Limerick Greenway 1
Limerick Greenway 1

Limerick Greenway Open to Visitors

Another beautiful greenway is now available to visitors looking for outdoor activities in Ireland.

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Cyclists going through Tullig Wood on the Limerick Greenway. Photo courtesy of Limerick Greenway Facebook.

The Limerick Greenway officially opened in July 2021 after months of extensive refurbishment.

Like many of Ireland’s greenways, this, too, was once an old railroad that ran from Limerick city to Tralee in County Kerry.

The line opened between 1867 and 1880 and closed between 1975 and 1977.

There are five sections to the greenway, which is suitable for walkers, cyclists, and runners.

They include Rathkeale to Ardagh; Ardagh to Newcastle West; Newcastle West to Barnagh; Barnagh to Templeglantine Village; Templeglantine Village to Abbeyfeale, with an additional 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) to the Kerry border.

The length of the entire greenway is about 24 miles (40 km) and reveals much of the beautiful County Limerick landscape that is untouched by modern development.

The refurbishment of the greenway into County Kerry is expected to be complete by December 2023.

Visitors can cycle the route in a day or break it up into several days. Here are some of the interesting things to see along the way.

Rathkeale to Ardagh (9 km/5.59 miles)

Many visitors to the greenway begin at the Irish Palatine Museum and cross the River Deel.

There are five beautiful overhead bridges on this route.

a castle Limerick greenway
Lisnacullia Castle in Co. Limerick is located close to the greenway. Photo: Mike Searle, Wikimedia Commons.

Before arriving at the third one, visitors should check the ancient churchyard at Clounagh along with the ruins of the 15th century Lisnacille Castle in the distance (also known as Lisnacullia Castle).

At the fifth bridge, where the old Ardagh Railway Station was housed, is the Ardagh Fort, an ancient ringfort dating to 1,000 B.C. that is also a National Monument.

a gold chalice Limerick greenway
The beautiful Ardagh Chalice. Photo: Kglavin, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It is where the famous Ardagh Chalice was found in 1868 by two young boys who were digging potatoes nearby.

A small bronze cup, four brooches, and a cross believed to have been used during the Penal Times were also among the collection of treasures found.

The two-handled silver cup, decorated in gold, gilt bronze, and enamel, is perhaps the most revered artifact from the Irish Catholic Church collection.

It is on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Ardagh to Newcastle West (4 km/2.48 miles)

This section of the greenway passes beautiful Limerick farmland with views of the surrounding hills in the distance.

A stopping-off point close to the town of Newcastle West gives cyclist the opportunity to explore the town.

Its main attraction is Desmond Castle, which was built in the 13th century by the Fitzgeralds, the Earls of Desmond.
Desmond Castle is located in the heart of Newcastle West off the Limerick Greenway. Photo: Mike Searle, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Self-guided tours are available at this free attraction.

Skip the Line to the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle

Newcastle West to Barnagh (10 km/6.21 miles) 

Cyclists on this part of the greenway will find themselves in the Rooskagh Hills that lead to bogland and magnificent views of the Limerick Plains and the Golden Vale, an area of rolling pastureland that covers Counties Limerick, Tipperary, and Cork.

fields and mountains Limerick greenway
View of the Golden Vale from the Limerick Greenway. Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.

It is known for its dairy farms.

The route crosses Ferguson’s Viaduct before becoming a dedicated cycleway.

The Barnagh Tunnel is another cool feature of this section of the greenway, which has become the perfect habitat for both plants and animals, with nine species of bats calling it home.

Barnagh to Templeglantine (4 km/2.48 miles)

After passing two stone bridges, cyclists will find themselves in Templeglantine.
Glenquin Castle is located close to the Limerick Greenway. Photo: Mike Searle, CC BY-SA 2.0,

This is a good place to explore the restored Glenquin Castle, a tower house and National Monument, as well as the Killeedy Castle ruin and St. Ita’s Churchyard.

Templeglantine to Abbeyfeale (9 km/5.59 miles to Abbeyfeale and 3 km/1.86 miles to the Kerry border)

The tranquil Tullig Wood can be found on this stretch of the greenway.

The forest is an important wildlife habitat for birds, badgers, and butterflies, and a truly serene area of the greenway in contrast to the busy towns along its route.

two people cycling on a road Limerick greenway
Cyclists going through Tullig Wood on the Limerick Greenway. Photo courtesy of Limerick Greenway Facebook.

Some may choose to stop in the town of Abbeyfeale or continue on to the Kerry border, passing the ruins of Purt Castle and the River Feale along the way.

For more information on the greenway and what you can expect to see on it, be sure to download the Limerick Greenway brochure.

Places to Stay in the Area

There’s a lot of accommodation available in the area, including the boutique Rathkeale House Hotel, the Longcourt House Hotel, Ballingowan House, and more.

a hotel bedroom Limerick Greenway
One of the bedrooms in the Rathkeale House Hotel in Limerick. Photo courtesy of

B&Bs, Airbnbs, self-catering accommodation, and other types of stays are also available in neighboring towns.

Read More: Ireland’s Greenways to be Enhanced

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