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Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)
Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)

Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)

R480, The Burren, County Clare, Clare, Ireland

The basics

The Poulnabrone Dolmen is visible from the road, though it’s worth pulling in and parking for a closer look. Information boards at the site explain the history of the dolmen, and you may occasionally encounter a staff member from Ireland’s OPW (Office of Public Works) at the site. Many travelers come here as part of sightseeing tours by bus or car, which typically make additional stops in the Burren as well as at the Cliffs of Moher.

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Things to know before you go

  • There is a large parking lot and information boards at the site.
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen can be seen from the road.
  • Reaching the portal tomb requires you to follow a short trail off the road; the trail has an uneven surface with rocks jutting out underfoot.
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How to get there

Find Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare, about 5.5 miles (nine kilometers) south of Ballyvaughan. From the N67, take the turn-off onto the R480 south of Ballyvaughan. The site isn’t served by public transport, so you need to rent a car or come as part of an organized tour.

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When to get there

Poulnabrone Dolmen is a popular stop-off for coaches, especially during the peak tourist season in June, July, and August. To avoid the crowds—and view it in an evocative light—go at dawn or at sunset.

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What Else to See Nearby

The R480 road is a short regional road that stretches for just under 10 miles (15 kilometers), yet it is littered with historic sites. South of the Poulnabrone Dolmen lies Caherconnell Stone Fort, a well-preserved ring fort dating back to medieval times. Further south again sits the eerie ruins of Leamaneh Castle, the oldest parts of which date back to the 15th century. North of Poulnabrone lies the prehistoric wedge tombs of Gleninsheen and the Ballyallaban ringfort.

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