With 2020 coming to a close, we have decided to put together our East Clare bucket list. Find our favourite experiences and top things to do in East Clare, and make a point of completing this bucket list for 2021.
We know some people like to set resolutions, but for the year that has been 2020, we want to show you a fun alternative. Why not sit down with your family to create your 2021 bucket list, which you can then tick off throughout the year.
Here is our ultimate East Clare bucket list.
Hike Moylussa — Clare's highest peak
Standing an impressive 532m (1745ft) above sea level, Moylussa is the County Clare's highest point. This spectacular mountain offers incredible views of Lough Derg, Tipperary and East Clare. This hike takes approximately three hours, but it is one for the bucket list.
There are benches along the way for pit stops or picnics. If you are looking for the ultimate bucket list experience, why not head here for sunrise. The beauty of the sky, combined with the magnificent views make for a truly magical experience.
Discover adventure with My Next Adventure — kayak the waterways
This Killaloe based kayaking tour company operates guided kayaking tours of Killaloe and the River Shannon. Explore the canals while learning about the area's rich history. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, herons and other wildlife as you navigate the ancient canals.
With a range of sit-on-top kayaks and Canadian canoes, this experience is perfect for friends and family. Discover Killaloe from a different angle. For an adult-only experience, why not enjoy the full moon kayaking experience, where you get the experience the magic of Lough Derg by moonlight — truly breathtaking.
Visit Wilde Irish Chocolates — East Clare's very own chocolate factory
Nestled in the village of Tuamgraney, Wilde Irish Chocolates is a small artisan chocolate factory. Handmaking over 80 different types of chocolate, this is a chocolate-lovers delight.
Discover the art of chocolate-making by talking to some of the chocolatiers as they create some of the delicious sweet treats. Be sure to try out their hot chocolate café where they make mouthwatering hot chocolate using indulgent chocolate.
Take a trip to Inis Cealtra — an uninhabited monastic settlement
Just a short boat trip from Mountshannon is the island of Inis Cealtra, also known as Holy Island. The island dates back to the 6th century when a monastic community was established there. The island is rich in history and is an eye-opener into East Clare's history.
You can discover the ruins of several small churches on the island, a round tower, a holy well, a graveyard, and part of four high crosses. Ger Madden, a local historian, organises boat trips to Holy Island.
Swim in Lough Derg — for a chilly adventure
With Lough Derg on our doorstep, why not test the waters by dipping your toe in. The water temperature varies between 8°C and 16°C depending on the time of year, so it is a chilly one! Although cold, it is an experience not to be missed right on our doorstep.
During the summer months, there is a lifeguard on duty at Two Mile Gate and Mountshannon. However, during most of the year, you can expect to find some of the more experienced open water swimmers out testing the waters.
Visit Irish Seed Savers — a purpose-built seed bank
Situated in Scarriff, the Irish Seed Savers Association plays a vital role in conserving and preserving Ireland's horticulture and agriculture. With 20 acres of organic seed gardens, heritage orchards and native woodland trails this is an eye-opening experience just a stone throw away.
There are various workshops throughout the year, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events. You can enjoy a guided tour of the grounds where their experienced staff will impart some of their wealth of knowledge onto you.
Visit McKernan Woollen Mills — for a guided tour
Unearth the craft of textile manufacturing by enjoying a guided tour of McKernan Woollen Mills. The tour is led by one of the talented staff, who will awaken a love of fashion and craft.
You will learn about the process of creating a beautiful handmade piece of clothing from start to finish, including learning about the history of the textile industry. Then browse the range of products on offer and come away with a piece of East Clare.
Walk the 12 O'Clock Hills — find the fairies
Located southeast of Kilkishen village the 12 O'Clock Hills are part of the Slieve Bearnagh Mountain Range. Views from the hills can stretch as far as the mountains of Connemara, as well as glimpses of the Burren. With two different trails, this hike is a hidden treasure in East Clare.
Kids will love the hills as there is a fairy trail which is frequented by these magical creatures. There is even a fairy postbox where you can post your wishes.
Scale the climbing wall at Derg Isle — test your nerves
For a fun-filled day of adventure why not head to Derg Isle adventure centre. With so many activities to choose from you can visit regularly to try out all the exhilarating activities on offer.
Try your hand at some archery, zorbing, ziplining or test your nerves by scaling the climbing wall. Take to the water of the Graney River by testing your balance at stand-up paddleboarding. This is great for children of all ages, including big kids!
Prepare for Quest Lough Derg — the ultimate adventure race
If you are one for an adventure, then Quest is one of the best adventure experiences there is. With three different challenges of varying difficulty, there is something no matter your experience. Cycle and run the trails and roads of East Clare and Tipperary and kayak the waters of East Clare.
There is so much to see and do on our doorstep. Get out and explore what our beautiful region has to offer. And be sure to tag us in your East Clare bucket list experiences.