Shannon:An Irish Riverside Town Famed for Its Scenic Views and Rich Art Scene

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Shannon:An Irish Riverside Town Famed for Its Scenic Views and Rich Art Scene

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Shannon:An Irish Riverside Town Famed for Its Scenic Views and Rich Art Scene

Shannon is a town, near the Shannon Estuary, in County Clare, Ireland. It's colourful and unique Irish culture and stunning lush windswept landscapes gave its ticket to being a popular sightseeing destination. Not only Shannon town's stunning rock formations along the coastline are famous, but also the town's traditional Irish culture and music.

1. Cliffs of Moher (Liscannor)

Tourists visiting Shannon are in for a treat as County Clare is the home of one of the most famous Irish sightseeing destination - the Cliffs of Moher. These stunning dark limestone formations are formed by the constant pounding of the Atlantic waters throughout time. They rise 214m above the Atlantic Ocean and stretches all the way from the hills of Connemara to the islands of Aran. The Cliffs of Moher is an hour away from Shannon. Visiting from Shannon Town, the Cliffs of Moher is best enjoyed during sunset, as the lush grassy landscape is met with a sky with a stunning mix of amber, amethyst, rose pink, and dark garnet red.

2. Bunratty Castle (Bunratty)

To the east of Shannon lies the Bunratty Castle, a medieval fortress inside a folk park, which is a replica of a 19th-century village. The village is a complete blast in the past - it has thatched-cottage chimneys, blacksmith forges, weavers, a traditional post office, grocery-pub, and small cafés. The castle on the other hand, was built in 1425 by the then prominent MacNamara family. In 1954, the castle was restored and filled with 14-17th-century furniture and art. And, as part of the folk park, medieval banquets and traditional Irish evenings are featured in an around the castle, making it a crowd favourite sightseeing destination near Shannon. The Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is just a 10-minute ride away from the town of Shannon.

3. Poulnabrone Dolmen Tomb (The Burren)

The Poulnabrone Dolmen or Poll na mBrón, which means hole of the quern stones", is a portal tomb located in The Burren near Shannon, County Clare. It sits on Poulnabrone town's rocky fields. The tomb dates as far back to the Neolithic period, between 4200 and 2900 BC. Previous excavations revealed that the tomb houses 33 buried people along with some of their important belongings such as weapons, pottery, and quartz crystals. Concerned with its preservation and acknowledging the fact that the dolmen is a popular tourist sightseeing destination, officials placed ropes around the structure as a barrier to ensure that it won't be touched and will be preserved. Poulnabrone is roughly a 5-min. ride away from Shannon Town.

4. Shannon Estuary (Shannon)

The Shannon Estuary is a large estuary where the River Shannon meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its head sits the city of Limerick, while its north is bounded by the Loop Head, and its south is marked by the Kerry Head. The Shannon Estuary is long, stretching at 97km. Having a high tidal range, it's considered as one of the most important natural resources not just in Shannon, but in all of mid-west Ireland. The Shannon Estuary is also famed for activities such as dolphin and whale-watching as well as fishing. Visiting from Shannon Town, the Shannon Estuary is about an hour ride away.

5. Beale Beach (Kerry)

Located at the Shannon River's mouth, the rocky Beale Beach stretches at over 3km. High dune landscapes and mud banks surround the estuary's bend, providing walking opportunities around the headland. The beach houses the popular wreck of Thetis, a 1800s shipwreck. The wreck can be seen from Beale's car park, where the ship's few broken wooden ribs remains lie in the sand. With this, the rocky and sandy beach is not a famous swimming destination; rather, it's a sightseeing one, as well as a site for fishing and bird watching. An hour ride away from Shannon, visitors from Shannon can enjoy a scenic beach sightseeing break in Beale Beach.

6. Craggaunowen Park (Quin)

A half-hour ride away from Shannon, the Craggaunowen is an open-air pre-historic museum. Truly a living the past experience, the museum shows the daily lived of Early Bronze Age Celt settlers. Some of these activities include cooking over fires an pits, grinding corn for bread-making, and pottery making. Tourists can also learn more about how America was discovered; tourists may check out the Brendan Boat where they re-enact St. Brendan and the early Christian monks' voyages to the New World even before Christopher Columbus. Aside from this, you may also see the historic 16th-century Craggaunowen Castle. Craggaunowen is near Shannon, it's just a 25-minute ride away from Shannon Town.

7. Ennistymon (Ennistymon)

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Ennistymon is a popular sightseeing country market town near Shannon in County Clare. It's famous for its small rapids, the Cascades, that runs through the town. The traditional Irish town is riddled with pubs, cafés, and shops. Aside from the Cascades, the town also has other sites such as the Teach Ceoil Saint Andrews, a gothic Irish church turned into a hall, the An Gorta Mór Memorial, a monument to commemorate the memory of the Great Famine victims, and the Falls Hotel and nearby townhouses, that were listed as valuable architecture by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

8. Doonagore Castle (Doolin)

The Doonagore Castle is about an hour away from Shannon. Visitors from Shannon going to The Burren must also go sightseeing and take photos of the Doonagore Castle. As, the castle is one of the three cylindrical tower house along the region. Built from sandstone and limestone, the 16th-century structure was built by Tadgh MacTurlough acCon O'Connor. It sits on Doolin Point's hill, overlooking the town and sea. However, the castle is currently a private holiday home. Thus, the castle is only up for sightseeing and picture taking from the town road.

9. McDermott's Castle (Lough Key)

While in Shannon, it is best to roam around nearby regions to fully enjoy castle and medieval architecture sightseeing. With this, another famous sightseeing destination a few hours ride away from Shannon is the McDermott's Castle. The castle is incredibly famous being located on a small island in County Roscommon, along the River Shannon. The national monument was built in the 12th century, which was then ruled by the McDermotts - who were also known as the Kings of Moylurg - until the 17th century. Now, it is part of the Lough Key Forest Park.

10. Clonmacnoise

The Clonmacnoise is a monastery in County Offaly on the River Shannon, south of Athlone. The collective of structures are just an hour and a half ride away from Shannon. Visitors from Shannon that are castle sightseeing may reach the Clonmacnoise via cars and buses. The area has a park, monastery, and cemetery - all of which date as far back to the Vikings' era. With this, it's famous for the preserved Celtic crosses and cemetery. Truly, the Clonmacnoise is a perfect lens for sightseeing to the Vikings' way of life and culture.

◎ Closing

Shannon is a wonderful town for sightseeing. From scenic limestone cliffs to historic castles and structures, sightseeing in Shanon is a blast from the past. Aside from this, Shannon is easily accessible, and is a perfect starting point to go sightseeing in nearby towns and regions. Its traditional pubs and cafés are the perfect places to end a day's adventure. With this, Shannon is truly a must-see destination in Ireland.