Postcards from Bunratty, Co. Clare

This week I enjoyed  a stroll around Bunratty where I had gone to meet an internet blog friend from the USA who had been in Ireland doing some research for a book. (What a fascinating and interesting  woman Janet Maher is –  she blogs at  It was a warm,sunny afternoon – just perfect for an amble in this world-famous tiny village. Bunratty  lies between Limerick City and Shannon Airport on the Limerick to Galway road, and is one of Ireland’s premier tourist attractions. It is particularly pleasant now that the heavy traffic has been diverted to a bypass, making it a great place for pedestrians and for those who wish to stop a while.

Bunratty  Castle

Bunratty Castle

Dating from 1425, Bunratty Castle was restored in the 1960s. It is now Ireland’s most complete medieval fortress,open to the public and hosting the daily world-famous medieval banquets. Bunratty Castle is part of the Bunratty Folk Park complex – with its 19th century village street, that includes a school-house, post office and pub as well as many more attractions.  A captivating place that takes us back to see how our ancestors lived in their thatched houses  – a gateway to our past! I did not have time to take in the Folk Park this time, but it is indeed well worth a visit!



There are some birds in the area who enjoy their distinguished address…who would have a nest in a draughty old tree when there is 1st class accommodation available at  the castle?



Bunratty not only has a wonderful castle and folk park, it is also home to Durty Nelly’s, probably the most famous pub in Ireland.

imageNelly was a character who collected a toll from those crossing the bridge. She supposedly provided travellers with Poitín as well as other comforts! It is said that her Poitín  increased virility and helped childless couples to have large families!

The bridge that led to Durty Nelly’s and Bunratty Castle crosses the Ratty river that flows into the River Shannon.

Caislean Oir by Fred Conlon

Caislean Oir by Fred Conlon

Just opposite the Castle is a sculpture entitled Caiseal Oir  by Fred Conlon. This imposing piece was inspired by the artefacts found in the Mooghaun Gold Hoarddiscovered during the construction of the Limerick to Ennis railway line in the 1850s.


An old green telephone box is located near Blarney Woollen Mills. Every village used to have one of these green phone boxes, and nearby there is a post box that dates from the reign of Edward VII. These ‘British’ letter boxes, remnants of our history have thankfully been retained. They are protected structures, now in green livery and not the original pre-independence red colour.


Edward VII Letter box (1902 – 1910) opposite Bunratty Castle

The banks of the river provide safe berths for many small boats.


A look at the distant Clare hills…



Bunratty is truly at the heart of the mid west region and well worth a visit  by tourists from home and abroad …you will not be disappointed!



Filed under Ireland, Irish Countryside, Irish Heritage, Living in Ireland

29 responses to “Postcards from Bunratty, Co. Clare

  1. Loved reading more about Bunratty castle… and seeing more of it than the usual tourist images. I’m also a great fan of Janet Maher’s writing and artistic ventures. Thank you for this.

  2. Joan FitzGibbon

    I was visiting Bunratty Castle on Monday….a beautiful place!

  3. Excellent post! I enjoyed the tour and will check out the writings of Janet Maher.

  4. I once brought a visiting English friend to Durty Nelly’s for a pint of the black stuff, which was his tipple of choice in London. But had heard we had a more favourable version in the homeland. On downing the first mouthful, he sat back on his bar stool in ecstasy and uttered the following – ‘like strawberries & cream on a Summer’s day’. Memories!

  5. Great pics SV – you really have an eye for photography. It’s been many a long year – pre Folk Park – since I was in Durty Nelly’s but the combination of the heat from the log fire on a cold day plus the pint I still recall well.

    I wonder if it had lost the passing trade with the bypass? It was a handy stop for travellers between Limerick and Galway.

    • Like many an Irish town and village, the bypass has allowed it to come into its own. It is well signed and has dedicated slip roads off the main road and plenty free parking for the shops, restaurants, pubs, hotel, and folk park . A grand spot winter and summer !

  6. The only time I was at Bunratty Castle, there were hordes of school children and tourists–it was a big disappointment. But I still enjoyed the pints at Durty Nelly’s!

  7. Great post, SV. Has me wanting to re-visit!

  8. Thank you, Angela. So good of you to mention me – I so enjoyed meeting you! As I’ve said, you are an inspiration to me. Next time I’m in Ireland I will definitely spend more time here. You’ve brought Bunratty Castle and Durty Nellie’s to life!

  9. Reblogged this on Maher Matters and commented:
    I was so fortunate to be able to meet and visit with “A Silver Voice” on my last night in Ireland. Her blog about things Irish is top of the line and she is terrific person to boot!

  10. I just love Bunratty Castle! On one of our frequent trips to Ireland; this particular one about 7 years ago, we had dinner at Bunratty. My daughter, 9 at the time; loved being able to eat dinner with no utensils! 🙂

  11. Your post made me so wistful to go back and see Bunratty all over again. My trip to Ireland was way too short.

  12. Wow. Beautiful, and mystical, and fascinating. Peace, T

  13. Reblogged this on Other Side of the Trees and commented:
    One of my favorite bloggers I follow, The Silver Voice, posted this at the end of May, and I think it is worthwhile experiencing … otherwise I wouldn’t have posted it. T

  14. Pingback: Postcards from.. | A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND

  15. My blog is called Postcards from Kerry (my name) which people confuse with County Kerry. I travelled frequently for a while but then started on anecdotes which are short and fun. This is a lovely post – so green!

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