“Of this barony it is said that it is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury them.”
– Officer Ludlow
The Irish Gaelic word for this unusual landscape in County Clare is Boireann, “great rock”. It’s about 250 square kilometres of limestone pavement. The landscape was created during the last glacial period and was once covered by the ocean. If you look carefully, you might be able to spot some fossils on the rock; left over memories of coral and sea urchins.
Irish landscapes bring to mind rolling green fields and dramatic sea cliffs, but in contrast, the Burren is special in its own right. On a weekend with particularly good weather, we decided to go and check it out. It’s about two hours north west of Cork via the N20 and N18 and is a pleasant drive. We stayed over for two nights at a lovely spot that we found on AirBnB. If I hadn’t missed my chance to write a review for Sarah & Chris, it would have read: “Sarah & Chris were friendly & kind hosts that made us feel very welcome. Having lived in the area for a long time, they were able to give us good advice about great things to see nearby. We particularly enjoyed being able to go on a hike in the Burren directly from the front door. The room itself is spacious, warm, quiet and comfortable. I’d definitely recommend this spot to anyone looking for an adventure in the Burren.”
It really was a super place to stay and it was really nice to be able to step out the door, with the sun on our backs and amble down the road, and then a picturesque country lane and end up at the Burren National Park! The Burren has it’s own temperate climate, which is a great, and there are few trees, so it’s open to both the wind and the sun. That means you’ll need to take a wind-breaker with you, as well as a spot of sun-cream. We saw a variety of spring flowers on our walk and also happened upon a lovely little forest of small trees where we enjoyed out pick-nick lunch.
We also stumbled across this beautifully decorated house, and the owners of it must have owned a turkey or two, because it was very quiet around except for turkey-chatter in the background.
If history is your thing, there’s a wealth of archaeological sites in the Burren with over 90 megalithic tombs nearby! You’ll be able to find portal dolmens (like the touristy Poulanbrone dolmen), a Celtic high cross (in Kilfenora), ring forts (the most popular being Cahercommaun and Caherconnell Stone Fort). For something different and a bit of refreshment, stop over at The Burren Perfumery where you can sip on a drink or grab a great lunch at the Tearoom and stroll through the gardens and shop.