The village of Foynes has a population of 600. It is situated on the southern bank of the legendary River Shannon Estuary and is surrounded by the lush, green hills of County Limerick. Foynes is best known for its aviation history, especially from 1937-1945 when it became one of the world’s aviation hubs. Land-based aircraft lacked sufficient range for Atlantic crossings, so it was here that they would stop and refuel. The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum tells the exciting story of how seaplanes would use Foynes as their last port of call before crossing to North America. Within the museum is a full-size replica of a Boeing 314 flying boat. Walk in the footsteps of JFK, Bob Hope, Eleanor Roosevelt and other dignitaries, movie stars and refugees who landed at Foynes during the Second World War.
The award-winning, three-acre (1.2 hectare), Knockpatrick Garden, which overlooks the Shannon Estuary, is well worth a visit. Knockpatrick is, in fact, a private farmhouse garden owned by Tim and Helen O’Brien.