Walking the 110 steps up to Hangman’s Rock, breathing in the crisp air and exhilarating, unspoilt panoramas of Lough Gur, it is clear why people have settled here for more than 5,000 years. There’s no other view like it in Ireland, taking in sites from every age of mankind from Neolithic to present times.
Discovering the horseshoe-shaped lake at the heart of this magical landscape is one of those wonderful rural adventures so typical of Ireland’s Ancient East. Between the towns of Herbertstown and Bruff, it’s hidden away amid hills and green scenes scattered with standing stones, burial mounds, Iron Age forts – and, so locals will tell you, the home of the King of the Fairies.
By the lakefront you can get an overview of the area’s remarkable archaeology in the thatch-roofed Heritage Centre.
The centre was built to a design inspired by Neolithic farmers’ houses excavated at Knockadoon, and conversations flow with the friendly faces who look after it. Then you’re itching to explore on a guided tour or simply with map in hand – plus a picnic (you can’t rush through six millennia in such tranquil and beautiful surroundings).
Visitors on a tour of Lough Gur
Visitors at Lough Gur
Left: Visitors enjoying a hike at Lough Gur. Right: Tourists at Lough Gur Heritage Centre.
So you take your time, literally: wandering back to c. 2,500 BC at The Giant’s Grave megalithic tomb; imagining ancient rituals amid the 113 standing stones of Grange Stone Circle, the largest in Ireland; roaming the early Christian forts of Carraig Aille. You can dream over medieval castle ruins beside the lough and visit St Patrick’s Well, a place of veneration to this day.
Lough Gur's Earl of Desmond on horseback
Lough Gur's Earl of Desmond on horseback
​So many people have been captivated by this mysterious landscape and now here you are at its heart – seeing, touching, feeling thousands of years of human living… You’ve become part of its story too.
Illustration of a wedge tomb
Illustration of a wedge tomb

Visit Lough Gur Visitor Centre

Near Bruff, Lough Gur, Limerick

  • Opening hours

    May – August 31st, 10.30 – 17.00. Open daily last admission 16.30pm. Opening times may be subject to change.

  • Admission prices

    Adult: €5, Child: €3, OAP/Student: €3.30, Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children): €14. Group rates available on request.

  • Facilities

    Coach and car parking. Toilets, Snacks available

  • Disabled access