THE WORLD’S most famous travel guide, Lonely Planet, has given Limerick a top report card in its latest Irish edition.
Clutched preciously by legions of travellers worldwide, the guidebook claims to be the world’s leading travel content provider.
The tenth edition of Lonely Planet’s Ireland guidebook was produced last week and a newly updated guide the region invites readers to “discover another side to hardscrabble Limerick city in its sophisticated cafe culture, art galleries and waterfront bars”.
“Limerick has an intriguing castle, a lively art museum and contemporary cafe culture to go with its uncompromised pubs, as well as locals who go out of their way to welcome you,” reads the guide.
“As the third-largest city in Ireland, with a sizeable student population, Limerick city bustles year-round, but is at its liveliest during the warmer months, from around April to October.
It continues: “Limerick city straddles the Shannon’s broadening tidal stream, where the river swings west to join the Shannon Estuary. Despite some unexpected glitz and gloss, it remains an unﬂinchingly honest town that doesn’t shy away from a tough past as portrayed in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes”.
The guide spends some time detailing the sights and sounds of the city, including King John’s Castle - “walk the walls and imagine you’re carrying a bucket of boiling oil” - the Hunt Museum, Georgian House and Garden and popular hangouts such as the White House Bar - “a classic right in the centre” - and Nancy Blake’s - “there’s sawdust on the floor and peat on the ﬁre in the cosy front bar of this wonderful old pub”.
Unlike an online web travel guide - Essential Travel.co.uk, owned by Thomas Cook - which the Limerick Leader reported last week details the city as “a tough town” that is “certainly more dangerous than your average city”, the Lonely Planet guide describes Limerick as “not any less safe than other urban Irish areas”.
A spokesperson for Lonely Planet said that a team of writers personally visited thousands of hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries, museums and more in compiling the guide to Ireland.
“They take pride in getting all the details right and telling it how it is. Lonely Planet authors do not take freebies,” stressed a spokesperson.
The guide lists Best Places to Stay and Eat across the city and county, while Lough Gur, Kilmallock and Adare all get extensive coverage. The guide is out now in bookshops.