Situated in the Suir River Valley, Clonmel is County Tipperary’s largest town. It is an ideal starting point for visiting a wide range of attractions.
The town is nestled in the Comeragh Mountains to the South and legendary Slievenamon to the East, both a must-visit for those who want to burn calories while hiking and enjoying a magnificent view of Clonmel and nearby towns.
It is also crammed with centuries old castles and ruins, historical monuments resting on a huge rock, pretty gardens, and even a miraculous spring.
Discover this town by following this recommended list of things to do in Clonmel.
Things you'll find in this article
- 12 Best Things To Do In Clonmel, Ireland
- 2.Marlfield Lake
- 3.Rock of Cashel
- 4.Ormond Castle
- 5.Comeragh Mountains
- 6.Carey’s Castle
- 8.Killurney Garden
- 9.Tipperary County Museum
- 10.Cahir Castle
- 11.The Main Guard
- 12.St. Patrick’s Well
12 Best Things To Do In Clonmel, Ireland
Fethard has been a walled town since the 13th century and within its very intact walls are many Churches, towers and Sheela-na-Gig carvings. One of the quirkiest things to see in Clonmel, it only takes a little more than 10 minutes north of town to reach Fethard.
Walk around Ireland’s most complete medieval town, with more than 90% of the wall (1100 meters) still intact. Explore the labyrinth of streets inside the fortifications made up of 15th-century townhouses, friaries and a 13th-century church.
The wall stands at about 7.6 meters and the last surviving town gate is the North Gate, which still has traces of wickerwork dating back to its construction.
A picturesque six-hectare lake on the western edge of Clonmel, most are surprised whenever they learn that Marlfield Lake is totally man-made.
Set on former marshland, Marlfield Lake was created by the landowner Stephen Moore at the end of the 18th century. The water on this lake comes from the spring at St Patrick’s well and its flumes once powered local mills. Now a wildfowl conservancy, Marlfield Lake is a major habitat for coots, herons, mallards, and swans.
Address: Inishlounaght, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
3.Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is a spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. Easily reached and within minutes from Clonmel, the Rock of Cashel was the seat of the Kings of Munster for centuries before the 13th-century Norman Invasion. The Rock is one of the best places to see in Clonmel, with all the different historical monuments you can see in one place. Among those you can find at The Rock is the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral, a 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.
Open all Year:
Mid-September – Mid October
Daily 09.00 – 17.30
Last admission at 16.45
Mid October – Mid March
Daily 09.00 – 16.30
Last admission at 15.45
Mid-March – Early June
Daily 09.00 – 17.30
Last admission at 16.45
Early June – Mid September
Daily 09.00 – 19.00
Last admission at 18.15.
Closed 24th to 26th December inclusive.
Please note that all groups must be pre-booked.
Average Length of Visit: 1 – 1.5 hours.
Group /Senior: €6.00
Child / Student : €4.00
Address: St. Patrick’s Rock of Cashel Cashel Co. Tipperary E25 KX44
Phone: +353 62 61437
A stunning example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland, Ormond Castle was built by Thomas Butler, the 10th Earl of Ormond in the 1560s. It is reached via a brief road trip down the Suir, and one of the best attractions in Clonmel. The castle used to be a Medieval fortress before it was turned into a grand manor house.
Much of the castle’s original architecture remains, such as the two 15th century towers. The staterooms contain some of the finest decorative plasterwork in the country, including portraits. Going into the back of the Ormond Castle, you can still find traces of the 14th-century castle that came before.
9th March – 26th October
10:00 – 18:00
Last Admission – 17:15
27th – 02nd November
09:30 – 17:00
Last Admission – 16:15
09:30 – 15:00
Last Admission – 14:15
Site closes for 2019 season on the 3rd of November.
Address: Castle Park, off Castle Street, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, E32 CX59
Phone: +353 51 640 787
A glaciated mountain range in the southeast of Ireland in County Waterford, the Comeragh Mountains are situated between the towns of Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel on the County Tipperary border and the villages of Kilrossanty and Kilmacthomas in County Waterford. The glaciations in Comeragh create spectacular coums (or cirques), amphitheater-like depressions ringed by cliffs and with loughs (lakes) at the base.
It is a stunning paradise for hikers and trekkers, and a day or two at the Comeragh is one of the best things to do in Clonmel on weekends. Walk around the trailhead past the first two ranges for a magnificent view of Clomml and nearby towns, see the Mahon Falls, and walk across moorland littered with grazing sheep and goats to Coum Tay, skirted by epic rocky bluffs.
Nestled within a forest of oak, beech, ash, and spruce, Carey’s Castle won’t appeal at first especially after reaching it through a trail beside the mossy Glenary River. However, the place still has a fascinating yet poignant history and a visit is still worthwhile.
