The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare quite often makes the news, sometimes for good things like it’s views and wildlife and sometimes for tragic accidents due to the sheer nature of the cliffs. It is equally both alluring and scary at the same time.
As Ireland’s most visited natural attraction it is often at the top of lists of what to see in Ireland. Plus if the nickname Emerald Isle is anything to go by it will be green!
The cliffs themselves run for 14kms rising to 120m at Hag’s Head and 214m in the north at O’Brien’s Tower.
I’d read a lot about the crazy bus tours and hundreds of tourists so knew we wanted to arrive early. We opted for a morning slot and booked our tickets online – saves you 50% off the peak price so it is well worth it. Luckily Doolin is located just a few minutes down the road so when we arrived the car park was pretty quiet..oh how that would change later on!
Most people visit just the Visitor Centre and the lookout point. There is SO much more to the cliffs then this. Of course if you’re on a tour or short on time then you’ll get a good view and those instagram shots but you won’t ‘feel’ the cliffs.
Even if you venture just 5 minutes along the path you’ll get a much more authentic experience of the cliff top walk. Make it to Puffin Island and you’ll get an amazing opportunity to see Puffins. IN THE WILD!
Bucket list item = tick.
What I would recommend is bringing binoculars with you though because you’ll get a much better view of the birds.
We walked for 90 minutes along the path through well paved sections and then out of attraction boundaries and onto the coastal path. There were sections well maintained and sections that left a little to be desired. There are some sections where concrete barriers have been added to keep you on one side – for your own safety obviously – but it as easy to get over or past them and onto the edge. Anything for that insta shot right? Sometimes it isn’t worth it. They are really high and it can be very windy.
We really wanted to make it to Hag’s Head but it was just a little too far as we knew we had to walk back and then drive to Limerick. Once you’d made it past the popular parts of the path it was incredibly peaceful with views over the Atlantic.
Looking out of the sea you can feel how vast the ocean is and how small you are.
It was a wonderful walk which I’d highly recommend.
After 90 minutes we turned around to walk back and saw the crowds. The closer we got to the Visitor Centre the busier it got. Hundreds of people, it was a completely different experience. The tourists were in varying degrees of preparedness, from flip flops and sunglasses to full hiking gear. I’d opt for some sturdy shoes so you don’t injure yourself on the paths.
When we arrived back we did a quick loop around the Visitor Centre which was interesting but not as interesting as the outside! We picked up some lunch and walked up to O’Brien’s Tower. The sunshine had now made an appearance but there was so many people it was difficult to find a spot to sit. You can climb the tower but we decided not to as the views were spectacular enough on their own.
The cliffs are excellent and it is no wonder they are so popular. I think it wouldn’t have been the same if we had turned up during ‘rush hour’ so I’m thankful we made the effort to arrive early. Getting a couple of hours in peaceful serenity was wonderful.
Our trip was almost coming to an end at this point, with a day and a half left in Limerick before driving across country to fly home from Dublin.