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10 Things to Do in Clare

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Looking for a taste of life on the edge? You couldn’t do much better than the captivating coastal county of Clare. Tucked away on the Cliff Coast, this unique landscape has been beautifully shaped by the Atlantic elements.

With dizzying views from the top of some of Europe's best known sea cliffs - the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren’s ancient yet intergalactic-esque karst plains to discover, serene shorelines like Fanore to splash along and beckoning golf gems like Lahinch and Doonbeg; prepare to be effortlessly courted by Clare.

Here are just 10 ways to enjoy life on Clare’s cliff-edge:

  • The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

1. Cliffs of Moher

One of Ireland’s most visited natural attractions, at 702ft above the crashing Atlantic swells it’s not hard to see why. With a superb visitor centre, an invigorating coastal walking route, beautiful birdlife and view after exquisite view, the Cliffs of Moher’s hefty 8km breadth delivers at every turn.

2. The Burren

Ticking all the boxes as an historical, geomorphic, geological and archaeological wonder, the intriguing stony karst landscape of the Burren is a marvel to roam, cycle, spot unique flora and fauna on and even follow a food trail over. At its UNESCO-recognised geopark, discover the longest cave system in Ireland, the largest stalactite in Europe and plenty more.

3. Aillwee & Doolin Caves

Explore the famed Clare landscape from the other side, in some of the county’s famous caves. At the Aillwee Cave take a tour of this stony underworld of winding passages, chasms, strange rock formations and waterfalls. While at Doolin Cave with its famous Great Stalactite, head 200ft underground to go an astonishing 350 million years back in time.

4. Scattery Island

A small monastic settlement a few kilometres from the Kilrush shore, Scattery Island boasts a still-functioning lighthouse, six ancient church ruins and one of the highest round towers (120ft) in the country. An historic island, Scattery has seen its fair share of invasions and has plenty of far-fetched legends and tales to tell. Take the short ferry ride over to this little oasis and stroll the day away.

Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare

5. Shannon Ferry

With Clare hugged on all sides by serene bodies of water, the Atlantic, Lough Derg, Galway Bay and of course the River Shannon, taking a ferry is a fine way to enjoy it. Sail across the Shannon Estuary, ebb out into the Atlantic and embrace views all the way to Kerry. Watch out for those cheeky dolphins too.

6. Poulnabrone Dolmen

One of the most memorable spots in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, sitting high on a limestone plateau you’ll find the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen. This portal tomb is one of Ireland’s most recognisable archaeological sites and is the oldest megalithic monument in the country. Surrounded by glacio-karst landscape features formed over 16,000 years ago, get a glimpse into the west’s ice age with a roam over these rocky plains.

7. Loop Head & Lighthouse

On the splendid Loop Head Peninsula, right on the very western edge of Clare, you’ll find this pristine lighthouse, a driving route peppered with beautiful flora, the headland teeming with coastal birdlife and views that unravel all the way to the Cliffs of Moher. Head to the top of the lighthouse to take it all in from a 90-metre height and keep an eye out for the 160+ dolphins that call these waters home.

  • The Burren, County Clare
  • Loop Head Lighthouse, County Clare
  • Bishop's Island, County Clare

8. Fanore Beach

A stretch of sandy paradise in the heart of the Burren, with its borders of sand dunes and west coast waves, Fanore Beach is a hit with walkers, surfers, anglers, families and more. After those beach-side strolls stop by Fanore Village and Ballyvaughan, perfect places to round off a day by the sea shore.

9. Food Fun in the Burren

An unique spot when it comes to gourmet goods, the Burren is home to a spread of culinary creators, tastemakers and craftspeople. From indulgent chocolatiers Hazel Mountain Chocolates to the Atlantic’s bounty with Burren Smokehouse’s unrivalled salmon, Clare’s a treat for the tastebuds. Bona fide foodies should take the Burren Food Trail, a weekly food expedition that brings lucky diners from field to fork.

10. Clare Golf Gems

Resplendent scenery can make for some astounding golf links and Clare offers some of the very best. From Lahinch Golf Club’s stunning showcase of natural terrain which dates back to 1892, to Doonbeg Golf Club’s idyllic crescent beach and Atlantic views on almost all of its 18 holes; a round on this landscape is quite the temptation.

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