Limerick in the midwest of Ireland is a bustling city on the banks of the River Shannon, Ireland's longest river. The city nestles between areas of outstanding natural beauty from the Burren in Co. Clare in the north to the stunning Ring of Kerry in the south. Its past is etched from Viking and Norman, to Medieval and Georgian, to modern times. It is also the spiritual home of Irish rugby. Go walkabout: You'll have no trouble finding your way around this compact city but to embrace all its colourful past you should join a historical walking tour. You won't find much of the Limerick portrayed by Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, but you can retrace his childhood footsteps. Visit King John's Castle in the heart of Limerick's Medieval Heritage precinct on Kings Island. It's a most impressive Anglo-Norman fortification and its massive gatehouse, battlements and corner towers await exploration. Other landmarks to spot are Thingmount (a Viking counsel chamber and court of justice), the former Bishop's Lady's Palace, the City Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral, the Treaty Stone and Thomand bridge. A bit of culture: Fancy seeing an art collection with some Renoir, Picasso, Gauguin, O'Conor and Yeats? Then head for the Hunt Museum, set in the former 18th Century Custom House. Stop and enjoy some hot buttered scones with a morning coffee or afternoon tea in the museum's Ducart's Restaurant. Also have a look at Limerick City Gallery of Art. It's home to an important collection of Irish Paintings, while Limerick Museum is a Gulbenkian award winner filled with much earlier antiquities. Time out: Take a breather in the People's Park or Arthur's Quay Park to recharge your batteries. Walk along the river or take a boat trip down the Shannon Estuary to do a spot of whale watching.