And so my visit to Ireland was coming to and end but I knew I’d return.  The last stop was going to be Bunratty Castle.  While some would argue that it is just a tourist attraction – which indeed it is – it turned out to be quite enjoyable.

First, a bit of history.  The current castle (more like a tower house) dates back to around 1425 but the area has a long history and the first “castle” is believed to have been built back about 1250.  The castle itself is a “block” but it is interesting to explore.  It’s interior rooms are sparsely furnished with the main area being used for period themed banquets.  There are a few furnished rooms that can be viewed, but to me, it was the view from the tower that was the most enjoyable.

Outside the castle is the Bunratty Folk Village features a large number of older houses and shops set up as an old town.  As you walk through the grounds, you have old farm houses, farm estates, and the actual village – complete with school, bar, pharmacy….a total recreation.  It provides a good historical perspective and learning opportunity – as well as for some good photographs.

Related post:   Galway, Ireland

While it certainly was not what I expected – I should have read more about it – it was well worth the drive from my hotel in Lahinch. 

I know I’ll return to Ireland and explore further.