With miles of emerald green farmland and the stunning drama provided by the Rock of Cashel, Tipperary is a peaceful place, while Limerick swirls and eddies through the flatland of the Shannon River valley, and Clare simply explodes with variety, from the lunar landscape of the Burren to a dramatic coastline.

In fact, Limerick, despite its marvelous name and the 50,000 bad jokes and dirty songs for which it can arguably be blamed, is a rather quiet, bucolic county. Tipperary has very little to dazzle you aside from the Rock of Cashel, which is simply spectacular and worth a trip across the country all on its own. Clare, on the other hand, with its desolate, rocky Burren and majestic Cliffs of Moher, is just showing off.

So what we're saying, we suppose, is stop in at Limerick for a photo or two, head to the Rock, and then hurry on to Clare for the real razzle-dazzle.