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Hello and welcome to this weekend’s virtual walk.
As you know, I was attending the QVC broadcast from Ashford Castle on March 17th , and as I was making my way home the next day I had to stop to re fuel, luckily my pit stop was at the famous village of Bunratty in County Clare. So lets hope out of the car and come along with me for a quick stroll.
I seem to start every walk with a comment about how deserted so many places are these days due to the pandemic, and here in Bunratty you can almost hear a pin drop as its so quiet. Usually this place is packed with visitors, but lets have a look around.
The village is dominated by the imposing Bunratty castle . I am told that a castle has stood on this site since the Norse times around 900 AD, and what we see is the fourth castle to be constructed here by the MacNamara family around 1425. Over the centuries the castle enjoyed a chequered history, before falling into ruins in the late 19th Century.
However it was renovated in the late 1950’s and opened to the public in 1960, and since that time it has welcomed countless visitors. Its said to be the most complete and authentic castle in Ireland !
One of the castle’s most famous attractions are its medieval banquets ; you can feast like royalty, be entertained with traditional music and even drink a glass of the famous Bunratty Mead !
Just down the road is the Bunratty folk park . Sadly closed these days due to the pandemic this is one of the most worthwhile attractions in Ireland . Set in some 30 acres you will be transported back in time : you can visit the carefully reconstructed thatch cottages and experience a living village , visit the walled gardens of Bunratty demesne, take a stroll down a Victorian street , see a working water mill, and more ! all we can do today is to peep through the railings and look forward when it will be re opened again !
The road around the castle is narrow and twisty, and usually bumper to bumper with Tour buses and traffic ; but today I can walk down the middle of the road as we head back towards Durty Nellie’s pub.
For many this is one of the most photographed pubs in Ireland, I love the way its nestled on the banks of the Owengarney River as it floes into the Shannon estuary .
Its said to be one of the oldest pubs in Ireland , dating from somewhere in the 1600’s when it was the toll house for crossing the river -and there are a lot of legends and stories about its past.
Regardless, its a really pretty place to stop for a moment !
Righto, time to hit the road. Lets look forward to visiting Bunratty again when its fully reopened and savour the sights and atmosphere of the place.
I do hope that you enjoyed this whistle stop visit, and got a quick stroll and breath of fresh air with me today .
Take care until next time and stay well.

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Sláinte , Stephen.

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