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There's nothing like a local guide to make you feel welcome in a new city or town. Photo by: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

The great walking tours of Ireland

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There's nothing like a local guide to make you feel welcome in a new city or town. Photo by: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

Not all walking tour guides are men. Jane O’Brien leads walks around her hometown of Ennis, Co. Clare.  With a gentle yet confident voice and a quick smile, Jane keeps her flock of tour members together by placing a decorative Ennis Walking Tours badge on each participant. The small adhesive label is not only an identity tag but good memento for a travel diary as well.

Sharing the same surname as the early kings of Clare, Jane tells tales of the O’Briens and other local residents including a mad monk and a head banshee, as well as famous visitors (Daniel O’Connell, Eamonn de Valera, Charles Stewart Parnell, and more). The route traces a small road once known as “The Causeway” as well as the town’s oldest street and lane (Francis Street and Chapel Lane), a sculpture trail, and bow-ways, covered pedestrian passageways unique to Ennis. Visit  www.enniswalkingtours.com.

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