In 3000BC, farmers cleared the forests and built their stone houses on the banks of Lough Gur. In 2100BC, Bronze Age people built the largest stone circle in Ireland nearby. In 900AD, a small farmstead was built in the vicinity. Today, you can see these and other signs of the human life that have existed for thousands of years.
To See and Do
Take a self-guided walking tour of the area around the lake. See The Spectacles, Carrigcroth Hangman's Rock, Knockkennel View, Stone Plague, The Wishing Well, The Lime Kiln, Flower Bed, Bouchiers Castle, Boilin Island, Pigeon House, The Cave of the Echoes, Ash Point, Carraige Aille, Stone Forts, and Grange Stone Circle. Find the beautiful vistas along the way, with wooden benches for quiet contemplation. The lake itself is unsafe for swimming.
Visit the Lough Gur Visitor's Centre, wander through the museum, and watch the audio-visual presentation about Lough Gur.
How to get there
Lough Gur is located 21km southeast of Limerick City.
From Limerick, take R512 south of Limerick City. Pass through Ballyneety and follow the road for 4 miles farther. Turn left at Reardon's Pub in Holycross.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
The Lough Gur Visitor Centre is open daily during May to September from 10AM to 5:30PM.
(Opening times subject to change please check with Discovering Ireland Vacation)
Entry to the lake is free.
Lough Gur Visitor Centre:
Adults 5 euro
Senior Citizen 3.05 euro
Child 3 euro
Family 12.75 euro
Too bad the lake is unsafe for swimming; on a hot summer's day, it calls for nothing less. I had already put my swimsuit on, so I hiked around the shores, wearing it under my clothes.
The actual banks of the lake were rather muddy and buzzing with flies, so I found it more pleasant to view the lake from afar. I found a nice view on the hill next to the visitor center.
Lots of kids and families were picnicking in the grass and eating soft serve ice cream cones from the truck in the parking lot. The more adventurous were hiking around in the hills and studying the stone house remains.
There is a lot to see in a relatively small area here. The Grange Stone Circle is a short distance away from the lake - it is a bit too far away to walk and more easily accessible by car. It is an amazing spot to entice your imagination - what kinds of rites were performed here at midsummer's dawn? There are several other stones nearby, simply ask the caretaker Timothy to point you in the right direction; he would be happy to.
Written by Liz O' Malley - Summer of Travel 2007