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Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Take it all in with Só Hotels

Discover Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands with a break away to Castle Oaks House Hotel. Explore all the heartlands on the banks of the River Shannon have to offer. From watersports, scenic greenways and riverside walks, we have it all covered.

Day 1 - UL Activity Centre & Killaloe River Cruise

20 minutes from Castle Oaks House Hotel


For an energetic start to your Hidden Heartland adventures, we highly recommend booking the University of Limerick Adventure Centre. The centre is located just 20 minutes from the hotel outside the town of Killaloe. Choose between land or water activities or a mix of both. For land lovers, try the challenging high ropes, archery or orienteering on Crag Hill, overlooking the beautiful Lough Derg. If you’d prefer to get in the water, they have lots to keep you entertained. From kayaking, wind surfing, stand up paddleboarding or canoeing, there’s something for everyone of all abilities. After your day of activity, explore the picturesque town of Killaloe. Cross the bustling marina via the stunning 13 arch bridge to the twin town of Ballina and enjoy a delicious coffee from the Wooden Spoon Café. We recommend checking out Killaloe River Cruises while you’re in town to take in the stunning scenery of Lough Derg from the water. Relax as the boat cruises along the calm waters of Lough Derg and into the River Shannon. The tour guides offer interesting commentary on the sights as you go along giving rich insight into the fascinating history of the area.  It’s the perfect way to round off your evening on the lake. Enjoy a hearty meal in the Island Bar to round off your evening before a restful night’s sleep in our peaceful and tranquil surrounds.

Day 2 - Clonlara Equestrian Centre & 12 O'Clock Hills

15 minutes from Castle Oaks House Hotel


Start your day with our delicious breakfast options in Acorn Restaurant, why not explore the beautiful grounds of Castle Oaks? The hotel is perched on 26 acres of manicured gardens and mature woodlands on the banks of the river Shannon. Follow the meandering paths along the river banks and see if you can spot the fairy woods! For a real experience of the local countryside, we highly recommend a horse trek with Clonlara Equestrian Centre. Go for a trek across their 150 acre estate to see some of the local area. It’s a fully operational farm so you might even see some baby foals or calves along the way! They take riders of all experiences including complete beginners and young children so it’s a great way to spend a family day out.  There are so many great walks and hikes while you’re in the area. We recommend the 12 O’Clock Hills in nearby Sixmilebridge, Co Clare. There are three different looped walks for different ability levels and even a fairy woods for the little ones to explore. From the summit, you can see the beautiful landscape of east county Clare and Limerick.

Day 3 - Bunrattty Castle & Folk Park

25 minutes from the Castle Oaks

Bunratty Castle

Spend your day exploring Bunratty castle and folk park is Ireland’s most intact and authentic medieval fortress. Originally built in 1425 and restores in 1954 Bunratty castle is the prefect opportunity for all the family to experience the history of Ireland. The castle boasts mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries,  and works of art which capture the mood of those times.

Bunratty Folk Park

Sitting on 26 acres of the gorgeous Clare countryside the Bunratty folk park contains over 30 buildings to provide you with an immersive experience of a “living” village. With rural farmhouses, local shops and unique features to the history of the West of Ireland. Meet and chat with ‘local’ Bean on Tí (woman of the house) and various characters including the policeman and schoolteacher who give the park a little extra magic in their descriptions. The Bunratty Folk park will make you feel as if time stood still while you roam around the 19th century.