For Early Arrivals - Ennis Walking Tour, and Banratty Castle & Quin Friary van tour

For those arriving a day early (on May 26th) in Shannon/Ennis for the May 27th Best of Ireland Tour:

Would you be interested in:

1. Walking tour of Ennis on May 26th at 5:00 pm? See details on website Tour will cost E20 per person if we have four (which we currently do) or E15 or E10 per person if we have more. Proprietor Jane O'Brien.
We would have the late morning / afternoon of May 26th to recover from our overnight flight.
After the tour we could have separate arrangements for dinner at the Cloisters or Cruises restaurant

2. Private chauffeured, four-hour tour by car or van to Banratty Castle, Quin Friary on the morning of May 27th, before the Tauck tour starts in the afternoon. See details of tour company at The cost for this is E50 per hour (E200 for 4-hour trip) for a six-passenger vehicle; or E60 per hour (E240 for 4-hour trip) for a 16 passenger mini-bus. We currently have four people interested in the trip and would like to get more to get the cost per passenger down - Twelve passengers would make it $20 per person versus $50 if we had four people.

Both Jane O'Brien (walking tour) and Tony Woods (Chauffeured tour) are very familiar with the Tauck Tour groups that stay at the Old Ground Hotel and were recommended to me by the concierge there.

Anyone interested, please email me at [email protected] or call me by phone in the US at 770-881-7013 and I can give you more information including my email communications with Jane O'Brien and Tony Woods.

Sorry for the lengthy topic.

Ashley Shemain


  • edited May 2017
    If you just want to visit Bunratty Castle and the adjacent folk park, you can arrange transportation through the concierge at the Old Ground- the same driver who picked us up at the airport took us to Bunratty. Bunratty, a tower house castle with quite a history, was restored and outfitted with period furniture by Viscount Lord Gort. It is said to be the most complete and authentically restored and furnished castle in Ireland. A visit here and to the folk park are an excellent way to spend a few hours. (FYI, on Day 2 the bus drives right by Bunratty. I couldn't believe it was that close to the highway.)

    You can also do a self-guided walk through quaint Ennis with a stop at the Ennis Friary at the north side of town, and a stop for lunch at Brogan's Pub about halfway between. We weren't impressed with the fare (pub food) nor service in Poet's Corner in the Old Ground hotel. Given the choice I would eat at Brogans. It changed hands two years ago, but still retains its pub atmosphere. Local musicians play most evenings. It has a website.

    Unless you are lucky, don't plan on attending the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty, unless you booked it many months ago. We were on the 28 July 2016 Best of Ireland and were lucky to get tickets when we booked in February, and that was only because there was a cancellation. There are two seatings- good food, and entertainment with actors and musicians in period costume.

  • AlanS:
    Your comments are spot-on. Just to clarify:

    Both the tours were set up by recommendations from the Old Ground Hotel concierge.

    Yes, the chauffeured tour of Bunratty Castle / Folk park / Quin Friary is conducted by Tony Woods, the man who will pick us up at the airport, so we are in good hands there. Tony is familiar with the Tauck tour and will get us back in time on May 27th to make the regular Tauck beginning event.

    Second, yes the option to do the walking tour on our own on the afternoon/evening of May 26th is definitely available and the least expensive choice. Alternatively, Jane O'Brien, a local expert, also recommended by the concierge, does the regularly conducted walking tour every morning and is willing to do a special event for us in the evening for those who want a more informed event. The challenge is to get enough people to join the formal tour so that it becomes less expensive for each of us as well as worthwhile for Jane.

    Hope more people read this and want to join.

    Ashley Shemain
Sign In or Register to comment.