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“There was nothing, really...”

Caherconnell Stone Fort
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$64.71*
and up
Cliffs Of Moher Guided Day-Trip from Dublin with Boat Cruise
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Caherconnell Stone Fort, situated 1km south of Poulnabrone dolmen in the heart of the Burren Ireland , offers you the opportunity to visit an exceptionally well - preserved example of the stone forts or stone ringforts which are to be found in the Burren Ireland.The fort is in its original state. Its position, overlooking virtually all-surrounding areas suggests a defensive settlement. Archaeological excavations take place each summer in association with 'CAFS' - Caherconnell Archaeological Field School- an International Field School accredited by NUI, Galway. As well as a trip to the Fort, visitors can also take in the Burren's Premier Sheepdog Demonstrations at Caherconnell,enjoying the combined skills of the farmer and the border collie as they work in the natural habitat of the Burren.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stroller parking
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“There was nothing, really...”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I'm in visiting my boyfriend and friends and we decided to take a small day trip to Clare, and this was our first stop of the day. I was actually very excited to visit a stone fort, and was really looking forward to stopping here because I knew excavations were ongoing.

Upon our arrival we walked through a lovely gift shop and paid a massive (Yes, I don't mean that sarcastically) 6 euro to enter the fort. The fort itself was very small and the markers (stones with numbers painted on them) on the ground were marking basically a couple rocks on the ground. Which was interesting in its own right because of how old it was, but there was no information other than the two or three sentences in the booklet.

Overall I was really disappointed that there was just nothing to see, and it's really not a good value for your money at all. We spent maybe 30 minutes total here (including the 20 minute video) and didn't really do anything. We looked at ancient rocks on the ground.

The cafe looked lovely, and the prices didn't look horrible, but we didn't stay for food, so I can't vouch for that.

I wont come back fro a second visit, and I probably wont tell anybody to visit, either.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank AliciaMonique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Employee at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
Hi Alicia Monique,

