Limerick: a fun filled weekend break in Ireland
Limerick, one of the largest cities in Ireland and is located in the west of the island is a city which is worth hitting up to explore, eat, drink and sleep. The city makes it an ideal base for those visiting the nearby Cliffs of Moher or taking a drive on the Wild Atlantic Way but I also found that the city has so much to offer. Here is my guide on what to do for a weekend getaway in this charming, historic city.
King John’s Castle
Take a step back in time and explore this well preserved castle located on Kings Island (yes, there is an island in the heart of Limerick) where a couple of hours is needed. The castle explains the history and who ruled this area many centuries ago, as the Vikings, English, Normans all came and went but used the castle as a stronghold before things calmed down for the last few centuries. Here I explored the massive courtyard and mastered some archery before checking out all the different rooms and climbing staircases up in the towers to get amazing views of the city.
Take a walking tour with a local
Another highlight for me was doing a walking tour of the King’s Island and around the River Shannon with a local which organised through the Limerick Tourist Office. I was taken around Kings Island, King John’s castle, the treaty stone, the 1916 commemorative garden and St Mary’s Cathedral. The knowledge by the guide was very informative and I managed to listen to every single word because my guide made the tour very interesting, interacted with the visitors and made sure I had fun.
St Mary’s Cathedral & the Prince of Montenegro
The cathedral has stood here since the 11th century and is worth a look around. I found the story of the resting place for Prince Milo of Montenegro rather interesting. Who is this prince you ask and why is there a connection between him and the cathedral. Well, the prince is buried here but the story of how he got buried here in Limerick I found amazing. If I wasn’t told (by my walking tour guide) he was buried here, I wouldn’t of known because his grave isn’t anything special or spectacular, just a normal grave with an average head stone.
Prince Milo was born in 1887 and died in 1978. Whilst a prince, he studied at the Military school in St Petersburg, Russia and made friends with Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra. Life turned for the worse when the prince was deposed off in 1919 and fled, ending up in the United States. Years went by and he landed up in the Limerick area. Here he made his final will and stated that he wanted to be buried in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral, to which this was carried out. After his death, years went by until the cathedral in 2011 received an official letter from the Montenegro government, stating that they wish to see the body of prince sent back to the country for an official burial there. This was refused as Prince Milo wanted to be buried in Limerick.
Another interesting fact is that the Prince’s daughter is still alive and is known as Princess Milena who lives with her husband in California. She is a retired school teacher and when she was growing up, she like her father, hoped to see Montenegro as a free country again. Her father didn’t of course as the country gained independence in 2006 but she did see it.
Whiskey tasting at Michael Flannery’s Pub
A lot of people back home (for me that is the United Kingdom) say a trip to Ireland isn’t complete without trying a pint of the black stuff (Guinness) but for me, it would be a disaster if I didn’t try any Irish Whiskey. I was happy to try this at Michael Flannery’s pub on Upper Denmark Street , which is a traditional Irish Bar who has one of the largest Irish Whiskey collections in the country (around 140 in stock). Whilst tasting the Irish Whiskey, I was given an in depth talk and information on them by a very informative guide. I was given three different types of Irish Whiskey to try and I was so glad we had the opportunity to do this.
Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum
About forty minutes away to the west in the village of Foynes on the banks of the River Shannon, is the Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, where before the Second World War, planes would take off from the water and fly across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, making this the home of the first flights to travel between Europe and North America. This museum is also the home of where Irish Coffee was first invented.
The Copper Room
Located at 100 o’Connell Street (this place is hard to find if you don’t know where it is), this is the top place to go and have some wine, port and cheese. At the Copper Room they have a huge selection of local and international cheeses, pates, and meats that can be paired with the right wine or port. I have to say, I was delighted to check out this establishment, the cheeses were amazing, the decor inside very rustic, the staff very helpful and knew their stuff on what cheese board and what wine to have with it and of course, I came away very happy.
Whilst in Limerick, visitors would need accommodation. I found that a stay at The Clayton Hotel on the outskirts of the city centre is a fantastic place to stay, comfortable bed, brilliant views and the food very sublime. Check out my review HERE.
Please note that while I was working with Limerick.ie, the reviews and experiences written about in this post are 100% genuine. I value my readers too much to lie to you. My blog would be nothing without you and your continued support!