Emerald Isle

The Burren

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Irish and Celtic myths and legends, Irish folklore and Irish fairy tales and Legendary Places in Ireland

The incredible scenery of a primal Irish landscape, the Burren

The Burren is one of the wonders of Ireland. A rolling rocky landscape of limestone hills and plains, it is marked with history stretching back thousands of years. Nestled in between the limestone slabs are herbs and plants you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere, hailing from places as far afield as the Arctic and the Mediterranean, kept warm in the cold wailing winter months by the rock around them. As desolate as it seems - one of Cromwell's men described it as "there is not a tree to hang a man from, water to drown one in nor dirt to bury one in" - it holds many secrets and mysteries.

There are passage graves beside ring forts alongside abandoned homes and 19th century churches. Ancient caves like Ailwee dot the area, dolmens and places rich with folklore. Visitors are well advised to take a look at Kilfenora stone cross and Cathedral, Newtown castle and Poulawick cairn. No journey to the Burren would be complete without a stop by Poulnabroune dolmen - built by the first farmers to come here, almost six thousand years ago - and Gleninsheen or Parknabinna wedge tombs, or the stone fort at Caherdoonerish. Earthen barrows are widespread as are remarkable castles protected by upright stone fortifications. Or even, for fans of the show, Father Ted's house!

Wild cats and goats roam the stands of hazel woodland throughout the Burren, along with red squirrels, foxes and voles, and on a rare summer evening you may chance to see a peregrine falcon soaring high in the warm blue skies above. And looking down, what does he see but hundreds of stone forts built in antiquity, many ancient monuments from the stone and bronze ages, and a wealth of Christian history.

When you visit the Burren, the question will be where to find the time to see everything!

The wonderful Burren is displayed on the map you see here.


Legendary Places in Ireland

Irish fairy tales, Irish folklore