Adare and the West Limerick area are a walker’s dream. The River Maigue runs through Adare and has a beautiful river bank walk which runs from one end of the village to the other - enough to stretch one's legs but it won't leave you breathless! Pop in for a tea or coffee afterwards in one of the local cafés.
Also nearby is the Croom river walk which again follows the bank of the River Maigue. It’s a nice leisurely walk with lovely café along the way, perfect for taking the weight off your feet.
Close to Fanningstown Castle lies the Great Southern Trail Greenway – a 60 mile stretch of countryside which follows the route of the former Limerick to Tralee/Fenit railway.
If you are interested in local famine history, a walk up Knockfierna Mountain, close to the village of Ballingarry, will take you past a number of reconstructed cottages which were abandoned during the famine, as well as a memorial.
The beautiful Curraghchase Forest Park, is also not far away. It comprises a number of marked trails, a lake and the ruins of Curraghchase House, the former home of poet Aubrey de Vere which was accidently destroyed by fire in 1941.
Not far from Fanningstown Castle lies Lough Gur, the only place in Ireland where you can see visible evidence of every age since Neolithic times.
The first stop for visitors is the fully restored and refurbished Heritage Centre which provides an overview of what is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites. The Centre has a team of experienced guides who are on hand to help visitors discover the local monuments and sites which include the Grange Stone Circle built in the Bronze Age to the more recent Bourchiers Castle which was built in the early 1600s as well as the history and folklore of the area.
Longer guided walking tours taking in the lake and the local countryside are also available.
Ballyhoura also has one of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Bikes can be rented on site. For more info, see the Trailriders website.