Ennis is a small town but after being in Westport and Doolin it felt quite urban. Ennis also is known as a center for traditional Irish music, and it has a lovely irish history museum.
It’s a small village strung along a highway crossing and leading down to the harbor. You can also catch a boat from Doolin to go to the Arran Islands, but only when the weather is amenable. the distance from Doolin to the islands is shorter than the distance from Galway, but the water is rougher here and the boats are smaller. Although it is small, Doolin is a mecca for lovers of traditional Irish music (Trad). The pubs serve the standard pub fare, accompanied by nightly live music.It is a great place to explore the Irish countryside, being close to The Burren and to the Cliffs of Moher. We took a walk down to the harbor and were rewarded with spectacular views of ocean, and islands, cliffs and rock formations, and an assortment of wild flowers. In the morning we headed up onto the top of the cliffs, past the ruins of a castle, for more great scenery.
Rain! We arrived on the island during a torrential downpour. Luckily, I had reserved a room at the inn that was closest to the dock. it was too early to get into our room but they had a lovely lounge (with wifi) where we could wait. Ennis Mor is the largest of the three main Arran Islands. The most popular tourist attractions here are the bicycle rentals, and the horse drawn wagons that take you to the ruins of an old fort. It was much too blustery out for those, so we had a leisurely lunch and when the rain died down we went for a walk and explored the town. There was a charming little church, and the ruins of another. Narrow cobblestone streets lined with cozy cottages separated by dry stone fences led us across the width of the island.
The Arran Islands are famous for their high quality knitted wool fishermen’s sweaters. so we checked out the sweater shop. It also serves as a museum with several displays about the history and craft of knitted sweaters. All the wool is grown and processed locally. Some of the sweaters are knitted on these islands, some on the mainland. Some are still hand knitted, others are made with knitting machines. All are quite lovely.