Tour the West of Ireland from Bruff, County Limerick

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Even in a place as magnificent as Ireland, some places just stand out as special. One of the most special for me is the town of Bruff, County Limerick. Just 30 minutes south of Limerick City, Bruff is perfectly situated to serve as your base to tour the west of Ireland.

I wish I could pin-point exactly what it is that makes Bruff a place we return to again and again- even if just for a day. The town, and its people, draw us back. We know we will always find a charming place to lay our head, friendly faces to help us with anything we need, and plenty nearby to keep us busy.

Tour the West of Ireland from Bruff

The west of Ireland is popular for its dramatic coastlines, restored castles, and ‘traditional Irish' ways. And Bruff, in the center of the west, is a perfect home base for touring.

Where to stay in Bruff

Bruff has one B&B – The Old Bank. A ‘luxury' B&B, The Old Bank has beautiful, spacious rooms, a welcoming sitting room, perfect for tea by the fire, and one of the best breakfasts you'll find anywhere. Your hostess, Miriam, is a wealth of knowledge about the town and the surrounding area and will happily provide recommendations for outings.  Read about our stay at The Old Bank

The Old Bank B&B, Bruff, County Limerick, Ireland
Cead mile failte at The Old Bank B&B

If you travel light, like we tend to, you'll likely want to have your laundry done during your stay. Real's Laundrette, just across from the Centra filling station, is the perfect place to handle the job. It's quick (you can often drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon) and affordable with friendly service. During two of our stays in Bruff we had laundry done here. And though there was nearly a year between them, we were greeted like regular customers when we returned.

Eating in Bruff

You'll find quite a few dining options in Bruff- including a tasty chipper for quick takeaway. If you're wanting pub food, Clancy's Pub is the place to go. You might even find a bit of live music some evenings.

Just across the street from The Old Bank is Lantern Chinese Restaurant. This spot does a brisk take-away and table service is also quick. Fresh local ingredients combined with friendly staff make this a wonderful spot for dinner.

Things to Do Near Bruff

Nearby Lough Gur is one of the most magical places in Ireland. Some of Ireland’s oldest monuments and tombs lie near Lough Gur.  As far back as 3000BC, this area has been inhabited by people who left megalithic stone work, great stone circles, early Bronze objects and beaker pottery.

Swan in Lough Gur, County Limerick, Ireland

Be sure to follow the fairy trail at Lough Gur- it will lead you to their hidden forest.

The museum Old Irish Ways takes you to a more recently lived past. Filled with bits of Irish life from the 19th and 20th centuries, you'll see what it was like to live in Ireland from the time of the Great Famine through the mid 1900's.

The replica school room is of great interest to children and everyone will enjoy a bit of craic in Blacky's Bar, a stunning pub/ shop where you can't get a pint, but Denis might be persuaded to offer a cuppa and a chat.

Don't rush through here- Denis gathered everything you see personally and can share stories that bring it all to life. (Tip: be sure to call before showing up! If you're staying at The Old Bank, Miriam can arrange your visit.)

Blacky's Bar in the Museum of Old Irish Ways, County Limerick, Ireland

A pleasant few hours can be spent rambling around the Donkey Sanctuary . This donkey rescue offers miles of trails and hundreds of cute, friendly donkeys whose lives have been saved at the sanctuary. This is a great outing with kids, as they simply adore the shaggy, sweet faced creatures. There is no charge to visit the sanctuary, but be sure to stop in the shop and consider adopting a donkey (either real or stuffed).

Donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary, County Cork, Ireland
Donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary

Bruff lies within the Ballyhoura Region, an area that encompasses the southern part of County Limerick and the northern part of County Cork. It's an area known for outdoor pursuits like hill walking, mountain biking, horseback riding and orienteering.

Listen to the podcast with Jana Mannion from Ballyhoura Country (or read the show notes)

Tour the West of Ireland from Bruff

Rock of Cashel  31 miles

Cliffs of Moher  63 miles

Consider a Cliffs of Moher Cruise from nearby Doolin

Bunratty Castle 24 miles

Bunratty Castle is a great pairing with the Cliffs of Moher. Visit Bunratty in the afternoon and then enjoy an evening entertainment- either the Medieval Banquet or enjoy the Ceili in the Kitchen.

Killarney  68 miles

Add a few more miles and tour either the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula. Note: leave Bruff early- there is a lot to see and do here!

Adare 19 miles

Often called the ‘prettiest town in Ireland'. I highly recommend making time for tea at Miss Crumpet's Tea Room at the Creamery Old World Market.

If a Falconry Experience in Ireland is part of your vacation wish list contact Adare Country Pursuits at Adare Manor.

Foynes 36 miles

Pair this village with your trip to Adare and visit the Flying Boat Museum.

Jody Halsted
Follow Along


  1. Surprised You were not aware of Bruff,s …. Wonderful Singers and Musicians….”. The Wild Oats ” that embrace such a wealth of Songs and Stories from. the decades to the recent, with eight different voices culminating with such a gifted chorus performed and performing in Concert and Churches locally , the surrounding Towns and Counties.

      I have seen bands perform in Bruff but never ‘The Wild Oats’. I’ll have to check on that next time I’m in the area. Thanks for the tip!

    One thing. ..Lois Grange, Limerick side of Bruff, is Irelands largest stone circle. It is aligned with the sunrise of the spring equinox. Still perfectly aligned to this day. It is situated just after the turn off to Lough Gur. Worth a look. I live near Bruff…

      The Grange stone circle is one of my favorite places! It’s indescribable to stand in the center of perfectly aligned stones and know they have been there so long before you and will continue long after you are gone! I do mention the stone circle a few times here on the site- I hope you’ll look around a bit!

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