Ardagh Station was served by its first train in 1867, just a year before the discovery of the iconic Ardagh Chalice. Part of a hoard of early Christian art, the chalice is on display in the National Museum in Dublin, and a replica can be seen in the Hunt Museum in Limerick.
Built along the former Limerick to Tralee railway line, the Limerick Greenway weaves through West Limerick’s traditional agricultural landscape, linking the major towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.
The Greenway surface was designed with mobility in mind and is safe and suitable for all. You can start the full route at Rathkeale or Abbeyfeale on the Limerick-Kerry border, and join at any of the entry points located at key stops along the Greenway.
One of the major towns on the Greenway, Rathkeale has plenty of heritage and hospitality on offer. Soak up the local culture, go fishing on the River Deel, check out the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian Abbey and learn about local history at the Irish Palatine Heritage Centre in the old Rathkeale Station. In the many shops, pubs and restaurants in the town, visitors will be met with a warm welcome and friendly service.
Heading towards Ardagh, you will pass five overhead bridges, beautifully cut from locally sourced stone. In Ardagh, visit the old station house, located close to where the iconic Ardagh Chalice was found in 1868. Parking facilities are available at both Rathkeale and Ardagh.
The journey to Newcastle West will take you through some of Limerick’s most beautiful countryside, with lush pastures surrounding the Greenway path.
Newcastle West is Limerick’s largest town, with an array of cultural and historical places of interest to visit and boutique shops.
Visitors can learn all about local history at the Desmond Castle, enjoy the excellent facilities at Castle Demesne park, or pop into the cosy pubs and quality restaurants for some rest and relaxation. Parking facilities are available at Newcastle West.
The incline from Newcastle West to Barnagh brings you to the peak of the old Limerick to Tralee line, offering great views of County Limerick and beyond.
Along the way, you’ll pass over the cast iron Fergusons Viaduct and through the 115-metre long Barnagh Tunnel, two Victorian Era marvels that helped level the train’s path as the line was expanded towards Kerry.
At 164 metres above sea level, the viewing point at Barnagh is the perfect place to stop for a break and admire the natural landscape, with views out to Clare, Cork and Kerry. Parking facilities are available at Barnagh.
The journey from Barnagh to Templeglantine passes through cuttings and embankments and under two stone bridges.
Explore the village of Templeglantine and access its facilities and services just a short distance off the Greenway along a quiet local road.
Known locally as Glantine, the village has a rich tradition of Irish music, and is part of the Sliabh Luachra area with a distinctive musical style.
Parking facilities are available at Templeglantine.
Leaving Templeglantine will take you through the beautiful forest of Tullig Wood.
The natural forest is home to a rich array of native trees, plants and fauna with oak and elm, owls, badgers, butterflies and birds. It is one of the most tranquil places along the Limerick Greenway.
Further along, pass Devon Road station before reaching Abbeyfeale, getting closer to the Kerry border and moving further into the rugged landscape of the Sliabh Luachra region.
For centuries, bustling Abbeyfeale has had a rich culture of traditional music, dance and song. As one of the largest towns in Limerick, Abbeyfeale has an array of shops, pubs, restaurants and inviting places to stay. Check out the vernacular architecture and plasterwork on display in the main street or explore the award-winning town park.
Once the last stop before Kerry on the old railway line, the Abbeyfeale area also marks the end of the Limerick Greenway, if you began your journey in Rathkeale. The route continues beyond the town, where you will see the ruins of Port Castle and pass by the River Feale, reaching the Kerry border where further adventures await. Parking facilities are available at Abbeyfeale.