Towns of Clare
Shannon —County Clare
Shannon Town is unique in Ireland in being a foundation of the 20th century, but for all its modernity it lies in a remote corner of County Clare. A couple of kilometres drive in any direction leads from a busy town, world-famous airport and industrial centre into rolling pasture land dotted with occasional cottages. The nearest village, just three miles to the east, is famous Bunratty with its castle, medieval banquets and folk park.
Shannon has two hubs: Shannon International Airport and Shannon town centre. Accommodation available includes three hotels and a number of B&Bs in the area. The first concern of the airport, not surprisingly, is to warmly welcome visitors and smooth their flows through. Most people see Shannon Airport simply as a gateway to move through into or out of a beautiful Region. Those who need to stay for a while discover a very pleasant spot with excellent food and drink, great shopping (including duty free) and a tourist office well stocked with books and craftwork and a delightful outlook over the Shannon Estuary.
The Shannon Town Centre which has undergone a major transformation offers great shopping, together with a variety of pubs and restaurants. To the south footpaths lead along the shores of the estuary, a wide open space, rich in bird life ? from autumn to spring it is one of the most important wild bird sites in Ireland. Innumerable pitches for football and hurling testify to the youth of the population of the new town. A mile to the east is Ballycasey craft centre where pottery and other craftwork, traditional and modern, are made and offered for sale. While its inhabitants are mainly people who work in the airport and the businesses nearby rather than tourists, Shannon Town is a vibrant place and a good base from which to explore the delights of Clare and Limerick.