Named Ireland’s top tourist attraction in 2017 by the Irish Independent readers travel awards, a visit to the cliffs of Moher is definitely something you have to experience once in your lifetime. Situated along the amazing wild atlantic way, just outside Liscannor in Co Clare, these majestic cliffs rise up from the sea in such a dramatic fashion that they just take your breath away. If you haven’t been- you have to go. We headed off from Tipperary last Sunday and we took the N24 as far as Limerick. From Limerick we joined the M18 towards Galway and then we took the N85 at Ennis towards the Cliffs of Moher. Its really well signposted from here.
There are a few different options to visit the cliffs. You can park up in the official car park. This is charged per person. Adults are €6 and under 16’s are free. There is also a cliff walk where you can park up in Doolin or Liscannor and walk up to the cliffs. The cliffs are 8km from Doolin and approx 10 kms from Liscannor. We decided to park up at the carpark on this particular day and do some of the cliff walk from there (I know- very lazy altogether). When you make your way across the road to the main walkway up to the cliffs you will find a row of shops to the right selling everything from Aran jumpers to music cd’s.
Further on and the visitor centre comes into view. Its built into the side of a hill so as not to take away from the surrounding scenery. The visitor centre is a relatively new addition to the cliffs experience. In here you will find a fabulous gift shop, a cafe on the ground floor and a restaurant on the 1st floor. The cliffs exhibition is also a must visit in here. It tells the story of the cliffs, its geology and wild life. This facility is perfect on a crappy day when visibility at the cliffs is low.
We made our way past the visitor centre and headed up towards O’Briens tower. The amount of people here that day was unbelievable. It was fantastic to see so many nationalities visiting our country. From O’Briens tower you get that iconic view across the cliffs jutting out into the sea. We decided to walk towards the south and follow the cliff walk. The path itself is really well laid out and in parts is separated into two sections. One on the outer cliff edge and the other behind slabs of rock closer to the fields. There is lots of viewing points here to just stop and take in the stunning views.
Because we had such a fab day weather wise we could see all the way across to Inisheer, Inishmann and Inishmore- the three islands of the Aran Islands. Further in the distance we could see the Maum Turks in Connemara and the Twelve Bens. At the base of the cliffs we spotted the Cliffs of Moher cruises that take tourists in around the base of the cliffs for a different perspective. The cliffs are also a place rich in history. It was from here in 1588 when the high sheriff of Clare spotted the distressed fleet of the Spanish Armada who had lost their way enroute back to Spain. Fearing an attack from the fleet the sheriff was ordered to capture and execute any sailors who made it to the main land when their ships foundered.
O’Briens tower was built by Cornelius O’Brien in the 19th century as a viewing area for visitors. He was a generous man as he was part of the famine relief in the area and constructed new roads. O’Briens tower still stands tall as an iconic part of the cliffs experience. We made our way along the cliff walk for approx 3kms and eventually sat at a grassy verge along the cliffs to relax and take in the view. Its days like these, in surroundings like this that make you realise how lucky we are to have access to such amazing beauty. We made our way back towards O’Briens tower then and got some more fantastic views on the way back!
We made our compulsory stop into the gift shop, which honestly is one of the nicest I have been to in a long time. There are some gorgeous pieces of art and prints from Irish artists and designers. So on your next few days off I would definitely recommend making your way to the Cliffs of Moher! They do recommend that during the summer months to arrive after 4pm. Presumably to avoid the majority of the bus tours. I have attached their website below to help you with your trip. As always- Happy Galavanting xxx