St. Johns Castle Limerick
St. Johns Castle Limerick

Limerick: 50 Days of Summer

Limerick City and county promoted itself as an ideal spot for Irish people to staycation during the summer of 2020, which was part of a promotional campaign titled, “Limerick: 50 Days of Summer.”
The city of Limerick. Photo courtesy of Failte Ireland.

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The award-winning tourism campaign, which was created by Limerick City and Limerick County Council, was promoted as a competition open to everyone.

Over the space of five weeks, there was the chance to win any one of 50 Limerick experiences.

The prizes were listed under various categories, including the Great Outdoors, Food & Pampering, Culture & Creativity, Sports & Adventure, as well as Family Fun.

The Limerick: 50 Days of Summer campaign included the chance the win admission to the following attractions:

A Night in King John’s Castle

King John’s Castle, located in Limerick’s Medieval Quarter, is the city’s most popular and iconic attraction.

castle by river the Shannon area
A complimentary visit to King John's Castle in Limerick is just one of the prizes in the promotion Limerick: 50 Days of Summer. Photo: P_L_photography for Getty Images Pro.

Archaeological excavations conducted in 1900 revealed that the Vikings once lived on the original site, but it was King John in 1200 who ordered the present-day structure built to protect the city of Limerick from encroaching Gaelic kingdoms.

The castle, which was completed in 1210, is considered one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Europe.

In 1642, the Siege of Limerick not only devastated the city but also did much damage to the castle.
The castle courtyard at King John's Castle in Limerick. Photo: By Nils E. – Own work, Public Domain,

Despite the damage, it still retains many of the features from its early construction, including a massive gatehouse, battlements, and corner towers.

The winner will experience an after-hours tour of the attraction, including breathtaking views from the turrets and a private tour of the castle’s exhibitions before enjoying a takeaway dinner and retiring to the Giddy Glamping site, which overlooks the castle’s medieval courtyard.

Hollywood Glamor at the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum

The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum is the only one of its kind in the world.

a flying boat Limerick: 50 Days of Summer
The “Yankee Clipper” at the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum. Photo: Brian Morrison, Tourism Ireland.

The museum tells the story of how the Shannon River served as a watery runway for the flying boats of the 1930s and ‘40s as they shuttled passengers between New York and Europe.

In July 1939, a luxury flying boat called the “Yankee Clipper” arrived at Foynes after completing the first commercial passenger flight from New York to the town, which is situated at the end of Ireland’s western seaboard.

The old airport terminal, which was once a 19th-century hotel, serves as the location for the museum.
Inside the Foynes Flying Boat Museum. Photo: Brian Morrison, Tourism Ireland.

It contains a number of interactive exhibits explaining the pivotal role these vehicles played during World War II.

You can even step into a full-size replica of a Boeing B314 flying boat while you’re there and also test your piloting skills by taking one of the museum’s flight simulators.

The winner and a guest will attend a special centenary celebration honoring the late Maureen O’Hara, who was a patron of the museum.
A look at the inside of the Flying Boat Museum. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The celebration includes a champagne reception, followed by lunch, as well as a live-streamed fashion show featuring glamorous clothing and accessories from O’Hara’s personal collection.

You can see more of the Hollywood star’s possessions in the Maureen O’Hara Exhibition.

The winner will receive a tailor-made gift at the end of the memorable experience.

Lough Gur

Another great prize is a private tour of Lough Gur, one of the country’s most important archaeological sites.

There is plenty of evidence that humans have been living around Lough Gur since about 3,000 B.C.

a lake Limerick: 50 Days of Summer
Lough Gur in Co. Leitrim. Photo: Shannon Development for Tourism Ireland.

The Grange Stone Circle, which is the largest one of its kind in Ireland, and a dolmen are located near the lake, in addition to the remains of at least three crannogs.

Stone Age houses and a number of ring forts also point to an ancient civilization that survived at Lough Gur.

In addition to the private tour, the prize also includes a picnic on the shores of the lake and a private pottery-making workshop at Lough Gur Pottery.
A glimpse of the heritage center at Lough Gur in Co. Limerick. Photo: Felikss Veilands for Getty Images.

Tourists who visit Lough Gur will first stop at the award-winning Heritage Centre.

The center’s exhibits detailing tell the 6,000-year-old story of Lough Gur through audio guides, interactive touchscreens, and more.

Adare Heritage Walk & Overnight Stay

The village of Adare is said to be the prettiest in Ireland.

Located about 18 km (11 miles) from Limerick City, its picture-postcard thatched cottages are the main draw for tourists visiting the area.

Apart from the cottages, the village’s other primary attraction is Adare Desmond Castle, which sits on the shores of the River Maigue, a tributary of the River Shannon.
Adare Desmond Castle at night. Photo: Mustang_79

The castle is a good example of a fortified medieval structure, part of an ancient ring fort, that was constructed in the early part of the 13th century.

The property once belonged to the Earls of Kildare (otherwise known as the Fitzgerald dynasty) but after the rebellion of 1536, it fell into the hands of the Earls of Desmond, from which it got its name.
One of the pretty cottages that you'll find in the village of Adare, Co. Limerick. Photo: Chris Hill Photographic, Tourism Ireland.

This prize consists of an hour-long heritage walk led by local tour guide Jorgen of Adare Walks outlining the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the town.

The winner will spend the night at Ballycannon Lodge in Croagh, Co. Limerick, and receive a €20 voucher toward a purchase at the family-run nursery, D&M Garden Centre.

A home-cooked lunch is included in the family’s restaurant, which is also part of the garden center.

Other prizes included in the Limerick: 50 Days of Summer tourism competition include:

  • A Family Falconry Experience at Adare Country Pursuits, which includes falconry, archery, and gundog training on the grounds of the Adare Manor Hotel. An archery class for two costs €130 while a falconry class for two costs €220.
  • West Limerick Activity Break – includes a guided hike along An Gleann Beag Loop, a local scenic trail. Overnight accommodation is provided at the Devon Inn Hotel in Templeglantine.
  • Medieval Limerick Discovery Tour – a tour of the city’s Medieval Quarter, including visits to the Hunt Museum, King John’s Castle, and an after-hours VIP tour of Limerick’s oldest building, St. Mary’s Cathedral.
  • Brews, Bed & Breakfast in a Medieval Walled Town – join JJ’s Craft Brewing for a tour of their brewery in the medieval walled town of Kilmallock. Following the tour, spend the night at the Deebert House Hotel, which includes a full Irish breakfast.
  • Horse Trek Through the Ballyhoura Mountains – the winner and five friends will be treated to a relaxing trek on horseback through rolling hills and forest trails, with views of the Ballyhoura, Galty, and Knockmealdown mountain range courtesy of Ballyhoura Horse Trekking.

Discover more experiences here.

Read More: 5 Heritage Towns that Will Make You an Expert in Irish History

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