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Lough Gur

Lough Gur © Christian1965
Lough Gur © Christian1965

Lough Gur is a lake situated less than 14 miles (23km) south east of Limerick. Although the area's lovely scenery provides enough reason to visit, its remarkable archaeological remains are the main attraction.

Lough Gur has been inhabited by humans since about 3000 BC, and the extensive remains make it one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites. There are relics from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Early Christian civilisations, as well as Medieval ruins all in one area. These show that Lough Gur has been continuously inhabited for at least 5,500 years. The Grange stone circle near the lake is the largest in Ireland and is seen by locals as a place of mystic power, similar to Stone Henge. There are also grave sites, a dolmen (rock monument), crannogs (artificial islands) and some ring forts.

The site contains a Heritage Centre with exhibitions on Lough Gur's history. They detail the significance of the archaeological remains, and bring the place to life in the imagination. However, the best way to explore the area is on a walking tour with one of the very well-informed guides. Visitors can also take self-guided audio tours. There are lovely picnic areas and walking trails to enjoy, and a small shop that sells snacks and refreshments.

Website: www.loughgur.com

Telephone: +353 61 385186

Opening times: Summer: Monday to Friday: 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday: 12pm-6pm Winter: Daily: 12pm-4pm

Admission: Adults €5, Children €3.