Snuggled in a wooden and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village. Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon river, Adare (Gaelic name: “Ath Dara” – the “Ford of the Oak” – from the combination of water and woodland) dates back, at least, to the early 13th century. During its long history, Adare, as a strategic location, has been the subject of many conquests, wars and rebellions.
The old town of Adare, which stood on the northern bank of the river Maigue, near the Desmond castle, was destroyed during the 16th century wars. Almost all of the present village was built in the 19th century. The early developments were quite haphazard, but from about 1820, streets and buildings were laid out in accordance to the then, Earl of Dunraven’s design. He built houses and rented them, under various agreements, to his tenants, working on his estate lands.
Today, Adare village has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty. Two groups of world-famous, ornate, thatched cottages line part of the village’s broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins.
Situated in the centre of County Limerick, just a 15 minute drive from Limerick City and 40 minutes by car from Shannon Airport, Adare Village is regarded as being the most unique and ideal base for exploring the many visitor attractions in County Limerick (Lough Gur, King John’s Castle, etc.), as well as those of nearby counties, such as Kerry (Killarney, Dingle, etc.), Cork (Blarney, Kinsale, etc.), Clare (the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, etc.) and Tipperary (Rock of Cashel, Glen of Aherlow, etc).