Adare is regarded as a fine example of the medieval fortified castle in Ireland and is one of a number of outstanding castles situated in County Limerick. It is sited on the north bank of the River Maigue in a strategic position on a substantial earlier ringwork where it was able to control traffic on the river. It was an important stronghold of the Earls of Desmons. A strong, square keep forms the defensive core of the castle that stands within a wallled ward surrounded by a moat. Beside the river is the great hall, with early 13th century windows looking out on to the river, and nearby is a kitchen and a bakery.
A major program of conservation and restoration works has been completed, and access to the site is available by guided tour. Access to Adare Castle is managed in partnership with the Adare Heritage Center located at Main Street, Adare. Guided tours to Adare Castle operate from the Adare Heritage Center by means of a shuttle bus service to and from the castle.