The Burren

Travel Guide Europe Ireland The Burren



The Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning "great rock") is a region in County Clare, Ireland. It is dominated by karst landscape and measures, depending on the definition, at least 250 square kilometres. The name The Burren is most often applied to the area within the circle made by the villages of Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna.

The Burren National Park is one of six National Parks in Ireland and the smallest in size (15 km2).




The exact extent of the area referred to as The Burren is not clearly defined. The name is generally applied to the limestone uplands of north western Clare, but the borders vary. In the north and northwest it is bounded by Galway Bay and the Atlantic. Although mostly considered to lie in County Clare, geologically the area does extend into County Galway (see section Geology below). The Aran Islands are also a geological extension of the limestone hills that make up most of The Burren.

According to one definition, The Burren extends south to a line from the coastal resort of Lahinch to Corofin and is delimited in the east by a line roughly from Kinvara to Kilmacduagh monastery, near Gort. Note that this includes places like the town of Ennistymon and the Cliffs of Moher.

The "Burren Programme" for example defines The Burren region as extending well into the Gort plain, encompassing inter alia Coole Park and the turloughs around it. To the south it extends to Ruan and Crusheen. In the southwest it is bordered by Doolin, Lisdoonvarna, Kilfenora and Corofin.



Sights and Activities

The Burren National Park is one of six National Parks in the country and is located in the southeastern corner of the region. It is about 1,500 hectares in size and is made up of land purchased by the Irish government to be set aside for conservation purposes. After a prolonged controversy (see Mullaghmore), the planned construction of a visitor centre was shelved. The National Park currently has an information point at Corofin. It is also associated with the preservation area at nearby Dromore Wood.




The Burren has an unusually temperate climate. Average air temperatures range from 15 °C in July to 6 °C in January. The soil temperature does not usually drop below 6 °C (end 2010 recorded a very unusual prolonged period of snow). Since grass will grow once the temperature rises above 6 °C, this means that The Burren (like the neighbouring Aran Islands) has one of the longest growing seasons in Ireland or Britain, and supports diverse and rich plant growth.

The area has around 1,500 mm of annual rainfall (more than twice the amount of eastern Ireland).

Late May is the sunniest time, and also likely the best time to view flowers, with the gentians and avens peaking (but orchid species blooming later).[



Accommodation in The Burren

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in The Burren searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

The Burren Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for The Burren

This is version 1. Last edited at 13:00 on Apr 18, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License