8 Hour Golden Vale Day Tour
The ‘Golden Vale’ region, Ireland’s pasture heartlands. Your options include Bunratty castle and folk park, Limerick city and King Johns castle. The rock of Cashel and the Vee with a stop in the beautifully ornate “Swiss cottage” or the medieval Holy cross Abbey with its relic of the ‘True Cross” or Thomond park rugby grounds, home to ‘Munster’ the only Irish rugby team to ever beat the All Blacks from New Zealand.
Bunratty castle was built in the early 1400’s and has been restored and furnished to give the visitor a real feel for the 15th & 16th century Ireland within the Golden Vale. Its famous Folk park is an Irish village (30 buildings) of the late 1800’s recreated in great detail up to and including the pub! and the gardens are a pleasure to behold and walk through.
Limerick city and King Johns castle. Limerick city on the river Shannon started out as a Viking settlement on Kings Island to become the 3rd biggest city in Ireland, with a population of 57,000. Limericks Castle was built by King John between 1200 – 1212, it served as a military and administrative centre for the region. The city was divided into “English Town” on King’s Island and “Irish Town” on the south bank.
Limerick was besieged 3 times and following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the French and Irish forces (numbering 14,000) regrouped in behind Limerick’s walls. The Williamite besiegers, 20,000, were hampered and breached the walls on three occasions, but the defenders prevailed. The famous Treaty of Limerick was signed using a large stone set in the bridge as a table.
Limerick’s position as the main port on the western side of Ireland in the 18th century meant that the city began to prosper however during the famine, four ships in one week sailed down the Shannon towards the Americas.
Thomond Park Stadium home of the Munster Rugby Team and the scene of the only defeat of the New Zealand by an Irish team in 1978.
Much more than just a Stadium, Thomond Park is the a new stadium renowned for its award-winning design and architecture and has hosted The Special Olympics Opening Ceremony and concerts by PINK, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan. The Munster Experience Museum gives you an insight into the history of Munster Rugby and Thomond Park Stadium.
Holy cross Abbey is a Cistercian monastery founded in the early 12th century and home to a fragment relic of the ‘True cross’ brought to Ireland in the 1200’s by the French queen and widow of King John of England. Renowned throughout Irish history as a centre for pilgrimages the church and cloister have been restored and a beautiful prayer garden landscaped for visitors.
The Rock of Cashel by common folklore was created by Saint Patrick when he cast the Devil from his cave in the Devils bit mountains, 20 Km away. It was home to the Kings of Munster and in the 1100’s land was donated to the Catholic church who built the round tower and Cathedral. From its magnificent perch visitors can view right across the valley that is the Golden Vale.
The Swiss cottage, built by the 1st Earl of Glengall around the 1800’s from Cahir castle as a residence to entertain their guests, the cottage is an amazing example of an ‘Ornate’ cottage with spiral staircase and Parisian wallpaper.
(*) Entry to attractions not included in tour price unless stated.
This Golden Vale Tour includes:
Driver/guide (1 person)
Luxury vehicle / Complimentary Wi-fi
Complimentary tour map with site details.
Advisable to bring:
Wet weather clothing
(Complimentary umbrellas available for use)