Built by the affluent school-owning Carey family at the turn of the 19th century, the castle was abandoned just five decades later. A first impression when you see the castle is that it is much older, with its Norman great hall, Celtic round tower and Gothic arches. But it makes for an interesting place to visit, with most parts of it still intact despite being abandoned.
When in Clonmel, you can’t miss this 721-meter hill that looms over the northeast part of the town. Slievenamon means “Mountain of the Women” in Gaelic, and in the mythology, refers to a race run by women to win the hand of the eligible warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill. A hike up the hill might feel like a race, but it is one of the best activities to do in Clonmel if you enjoy communing with nature while enjoying a bit of history.
There is a trail to the summit from Kilcash, and the rounded hillsides make for an easier walk to the top. At the peak, you will find two prehistoric markers and stunning views of Southeast Ireland down to the Comeragh range.
Killurney is a charming 1-hectare country garden located at the foot of Slievenamon near Clonmel, County Tipperary. In the garden are rare trees and shrubs as well as extensive herbaceous borders, a scree bed, heather bed, rolling lawns and the ruins of a 16th-century church. A haven for those who want to relax after exploring Clommel, there’s also a mountain stream that fills a large pond and flows away between banks where water-plants and a collection of exotic ferns thrive.
May-Sept. by appointment.
Address: Ballypatrick, Clonmel, E91 T680, Co. Tipperary
Phone:+353 52 6133155
9.Tipperary County Museum
One of the places to include in your Clommel itinerary, Tipperary County Museum has two galleries, one showcases the history and heritage of the County from prehistoric to modern times, while the other hosts a variety of exhibitions that are still of cultural and historical significance. Boasting a massive collection of artifacts on exhibit, the museum also has pieces on loan from the National Museum of Ireland.
Some of the interesting items on exhibit are the jersey worn by the Gaelic footballer Mick Hogan when he was killed at Bloody Sunday in 1920 and Ireland’s first Olympic medal won at St Louis in 1904 by T. F. Kiely.
Mon-Fri -9.30 – 4.30
Address: Mick Delahunty Square, Burgagery-Lands East, Clonmel, Co
Phone: +353(0)761 065000
Situated on a rocky island on the River Suir, the Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. Once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family, the castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. A few hours inside Cahir Castle is definitely one of the best things to do in Clonmel especially among history or architecture buffs.
Once inside, you’ll get to watch a fascinating audiovisual presentation depicting the sieges and battles fought for this stronghold. You’ll also learn about the many movies and TV shows that have been shot at Cahir Castle, like The Tudors and Excalibur. There’s an exhibition about the siege of 1599, and a 30-minute tour to see the things like a working portcullis, original machicolations, dungeons, and secret passages.
Mid-June – August
Daily 09.00 – 18.30
Mid October – February
Daily 09.30 – 16.30
Average Length of Visit: 1 – 1.5 hours
Closed 24th – 31st December Inclusive.
Address: Castle Street Cahir Co. Tipperary E21 P652
Phone:+353 (52) 744 1011
11.The Main Guard
You get a fascinating glimpse into Clonmel’s history by visiting the Main Guard, a courthouse from the end of the 17th century, built by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde. It used to be the courthouse for the Palatinate or administrative area of County Tipperary. The Palatinate jurisdiction was eventually abolished, and in the 1800s, the ground floor with its prominent open arches was converted into shops, a basement was excavated and additional floors were added.
It was restored during the early 2000s to its original design, and the open arcade of sandstone columns is once again a feature of the streetscape.
28th March – 25th September.
Daily 09.00 – 17.00 – Closed Mondays
Last admission 16.15
Restricted hours during a closed season
Average Length of Visit: 40 mins
Address: Sarsfield St, Oldbridge, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Phone:+353 62 61437
Email: mail: email@example.com
12.St. Patrick’s Well
One of the more interesting places to visit in Clonmel is the St. Patrick’s well, located in the outskirts of town, in a peaceful clearing at the base of a limestone cliff. It is one of Ireland’s largest holy wells, and among the earliest Christian sanctuaries, a holy and tranquil site that has been a place of pilgrimage since pre-Christian times.
St. Patrick’s Well is now part of the present-day parish of St. Mary’s of the assumption, Irishtown.
During a leisurely stroll around the site, you will see a rough, undecorated Celtic cross believed to be from the 5th century, as well as the remains of a 15th century Cistercian church.
There are also strange dripstones with hollowed-out channels through which the spring waters flow into the stream. This is of medieval origin and the only other example is found in St. Brigid’s Well in Kildare.
Address: Gortmore, Co. Tipperary, Ireland