Photos: (Clockwise) Bunratty Village Mills, Bunratty, Co. Clare; McKernan - Handweavers, Tuamgraney, Co. Clare; Doolin Crafts Gallery, Doolin; Andrew Muir of The Clare Jam Company, Doolin; J. Hanly & Co., Ballyartella Woollen Mills, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Shopping and Shannon have been synonymous ever since the world's first Duty Free Shop opened at the airport in 1947. Although the airport shop attracts the most attention, there are many other fine shops in the Shannon Region including the modern multi-story Arthur's Quay Shopping Centre in Limerick City.
Here are a few places to help you start your shopping list:
Adare Woollen Mills, Adare Heritage Centre, Main St., Adare, Co. Limerick (tel. 061-396922). Housed within the village Heritage Centre, this shop offers a wide range of fashionable woollen clothing and hats for adults and children (including items for new babies), as well as hanks of wool for do-it-yourself knitting. Web site: www.adareheritagecentre.ie
Angel Times, 26 Thomas St., Limerick City (tel. 061-412882). As its name implies, this shop concentrates on angel products, from angel figurines, cards, and paintings, to angel jewelry, books, CDs, greeting cards, candles, stained glass and more as well as holistic and spiritual development products. Web site: www.angeltimes.ie
The Apple Farm, Clonmel Rd., Cahir, Co Tipperary (tel. 052-744-1459). Taste the sweetness of Tipperary at this working apple and fruit farm, selling all types of seasonal fruit from strawberries, raspberries, cherries, pears and plums to over 50 types of apples, as well as juices, ciders, jellies and jams. Stock up on snacks for your trip. Open daily. Web site: www.theapplefarm.com
Bunratty Village Mills, Main St., Bunratty, Co. Clare (tel. 061-364321) is a one-stop shopping complex across from Bunratty Castle, with a branch of Blarney Woollen Mills as its core. The wares range from linens and lace to Aran sweaters and other woollens, as well as jewelry, music, glassware, plus a wide range of inexpensive souvenirs from key chains and calendars to fridge magnets. In addition, there is a buffet-style restaurant, picnic tables, and waterside walk. It has become the major shopping hub for visitors to the Shannon area. Open every day. Web site: www.blarney.com/bunrattyshop.htm
Carrig Donn, O’Connell Square, Ennis (tel. 065-682-8188), housed in a former bank building, this flagship store specializes in sweaters and knitwear, but also offers handcrafts from all over Ireland -- jewelry, linens, music boxes etc. Also located on O’Connell St., Limerick City (tel. 061-418011) and at Jetland Shopping Centre, Ennis Rd., Limerick (tel. 061-322555). Web site: www.carraigdonn.com
The Clare Jam Company, Lough North, off Coast Road, Doolin, Co. Clare (tel. 065-707-4778). Some of the greatest views of the Clare coast can be enjoyed at this small cottage shop while selecting homemade jams, marmalades, jellies, and chutneys to take home. The Muir family prepare and sell over 25 different delicious products including the popular favorites (strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, and blackcurrant jam or orange marmalade) as well as more unique concoctions such as 3 fruit citrus marmalade, red tomato chutney, strawberry champagne jam, or Connemara whiskey marmalade. Open daily all year.
Custy's Traditional Music Shop, Cook’s Lane, off O’Connell St., Ennis (tel. 065-682-1727), for traditional music tapes, CDs, and books, as well as traditional instruments from bodhráns to whistles. Web site: www.custysmusic.com
Ennis Gourmet Store, 1 Barrack St., Ennis (tel. 065-684-3314), For a taste of Co. Clare farmhouse cheeses and other local delicacies, stop into this tempting shop. You can also arrange to send hampers of Irish goodies to friends in Ireland or at home. A great spot to shop for picnic supplies. Web site: http://irishgourmetstore.com/gs/asp
Gift Venue, 36 Abbey St., Ennis (tel. 065-682-9607), dating back over 50 years (and formerly known as The Belleek Shop), this was the first outlet in southern Ireland to sell Belleek China. Today it also offers other pottery and handmade character dolls, turf crafts, crystal, pewter, tweeds, and more. Web site: www.giftvenue.com
Doolin Crafts Gallery, Church Rd., Doolin, Co. Clare (tel. 065-707-4309) is owned by Dublin-born Adrienne Doolan and her Dutch husband Jan Wagensveld. Having spent 20 years traveling and living abroad (in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, England, Switzerland and Poland), the couple has melded these international influences into the craft shop/gallery. The items for sale range from jewelry and leather goods to sweaters, scarves, and pottery, as well as the work of Burren-based craftspeople. The shop includes an excellent cafe in a garden setting and serving home cooked dishes. Web site: www.doolincrafts.com
Glenstal Abbey Shop, Murroe, Co. Limerick (tel. 061-386103), is the best place to buy music tapes and CDs recorded by the Benedictine monks of the abbey. Since it is a charitable institution, all prices are VAT-free. This tiny shop also stocks locally-made crafts, postcards, and religious books and gifts, as well as delicious liqueur-filled handmade chocolate truffles. Web site: www.glenstal.org/shop
McKernan -Handweavers, Main St., Tuamgraney, Co. Clare (tel. 061-921527), is a little home industry along the Lough Derg Drive. Step inside and see Anke and Eugene McKernan hand-weaving a colorful array of scarves, shawls, blankets, vests, jackets, and hats. Open all year except Easter week. Web site: www.mckernanscarves.com
John Hanly & Co., Ballyartella Woollen Mills, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary (tel. 067-24278), is a family weaving enterprise dating back to 1893, but updated with modern buildings and equipment in recent years. The fabrics produced, made of pure wool and linen, show off the natural colors and hues of the Tipperary countryside, as they are fashioned into coats, scarves, ties, caps and more. Web site: www.johnhanly.com
Seoidín, 52 O’Connell St., Ennis (tel. 065-682-3510), for unique silver and gold jewelry, wall hangings, woodcraft, pottery and ironware. Also located at 6 Sarsfield St., Limerick.
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