Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ireland - Bunratty Castle

Bunratty castle is a large tower house in County Clare. It lies in the center of Bunratty village, between Limerick and Ennis, and only a few miles from Adare. The name Bunratty in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river runs alongside the castle. We had been unsure about visiting it because it looked quite small from the outside, but we were pleasantly surprised. Alongside the castle is an extensive folk park. This features reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village main street. Old tools, furniture and artifacts are displayed, with the village kept alive by some inhabited shops, an old home bakery and peat fires in cottages. The castle itself was fun, with lots of steep, winding stone staircases up to the top of the turrets. The whole tour was numbered in a logical sequence, so you could be sure to see everything, and not backtrack on yourselves. We were actually there for about 3 hours, there was such a lot to see. And once again, the sun shone down on us the whole time.

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