So you’re ready to splash the cash in Limerick? The city itself is crammed with all the usual high street stores, but it’s in the local, quirky corners that you’ll find real gems. From age-old markets to tiny, tumble-down craft shops, you’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to getting something that’s a million miles from another mass-produced, factory souvenir for your shelves. Here’s where to leave behind the postcards, leprechaun outfits and Guinness-adorned tat and find some true take-home gems…
Charmingly described as “world famous in Limerick,” Lucky Lane sells an astonishing ‘little bit of everything’ selection in a space that seems almost like its been wedged into leftover space in the heart of the city. The range of products takes in locally produced jam, second-hand clothing (especially the farmer chic and rural hippie looks), books, art, statues and flowers. The shop space is beautiful too: A covered courtyard area in a tumble-down space that you’ll want to kill time in, especially when you hear part of their profits are portioned off for charity.
Made in Limerick is a basement outlet put together by a collection of graduates largely from Limerick School of Art and Design. Their skills are varied but hyper-local, meaning you could be snapping up anything from candles to carvings, as well as art produced from stone, glass and metal. As many of the designers are heavily involved in the shop itself (and so easy to talk directly to), this is a great spot for personalised gifts.
Brown Thomas is a high-end, household name design store that has its headquarters in capital Dublin, where it’s an absolute institution on classy Grafton Street. The Limerick version doesn’t have quite the seasonal glitz and glamour of the Dublin store, but it’s still a fantastic shopping experience, home to endless clothing, make-up and household items. We’d suggest exploring a few of the local homeware offerings, which include Newbridge Silverware and Waterford Crystal, before tucking into something by the beautiful Skellig Chocolate Company.
Tucked away in the heritage centre at the heart of a town you’ll really want to explore (Adare is beautiful and historic), Black Abbey Crafts is a hub for local and national level producers, all displayed in a gorgeous space filled with jewelry, linen, colourful gifts and beautiful home centrepieces. It’s not a big place, but with everything here so locally themed, you’re sure to find something that reminds you of time in Ireland.
Out of the Blue is just a single store in the Milk Market (below) but worth highlighting in its own right because of its gorgeous niche. With everything shipped here from no more than 100 miles from where its sold for environmental reasons, Out of the Blue’s products range from beauty to art via aromatherapy. There is also a host of classes teaching anything from Tai Chi to meditation, but it’s the locally produced crafts that’ll have you exploring every tiny corner.
Another option that’ll require a little trek out into county Limerick, Anne Fitzgerald’s Gallery is one for the image lovers. Fitzgerald is a highly regarded local artist who has garnered a reputation both for religious imagery and for her Irish landscapes. A heavy traveler, when she’s at home, Fitzgerald works from her gallery in a small college in the village of Mungret, where you’ll find both her fantastically illustrated children’s books (many of which carry religious and moral messages) and her landscape paintings to explore.
Limerick’s iconic shopping spot, The Milk Market is perhaps not the ideal souvenir shopping spot, in that much of what you can buy here is very much fresh local produce. Try the selection of locally produced jams, conserves and an ever-growing selection of craft, books and even the odd antique. It’s a place that’s a pleasure to shop in and riddled with history.