Bunratty Castle - Bunratty
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is located in the heart of Bunratty Village in County Clare, and sits on 26 acres. It provides visitors the opportunity to experience what life was like in Ireland in days gone by and is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. Bunratty Castle dates to the 15th century, it was originally constructed in 1425 and was sympathetically restored in 1954 to its former grandeur. It is now a National Monument and is home to a fine collection of 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art that are relevant to these times, there are over 450 items and artefacts housed here. It is the most complete and accurately rebuilt and furnished castle in Ireland. The castle can be explored by yourself using the map provided that explains the different rooms, or you can take a guided tour, with a qualified guide, who will bring the history of the castle to life.
The Folk Park dates to the 19th century and allows you to step back in time, walk the streets that are alive with sights, sounds, tastes and scents as people go about their daily lives, the staff adorn period costumes to give an authentic feel. Walk around this delightful village, visit the school, church, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and McNamara's pub, where you can eat and have a drink amongst the traditional setting. Step inside the different houses to see how people lived in these times, the basic conditions they had to endure. Traditional jobs and crafts are also demonstrated and there are lots of animals too.
Bunratty Walled Garden survives from the original demesne dating back to 1804. It is not an overly large walled garden being under half an acre, it would have served as the kitchen garden for the house. They are planted with products and planting that was used in this period.
Younger visitors will love the Fairy Village, it is situated in a pretty woodland section of the park. These little creatures are prevalent in Irish folklore and story. Come and see if they make an appearance, they tend to be very shy. There is also a play area that is suitable for smaller children
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is open throughout the year and makes for a great day out for all, it is suitable for all ages. There is a pleasant tea shop in the centre of the park where you can get refreshments, many of the items on sale have been made in the houses, using traditional methods.