Beautiful Bunratty Castle - A Must-See for Any Visitor to the Emerald Isle

Envelop yourself in the medieval fortress of Bunratty Castle, which is found in Southwest Ireland in County Clare.

The Munster Province castle is nearly three hours away by car from the Dublin Airport, but the route is straightforward and takes you through incredible scenery.

Bunratty Castle

Head onto the M7 for the majority of the drive before taking the E20 and then the exit leading to the town and the castle of Bunratty.     

Things to Know About Bunratty Castle

Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark.  Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!

But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.

  • Bunratty Castle, found in County Clare, is one of the most complete examples of a medieval fortress in all of Ireland.
  • All of the furnishings in the interior of the castle date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, letting you relive history on your tour.
  • There's even an included folk park, where you can visit a traditional pub, post office or school.
  • The 13th century stone castle's exterior is stunning, but it is what lies within that makes it such an appealing spot in Ireland.
  • The name Bunratty is derived from the castle's location. Directly translated, the Irish words Bun Raite mean river basin of the Ratty River, which happens to flow right from the castle to the Shannon Estuary less than one mile away.
  • The site where Bunratty is located has a long and storied history. As far back as the 10th century, there was a Norse trading settlement where the castle is currently situated. 
  • The first Bunratty Castle was constructed from timber. For reasons not exactly known, that castle didn't last for more than a few decades. 
  • A second castle was constructed in 1276 by a descendant of Strongbow. This castle was made from stone and had a single tower. 
  • This castle, too, didn't last long. Fortunately, a third and final Bunratty Castle was erected around 1425. This castle became a stronghold for several Irish families for centuries.
  • If you want to experience medieval life, the Castle is one of the best places to do just that. It has been open to the public since 1962.
  • One of the most thrilling ways to see the castle is through a nightly medieval banquet. You can sip a glass of mead, dine on traditional cuisine and watch performers just like the castle residents did in centuries past.
  • You'll also want to check out the Bunratty Walled Garden. Since 1804, the traditional Victorian garden has provided the castle with fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables.
  • The Bunratty Folk Park Experience will be a highlight of your visit to the castle. Spread out over 26 acres, the folk park boasts 30 unique structures that showcase medieval living.
  • You'll be able to buy a drink from the pub MacNamara and Sons, chat with a costumed Royal Irish Constabulary or watch farmers in action. This is a fully immersive experience that visitors will remember for a lifetime.

You can find more information at the official website here.

Want More Irish Castles?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles!  The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.  

Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."

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That Was Fun!  Where Can I Learn More?

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For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Sightseeing here!

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