica shop/pub, laid out as a traditional old style shop/public house should be, complete with a full collection of traditional whiskey and spirit bottles, glasses and brewers memorabilia. While you can’t get a drink, you might coax a cup of tea or coffee out of the proprietor while “Soaking” in the traditional pub atmosphere. It’s an experience not to be missed , Go back in time for a while.

Our old style shop features a fantastic collection of items from across the twentieth century, gathered with care and displayed how they should be: in a traditional shop layout complete with all the “modern” conveniences of the time. All of the items are complete in their original packaging and still “ready for sale”. This comes complete with a collection of weighing scales, weights and much of the items that were seen during the weekly outing to the local shop.

Glenstal Abbey

Glenstal Abbey is a Benedictine monastery of the Congregation of the Annunciation located in Murroe, County Limerick. It is dedicated to Saint Joseph and Saint Columba. The abbey is located in and beside Glenstal Castle, a Normanesque castle built by the Barrington family.

The picturesque grounds include lakes, forests and an old walled, terraced garden which features a “bible garden”.

The monks of Glenstal Abbey welcome groups who wish to visit the monastery and spend some time getting to know our place, our tradition and our life.

Typically groups arrive in time for the community mass with Gregorian Chant in Latin which is celebrated each weekday at 12.10pm, and on Sundays at 10.00am. This is followed either by lunch or tea/coffee and scones.

The tour begins with a brief introduction to monastic life and its beginnings at Glenstal in 1927. The Abbey buildings include a Norman Revivalist castle, which is now home to the Abbey School. After a brief visit to the castle, you will be led through the Abbey grounds, which contain a great variety of trees and flowers. A favourite of many visitors is the seventeenth century Italian-style terraced walled garden, laid out between 1679 and 1681. The tour concludes with a visit to the crypt of the church which houses a Russo-Byzantine chapel, which houses our collection of Russian and Greek Icons.

There will also be the opportunity to visit the Abbey Gift Shop which has a large selection of religious goods and books, recordings by the Monks of Glenstal and our famous Glenstal Abbey Liqueur Truffles.

Our hospitality department operates on a donation basis and the suggested donation for an organised tour is €15 per person which includes tea/coffee and homemade scones.

Lunch can be arranged for visiting groups and costs €15 per person.

Tailor-made for you

We are happy to assist you in devising a day tailored to the specific needs of your group. Some groups like to have a spiritual talk by a member of the community or an opportunity to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

For more details about what we can offer or to make a booking please email guestmaster@glenstal.org or call 061 621005

Griston Bog

Griston is a raised bog that developed within a lake of meltwater after the last ice age. It now has areas of bog, fen and ponds, semi-natural woodland as well as planted forestry. It is rich in insect life which in turn supports many birds and other animals such as frogs, newts and lizards.

The site is compact, facilitating safe and easy management of the group, yet sufficiently varied and exciting to give children a real feel for the great outdoors. Wildlife is very accessible and easily observed at Griston Bog.

Boardwalks bring children through these varied habitats to a range of facilities such as the bird feeding station and bird-hide, insect hotel and pond-dipping facility.

Plant and insect-life can be investigated up close from the security of teaching decks in the bog and at carefully designed, wheelchair accessible dipping ponds.

Griston Bog is fully equipped as a classroom and science lab. An exciting Discover Primary Science and Maths programme, led by experienced guides, is available.

Griston Bog Outdoor Classroom can accommodate up to 40 children at one time.

Call: 063-91300

Facilities include:
* Wheel chair access to all facilities and throughout the outdoor classroom.
* Coach and car parking
* Picnic area
* Toilet: With disabled access
* Approximately 0.5km of boardwalk through wetland habitats (bog, fen and pond) with decks for teaching from.
* “Outdoor Classroom” Cabin
* Bird feeding station and bird-hide.
* Insect hotel and dipping ponds
* Information boards showing birds, plants, insects and history of Griston Bog.

Doneraile Court

The Park comprises approximately 166 hectares and is an outstanding example of an 18th century landscaped park in the ‘Capability Brown’ style. Mature groves of deciduous trees, several restored water features and a number of deer herds can be viewed along the many pathways within the Park. The pathways are generally accessible for people with special needs. Doneraile Court, the former residence of the St. Leger family, is situated within the Park. It is opened to the public following completion of restoration works there is a Tea Room onsite (open 7 days a week) and New Large Childrens Playground. There are a number of free guided tours throughout the year, tours can be arranged for groups and visitors email: guides@doneraile.ie

Opening Times

Summer
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 20.00 Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays 09:00-20:00

Winter
Monday – Friday 08:00-17:00 Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holidays 09:00-17:00

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