Thank you for your review. It is always helpful to hear the experiences of our visitors. In terms of your review I would just like to say I am delighted to hear you are interested In archaeology. It is very important to us here as caretakers of the site. We seek to be unobtrusive in our information provision and hence there are no info boards in the fort itself. The booklet is however a 24 page a5 full gloss booklet containing more than ‘a few sentences’, that has been carefully put together by the sites Archaeological Director and is currently being updated for visitors to Caherconnell in 2014. We also provide touch screen presentations at the site. Finally I’m glad you liked the look of the café. The food is even better and should you return we would be delighted for you to experience this.
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Dublin
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A very enjoyable couple of hours”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Great and personal sheep dog demonstrations, interesting visit to the fort coupled with friendly staff and a beautiful gift shop and cafe make Caherconnell the perfect place to spend a few hours. My family really enjoyed our time there. Thank You!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Maria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great day!”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We arrived on a day with soft rain and misty clouds knowing that this was as much an archaeological dig as anything so we knew what expect. It's wonderful glimpse into ancient Ireland and how land is often re-used through out the ages. To walk through the entrance and imagine how life was so many years ago was amazing.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank KennyLyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Owner at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to comment on your visit to Caherconnell, we are very glad you enjoyed your visit. Hopefully you will be able to come back and see us sometime in the future.
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Tempe, AZ
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Nothing comes close to this experience”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We arrived at Caherconnell too late for the sheep dog demonstration (the times are not listed on their brochures) & the amount of disappointment was very visible on our faces. My husband noted as we queued up at the cash register that the tour group was already coming in from the 1145am show & it was 1155am. He asked the woman at the register if there was anything to do about our problem & she said to hold on & dashed out the door. She came back triumphantly stating that John was willing to put on a show for us...all 3 of us. It was amazing. 15 Euros total for a private demonstration with John & his amazing dogs, Lee & Sally. He showed us how to put Lee (totally OCD dog) through her paces & then asked if we'd like a go at it. My boys nominated me & for the sake of my Irish ancestors I stepped up. I had him repeat exactly what I was to say & then went at it myself. No problem getting Lee to round them up & when I told her to sit she hesitated & I bellowed out a SIT that made John remark "Ah there's the boss come out of ye!" My son tried to get Lee to go the opposite direction (the harder of the two commands) & when he failed I gave it a go. Got her to go 1-1/2 times around instead of 2 & when she stopped I yelled "NO!" and John said "how did ye know that tells her to stay put?" I had to laugh because it was more a reaction than a plan on my part. Either way, I now know I have a skill I can enhance should I move to the Burren to help John out with the demos. No sooner had John gotten Lee tied up (nothing else could keep that dog from annoying the sheep non-stop) then Sally took off after the cattle. She had been doing this for 13 yrs and wasn't about to miss her time in the limelight. I couldn't believe how this lovely dog that I had been petting for the better part of Lee's demonstration turned in to SALLY THE CATTLE RUSTLER. John explained it's all in the eyes & the quickness of the dog to avoid being kicked. Well, my son & I just managed to turn to see Sally turn from sweet Sal into a predator. She started stalking those cattle with a look that made our blood run cold. It was incredible. My son managed to catch a shot of Sally coaxing the cattle in the right direction by nipping one in the ankle. She has to be able to get their attention without inflicting injury & without getting kicked in the face...& boy did that kick come quick. As soon as she did her thing & heard John say she had done a great job she dropped down - panting & looking very pleased with herself & all traces of the predator were gone. I've never really seen an animal "at work" I guess but they can turn it on & off (well, except Lee but she's very young) just like we can. We asked John about the amount of time he spent with us & he said he'd love to spend so much time with all the groups but there's usually a tour director or driver giving him the tapping watch sign to wrap things up. Those folks never really get to see the real deal or experience it themselves just because they need to keep to a schedule. John was a lovely man & we thanked him profusely for all his time, etc. & he thanked us (as well as all the tourists) for coming to Caherconnell because without the tourists the Burren families would starve. We stopped to thank the cashier lady for running outside to catch John & then stopped into their gift shop/dining area/rest stop. The coffee was excellent, the apple pie delicious, the restrooms were spotless & modern & the dining area had bookshelves with a sign reading "any book 5 Euros." My son found a first addition children's book signed by the author from the 1920s...he made sure it was meant to be sold & then offered more only to be told the price was 5 Euros, no more. We didn't stay for the Fort because we had been to Dunbeg in Dingle & Caherconnell was "formulated" to attract tourists so it wasn't in it's natural state. We were doing an archeological ancient Ireland self tour, so it held no attraction for us. The attraction area was well thought out & I'd definitely stop back again if in Burren & gladly pay the price to see John & his dogs.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank IrishPrincess57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Owner at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to comment on your visit to Caherconnell. I'm glad you enjoyed it, hopefully we will see you back at Caherconnell sometime soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Admission is too much for a completely unessential stop”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We went to Caherconnell ring fort with a general interest in sites like this but even with that interest it is hard to find value in the admission fee, it is simply too much for what the site is.

When we visited adults were €7 each.

When you pay the admission you get a little booklet with information about the various stops in the ring fort that explain a bit about what used to be there and what it was used or designed for. You then enter the site via a stone walk way which brings you to the entrance to the fort.

Inside the fort there are a few stop offs marked out that you need to look at the book to explain what they are as you are essentially looking at grass covered stony knolls that don't really inspire your imagination.

When we were there an archaeological dig was taking place which limited access somewhat but there's such a lack of things to see if didn't matter and watching the dig actually helped the site seem a little bit more interesting.

When you leave the main ring fort there is a path down to a collapsed doline that actually looks more interesting than the main ring fort, there is some more information here presented by a touch screen in a little hut beside the doline.

Then the path back up simply leads around the ring fort and back out of the site. There is a 20 minute video presentation near the entrance that you can view on the way in or the way out but we didn't watch this as we've seen lots of presentations on the ring forts or Ireland previously.

Since we didn't take in the video presentation we spent less than 15 minutes at the site making it very poor value for money when you consider the Poulnabrone dolmen is just seconds down the road, free to enter and is much more inspiring.

The one saving grace is that the cafe/restaurant located there is accessible without having to pay the admission and is very nice and reasonably priced. If your visiting the Polunabrone dolmen and looking for food I would recommend the cafe located here but I cannot recommend the ring fort itself.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Donal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caherconnell_1, Owner at Caherconnell Stone Fort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to comment on your visit to Caherconnell.

To address some of your points
The little booklet has a value of €5, so your admission cost is effectively €2.

Some people view the opportunity to see a dig in progress and chat to the archaeologists as a very enjoyable part of the experience.

It is a shame you didn't take the time to view our presentation it is very much designed to set the scene for your visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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