All dressed up in your activewear and nowhere to go? We suggest heading to the Shannon Region for some fun in the great outdoors.

Clare and Limerick make up the Shannon Region of Ireland and they are some of the best counties to seek a dash of adventure in. Between them they have cliffs, great swell, a river and forestry trails galore, so you’ll find something to spike your adrenaline here, and all for under €50.


1. Swim in the Pollock Holes

Price: Free

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When the tide is out, three Pollock holes at the west end of Kilkee are unveiled and they are well worth seeking out for a dip. The first is the shallowest so if you’re not the strongest swimmer, this is the one for you. The other two on the Duggerna-Reef are deeper. This area is the perfect place for your water adventures with diving boards just outside the town and people doing sub-aqua in the clear waters off the rocks. Most people wear wetsuits but if you need something to wake you up in the morning, we won’t stop you going in your togs!

2. Surf Lahinch

Price: €10 – €20 – rent board

We are well aware that this is one of the most obvious things to do when in Clare, but you simply can’t go there without having a surf! Lahinch is the home of Ireland’s surfing elite. Take a lesson with one of the million surf schools along the boardwalk or if you are a seasoned surfer just rent a board for a few hours, you can usually get foamies to decent hardboards. And if time is on your hand, take a trip out to Moyhill Community farm outside the town to see all the good those surfing farmers are doing.

More info: Lahinch Surf Centre

3. Sail in Kilkee

Price: €35

Have you always wanted to take to the open seas on a sailboat? Here’s your chance. NevSail offers two and a half hour taster sessions in Kilkee Bay. The instructor will be on board or in a rescue boat alongside you to save you if things go pear-shaped. As well as fresh air in your lungs and sea salt in your hair, you’ll get a certificate of proficiency!

More info: Nev Sail Watersports 

10 things everyone should know before their first sailing lesson


1. Try indoor rock climbing

Price: €15

If it’s lashing rain outside, then indoor rock climbing is the perfect antidote to save your weekend from becoming a couch and boxset binge fest. Nev Sail run fun taster sessions in their indoor rock climbing wall in Limerick, so you can play without the commitment of becoming a member.

More info: Nev Sail Rockclimbing 

2. Ride the Ballyhoura trails

Price: €35 – rent a bike

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As the largest trail network of its kind in Ireland, Ballyhoura is where it’s at when it comes to mountain biking in Ireland. Boasting 98km of trails including forest road climbs, singletrack with loads of ups and downs, boardwalk, and technical rocky bits, it’ll leave you buzzing. There’s something for everyone with the 6km Greenwood loop to the mad 50km Castlepook loop and everything in between.

More info: Trail Riders

3. Kayak at night on the River Shannon

Price: €45

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There is nothing more magical/kind of scary than nighttime kayaking. Get West run two-hour tours of Limerick on the River Shannon. Paddle upriver past the ancient sites of Viking settlers and Norman conquerors with stories of Limerick’s history beneath the city lights and stars. It’s really something special to behold.

More info: Get West 

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By Orla O'Muiri

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