Burren National Park

It’s hard to beat a holiday in Ireland when the sun shines, especially a place like The Burren in Co Clare. A magical area of 18,000 hectares of exposed limestone stretching across northern Clare, a truly spectacular sight.

The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boireann” meaning a rocky place. Filled with a unique mix of Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean wild flowers, it’s also one of Europe’s most important botanical regions.

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Last year we spent a couple of days in Clare staying in the Wild Honey Inn sampling the culinary delights of the Burren Food Trail. During our stay we wanted to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the region so we arranged a tour of the Burren National Park with Tony Kirby. He came highly recommended and he didn’t disappoint.

We arranged to meet Tony at the Burren Centre in Kilfernora and he drove us to the National Park. It was a tricky route to navigate as we got closer to the Park, so we were happy Tony was driving!

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A mine of information, Tony’s knowledge of the landscape, wildlife and history of the area is incredible. As we walked through the park, Tony also pointed out the various wild flowers, unique to the region, providing information on each.  Apparently we were lucky to spot the Spring Genitan, otherwise known as the Alpine wonder and icon of the Burren. My favourite flower was the cat’s paw, which looks and feels like a cat’s paw!

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The Spring Genitan – the icon of the Burren
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Cat’s Paw

purple flowers

A nature lover’s paradise, the tour took around two hours. To find out more, check out Tony’s website here.

Tony dropped us back to our car and after all the talk about exotic flowers, we decided to pay a visit to the Burren Perfumery.

Located about 2km from Carran, the Perfumery produces perfumes, oils, soaps and creams onsite inspired by the surrounding landscape. The small family-run facility is tucked away behind trees and rocks in the heart of the Burren. The approach to the car park is quite magical and the scents of its flowers and herb garden fill the air the closer you get.

The rain started to fall again so we headed straight for the Tea Rooms for some tea and cake before taking a little walk in the garden. A beautiful place to visit, good for the soul.

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The Burren is a truly spectacular place and just earlier this month, The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark was recognised as a Global leader in sustainable destination development, a scheme that honours tourism companies, organisations and destinations regarded as leaders in sustainable tourism best practice. A well-deserved accolade for this wonderful eco-friendly tourist destination. Read more about it here.

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