The southeast Clare village of Cratloe is nestled at the foot of Woodcock Hill and is surrounded by forests and scenic walking trails.
Cratloe Woods, which gets its name from the Irish for ‘Land of Sallow Trees’, were originally primeval oak woods. The Kingdom of Aileach in Ulster invaded the McNamara-held territory in the ninth century. The returning army took wood from Cratloe to build the roof of the royal palace of Aileach. It also is believed the woods supplied the beams of the roof in Westminster Hall, the oldest existing part of the Palace of Westminster in London.
The 700-hectare forest today features multiple trails offering stunning views of the River Shannon, Shannon Airport, the Galtee Mountains in Tipperary, and the Ballyhoura Mountains in Cork. The pleasant woodland walks are complemented by a playground and picnic tables for a relaxing day out with the family.
Cratloe is home to Ballymorris Pottery, which has an extensive range of beautiful stoneware pottery on display at the workshop. The pottery runs pottery classes and fun events for adults and children to learn a new skill in a friendly and informative atmosphere.
Cratloe is a 15-minute drive from Shannon International Airport and is located close to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, one of Clare’s most popular visitor attractions.