“ County Limerick / Ireland „
On our recent trip to Ireland we stayed just outside Bruff in a place called Grange. However the B+B we stayed at I dont think will be one for much longer as they have just sold their land to JP McManus for apparently around 4 million Euros. We used this B+B as a base for our many trips into Bruff, as it is where my wifes Dad is from and many of her relatives still live there, seriously half the town knew my wife's Dad or one of our relatives.
Bruff is a nice little town South / South East of Limerick, on the R512, which apparently used to be the main road to Cork from Limerick, though to be honest it could still be the main road given the state of traffic on the actual main road at peak time. Lough Gur is very nearby too, which I have written about in a different review.
My wifes cousin is very into the Gaelic Football and is a referees assistant in local games, another cousin is a referee. However this cousin was recently responsible for getting Bruff in the Limerick paper and also the Irish Sun, as he set up a roadside exibition with photos of all the Limerick players who were to play in the All Ireland Gaelic Games Final, one was from Bruff (Limerick were massive underdogs and in the end were soundly beaten). Bruff also has Football, Hockey and Rugby clubs, not bad for a town of about 5000 people. Anyway he took us to the local restaurant Clancys a couple of times so that is the first thing to mention.
Clancys is a nice friendly pub in Bruff and is the first one you encounter on the main street, which is also the main road. According to Wikipedia there are 6 other pubs and 2 other restaurants, however when we were there, there was only really one other restaurant, and about 2 or 3 other pubs. Clancys is a pub/restaurant and occasionally has live music. Theres a large mural on the side of the building and this is also one of the highlights of Bruff as the murals are often changing and are full size tributes to different things in local history or present. The owner, Jack Clancy has been there for a few years now and the food that is served is very nice, its well priced and you get a sizeable meal for your money, plus the option of more potatoes of course.
Since we were last there a couple of years ago the town has clearly gotten bigger, and there is currently at least one large building site that we saw that had about another 50 houses being built on it. The houses were near the Morning Star River, where the same cousin recently took a photo, just with a normal film camera and won the local photography competition. There is a park next to the river and a couple of bridges going over the river at either end of the park, apparently this is unusual, however I have no idea why, it seems quite sensible to me.
The main local place to stay is the Old Bank, incredibly it used to be an old Bank, genius. The building really stands out as you walk down the high street, past another large mural. The building itself is a very old Victorian Building and one of the oldest buildings in or near to Limerick. When my wife tried to book she was told it was about 100 Euros a night however when we were there it looked shut and looking at a B+B website it says the prices are nearer to 50-60 Euros for a night, so not really sure what is happening with this place at the moment. However it does look very nice and if it is only 50 Euros a night then its well worth it.
Bruff itself does get quite busy at night, although its also quite busy during the day as cars park all down both sides of the main street and theres hardly any room for traffic to get through. The best bet is to park at the top end near to the Catholic Church.
Derrys is just a short walk down from the church and is a decent pub to go for a drink in. We were in there on a Friday night, and it was very busy, however we got a table and were able to get to the bar. People were all very friendly and there was no trouble at all. There was a really good mix of ages, and people were not noticeably drunk. There are local taxis, though I didnt actually see any. The prices were reasonable and like everywhere now it was non-smoking. All in all it was a decent local pub.
The local Catholic Church is just up the road and is unsurprisingly full on a Sunday. The service is normally under an hour, however the one time we went it did run over a bit for almost 1 and a half hours. If you are a catholic (like my wife) then its quite interesting to go to an Irish service as they are slightly different to those over here. The church itself is a very nice building and the roof has recently been redone, my father-in-law contributed to the repair and wanted me to take a few photos. There is also a graveyard next to the church where a few relatives are buried. It also looks well maintained and has recently had a bit of money spent putting a new Jesus plaque on many of the graves to make them look a bit nicer.
To be honest theres not a lot else in Bruff, however its a very pretty town to stay in or near and is well positioned on an easy road into Limerick, roughly 20 minutes drive, and if you know the shortcuts then even less. Basically if you head towards the hospital then go past it carrying on North you can get round the West side of Limerick towards Shannon and avoid most of the traffic that Google Maps tries to direct you through by sending you down the East side of Limerick. Also Bruff allows you to get to Tipperary easily (straight road East, about 1 hour). Cork is also not too far either. All of the roads out of Bruff are decent roads and quite quiet. Though at night it does get very dark as there are limited lights outside of city centres. However I would seriously not recommend staying in Limerick as it is very dangerous at night, also its very loud, so unless you are going out until 3am EVERY morning then you may struggle to get sleep.