Lisdoonvarna, County Clare


So... what's on in Lisdoonvarna?

Lisdoonvarna hosts an annual Matchmakers Festival and draws singles from all over the world.

Each year, during the month of September, this small village on the western coast of Ireland offers a quest for the romance holy grail to hordes of lonely souls - the capturing of an Irish heart. Ah, 'tis a prize indeed.

Hormones run high during Lisdoonvarna's month of revelry and the locals grit their teeth while they stoically (and sometimes not so stoically) endure the debauchery.

If you wish to attend the festival, do make your plans early because accommodations in the village of Lisdoonvarna fill up quickly and you'll want to be in the mix of things when the activities begin.

The Matchmaker Festival is a spectacle to behold.

Women and men from all over the world flock to this bedlam in the centre of the haunting Burren to find the charms of an Irishman or the love of an Irish woman.

In disappointment, they then focus their amorous attentions on fellow pilgrims who are, likewise, finding it's practically impossible to capture the heart of a beautiful Irish girl in Lisdoonvarna... in September.

Unfortunately, many a lass may turn over a few limestone rocks to find only bog farmers who are overly-sensitive to bathing and these ladies soon discover they have set their sights a bit high.

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This is often the irony of attending Lisdoonvarna's Matchmaking Festival.

Some believe any decent match with a real Irish person is better made in the pubs of Ennis or strolling along the beach in Lahinch because no self-respecting Irishman or Irishwoman would ever find himself or herself anywhere near Lisdoonvarna during the month of September.

In a way, the Matchmaker Festival resembles a Brigadoon gone terribly terribly wrong.

That said, the festival is still a month-long celebration of love and happiness, and the pleasant village of Lisdoonvarna, located in the centre of the Burren, is well worth the trip at any time of the year.

There are a number of pubs with traditional Irish music and the local B&B's will treat you like the kings and queens you are. Lisdoonvarna also has the only natural spa water in Ireland, so visiting it at other times is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, most of the pubs exact a king's ransom for the Guinness.

One lad said it best as he strolled by me after having a few pints, "The porter is brutal but the craic is good."

So, if you're wanting to settle for a smile with no teeth or you'd like to meet lots of other lonely travellers (and we do mean travellers), by all means, visit Lisdoonvarna in September and beat yourselves into a frenzy at the Festival.

Fair play to the bog farmers for seizing their opportunity.

The festival, itself, is brilliant, really. There is dancing and horse racing and dancing and dancing. It is a great opportunity for you to mingle with singles from all over the world.

The truth of it is, you'll be in Ireland, lads, so there's always the Guinness (regardless of how brutal it is).

Festival aside, Lisdoonvarna is one of Ireland's most love villages and the only one with hot, natural baths.

Grovemount House, EnnistymonGrovemount House

Location Grovemount House is a family run Guesthouse situated on the outskirts of Ennistymon Town.

From here you can access with ease the renowned Cliffs of Moher and the spectacular and unique Burren region. Just 5 minutes drive away from our B&B is Lahinch Championship Golf Links and Blue Flag Beach making this one of the most ideal places to stay.

Whatever is your pleasure - fishing, golfing, sightseeing or listening to the best of traditional Irish music - enjoy! and return to luxurious tranquility in Grovemount House.