The Burren Ireland
The Burren region in County Clare in Ireland is located in the West of Ireland. The Burren region is one of Ireland’s National Parks and a wonderful place to visit, it’s one of the best places in Ireland in my opinion, I travel to the Burren a lot and I love the whole area.
The Burren region is full of interesting things to see and do, there’s walking, hiking, surfing, swimming, exploring caves, tourist attractions and the lists goes on.
Facts and History of the Burren
The word the Burren means “rocky place” and comes from the word “Boireann” in the Irish language. The Burren was formed between 359 and 299 million years back, during the Carboniferous period. The whole area of the Burren region is roughly 250 square kilometres.
The landscape is a grey karst like landscape, some people say it is the closest thing you will get to being on the moon, because its a type of karst landscape unique looking landscape.
The Burren covers around 0.5 per cent of the whole of Ireland. The region is one of six beautiful national parks in Ireland, and it is the smallest of the national parks. The limestone in some parts is 780 metres thick, that’s a lot of stone! Twenty per cent of the national herd of Feral goats live in the Burren region.
In 2011 the Burren region including the Cliffs of Moher was awarded Geopark status. The region is the only area on planet earth where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean plants grow all together, the region has been studied many times and the area is full of interesting sites, caves, and coastal areas. The area is one of the biggest limestone regions in the whole of Europe.
Getting to the Burren by road is fairly easy, the area is accessible by road from Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork depending on what route you want to take.
There are public bus services into the region with Bus Eireann. Driving from Limerick to the Burren region takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Galway to the Burren is around 1-hour drive via Kinvarra. Driving from the Cork to the Burren region takes around 2 hours.
The Burren National Park
The National Park area is located in the south-east area of the Burren and covers around 1500 hectares. The land was purchased by the Irish government for public access to the area and national conservation. The area has beautiful limestone pavements, lakes, caves, hazel and ash woodlands, water springs, and loads of cliff areas and turloughs.
The area is home to twenty-three of the twenty-seven species of native orchid that grow in Ireland. The highest point of the national park is in Knockanes and is 207 metres high. The area has many farms and farmland, some of the lands aren’t great quality. Some of the lands are commonage land, meaning that the land is shared between a number of farmers in the local area who have rights to share the use of the land.
The Burren is home to many plant species, it has been studied many times due to the fact that the Buren is home a huge amount of species and the only palace on earth where the Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants grow together and in some cases side by side.
The region has many different types of plants species growing together, some usually found in sub-arctic conditions and mountains.
Wildlife and Fauna
The region has foxes, goats, cows, sheep, rabbits, tree cats, and badgers. The region is home to many species of animals. The region is home to 30 of the 32 butterfly species that live in Ireland.
The Burren is home to seven of Ireland’s interesting species of bats, with a large population of the rare Horseshoe Bat. The area has frogs, rats and a legless lizard species called the Slow Worm. The area is totally safe and you can roam around this National Park without any fear of the fauna or wildlife!!!
Things to do and see in The Burren
There is a huge amount of things to a do and see in the Burren, it is full of interesting sites, some really nice beaches, castles, golf courses and wonderful landscapes.
There is a huge amount of activities and stuff to see, I can’t list it all so I’m listing some of the stuff I think is cool and enjoyable and some FREE stuff. The area has some cool tower houses, three in total, these cool tower houses were the castles of the elite back in the day.
The list of activities is large in the region, golf, pitch and putt, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, horseriding, walking trails, hiking, and guided tours of all kinds. If you like surfing or swimming the Burren has some cool beaches. The Burren region has it all, and it’s all easily accessible.
Stop at the Baby Cliffs in the Burren.
This super cool area is located in such a beautiful location, full of coastal scenery and surrounded by the grey limestone landscape of the Burren region. The baby cliffs are a great spot for some selfies, or just to enjoy some nice scenery and take it all in, its a class spot! The area is completely FREE to visit, parking isn’t the best but you will manage to get a parking slot!
Take a dip at Fanore beach!
Fanore beach is a beautiful beach in the heart of the Burren, it’s a great spot for swimming. The beach is located in the north-west area of the Burren region. It’s a large beach perfect for swimming. The area has some amazing sand dunes. These sand dunes were formed around 5,000 years ago.
Take a walking tour of the Burren!
One great guided tour in the Burren is run by Marie Mc Gauran , these guided tours are a great way to see this amazing region, you can check out some cool spots! It’s no secret the region is rich in history and heritage with some of the most exciting landscape to see and take in. Marie Mc Gauran runs tours and she lives in the local area.
She will show you some of the interesting stuff in the Burren. Marie has a passion for all things the Burren, she will give you an insight into the magical area, and historical information of interest including some spiritual spots!
See the Cliffs of Moher Close by!
Everyone loves the Cliffs of Moher and its located right next to the Burren region and part of a Geopark with the Burren! The Cliffs of Moher are a wonder of nature, you will enjoy them.
The area has a cool visitor centre built into the local mountains, the centre has loads to see. The Cliffs of Moher is Ireland’s second busiest tourist attraction and the nicest in the whole of Ireland in my opinion.
See this article for a full guide on visiting the Cliffs of Moher!
See Caherconnell Fort and the Sheep Dog Demonstrations!
Caherconnell Fort is an old stone fort dating back 1,000 years, the visitor centre has loads to see. You can do a walk around this old fort and check out the archaeology information and some cool graphical display. The centre has a cafe and gift shop.
The sheepdog demonstrations are unreal, you can see the clever sheepdogs round up the sheep and see them do there magic work with sheep and cows. These super clever border collies are trained to round up flocks of sheep, its an amazing sight.
Visit Corcomroe Abbey!!
Corcomroe Abbey is located on the Corcomroe Road, County Clare, a few miles from the village of Ballyvaughan. This 13th-century Cistercian Abbey has a lot of history connected to it!
The Abbey is in the village of Bellhabour. One of the old High Kings of Ireland is buried in the grounds of the Abbey, Conor na Siudane Ua Brain (O Brien) King of Thomond. The old high king was buried in the Abbey in the year 1268. The Abbey is FREE to visit!
Call to Father Ted’s House!
Pop over to check one of County Clares most famous houses from the comedy series Father Ted starting Dermot Morgan. Father Ted is loved by Irish people all over the world, this fun series is about a few priests that live together, the episodes feature funny goings-on including in one episode a Eurovision song attempt, with a song called My Lovely Horse!
Father Ted’s house is located in Lackareagh County Clare. This super cool Parochial House is also known as Glanquin farmhouse, tis definitely somewhere to check out in the Burren!
Check out Doolin Cave!
Doolin Cave has the largest stalactite in Europe, the giant stalactite measures an amazing 7.8 metres. The award-winning visitor centre and the cave is a cool place to spend a few hours.
You will be amazed to learn that the giant stalactite formed from a small drop of water over thousands of years ago. It’s an unreal sight. There is a gift shop on the site and a lovely little cafe to check it, it’s another cool thing to do in the Burren. You can check out the cool pottery on offer at Doolin Cave gift shop made from glacial clay found way down in Doolin Cave!
See my post here on Best Things to do in County Clare!
I hope you find this article useful, I welcome any questions or recommendations by email to email@example.com.
All Things Ireland