The Burren

Irish: Boireann, meaning “great rock”

The Burren region is internationally recognised for its distinctive landscape, captivating archaeological structures and biodiverse flora and fauna. The region spans roughly 1500 hectares on the mid-west coast of Ireland in counties Galway and Clare.

Since the earliest Neolithic settlement in the Burren, farming has shaped the character and composition of the land. From early, mass tree clearance to the ancient practice of transhumance (winter grazing on the rough limestone grasslands and heaths) much of the Burren’s archaeological and geological heritage can be directly linked to the work of generations of farmers. Today, the land’s species and habitats rely on best practice, traditional farming methods for their health and diversity. Several hundred farm families continue to live and farm in the Burren despite the challenges posed in an era of efficiency-driven farming and the rough, unforgiving terrain. Crucially, they also hold the key to the region’s future through the application of their forefathers’ ancient pastoral traditions.

The earliest inhabitants of the Burren arrived in the Neolithic era sometime between 4,000 and 2,500BC, providing history buffs and archaeological enthusiasts with some of the world’s most intriguing evidence of early human settlements, from portal dolmen and wedge tombs to ring forts, castles and monastic sites. A Burren Farm Experience tour showcases the ruin of the region’s earliest thatched roof chapel, and an historic ring fort, a defensive settlement designed to protect against invading hordes and wild animals.

Since the earliest Neolithic settlement in the Burren, farming has shaped the character and composition of the land. From early, mass tree clearance to the ancient practice of transhumance (winter grazing on the rough limestone grasslands and heaths) much of the Burren’s archaeological and geological heritage can be directly linked to the work of generations of farmers. Today, the land’s species and habitats rely on best practice, traditional farming methods for their health and diversity. Several hundred farm families continue to live and farm in the Burren despite the challenges posed in an era of efficiency-driven farming and the rough, unforgiving terrain. Crucially, they also hold the key to the region’s future through the application of their forefathers’ ancient pastoral traditions.

Book a Farm

If you are not part of a group you can book a tour as an individual or as a family Monday-Friday online.

Burren Farm Experience Events