The Burren is a stark, blanket of limestone karst pavement in western Ireland formed by vast periods of glaciation. Despite its desolate appearance, the Burren hides a phenomenal diversity of plant life which grows in the rock fissures and is fed by mineral-rich soils and fostered by an unusually temperate climate.
A diverse range of fauna from feral goats to an amazing range of butterflies thrive here and in recent years artisan producers have begun to make use of the wide range of natural ingredients on their doorstep. Our artisan trail through the Burren showcases some of the most creative ideas and best products of the region.
This private half-day trail through the Burren is led by a driver-guide, who’ll pick you up at your hotel and explain a little about the Burren's unique geology, the international significance of its plant life and the fragility of such an unusual environment as you take a short walk on the limestone karst to see it at close quarters.
Your first stop will be St Tola goat farm, which creates award-winning, sustainably produced cheeses. You’ll be given a private tour of the working farm to learn more about the goats and the sustainable farming practices used, which will be followed by a cheese-making demonstration and tasting.
You'll then head on to the nearby coastal town of Lahinch, where you’ll meet creative chef Oonagh. She'll take you on a fascinating ‘walk in the wild’ to forage local ingredients from the land and seashore.
This is a brilliant way to immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery of the region, learn more about the local flora and fauna, and learn how to identify edible species. Your foraging experience culminates with a simple but tasty wild food lunch, cooked and eaten overlooking the ocean.
Your final stop will be in the heart of the most desolate and striking part of the Burren at The Burren Perfumery, a family-run company that has taken inspiration from the biodiversity of the region to create fresh and seasonal scents using local herbs and plants. Here, you can learn more about the flora of the area with a ten-minute film, watch the process of making the perfumes and talk to the perfumers about their art.