So it’s the last weekend of the Easter holidays and also the last weekend of April… How is April nearly over??? Does anybody else feel like the year is running away from them? All the more reason to make the most of your time off school/work whatever it may be.
Today I am taking you to through the Wild West of County Clare, these are different locations as opposed to my last Clare Part 1 post where I went through central Clare. I have various different locations that you can work your way through or you can just pick what you think will suit you best.
Doolin is up first! Doolin is actually quite small but there is loads to do here. It is well known for its hearty pubs that has traditional Irish music 7 nights a week, good food in Gus O’ Connors, hosts a biker festival, has a chocolate shop, woolen shop and you can take a trip out to Aran Islands from here. It has a bit of everything!
The Aran Islands are technically apart of Galway Bay but seeing as you can reach them from Doolin why not mention them here! There are 3 which you probably already know but if not they are; Inis Oirr, Inis Mor and Inis Meain accessible by ferry. There are different prices and departure times depending on what Island you what to visit so be sure to check these before you head to Doolin. I have only ever been to Inis Oirr and it is so nice there, it is so typically Irish but with a very slow, peaceful pace to life. It is the smallest island of the three and a trip out there is a good way to spend a day. There are horse and carriages that you can get around the Island, a gorgeous beach, a playground and of course different walkway paths that lead you to; a castle sitting on top of the hill or an old shipwreck that has been washed up onto the shore. This island is only 3km by 3km so it is easy to wander around on foot. You will come across Aran homemade fudge on arrival which is lovely. Irish is widely spoken around the Island also. There is a small supermarket and hotel on the island but would have to pre-book accommodation here.
Inis Mor is the largest Island of the three. I have never been too but they have recently opened up Glamping pods on Frenchman’s Beach which look so cool it makes me want to visit the island just for this reason. Here is a link to the promotional video if you want to check it out! https://youtu.be/VT3Exx1XZFA
If this isn’t your thing but you would still like to get out on the water, you can book a kayaking trip from Liscannor Bay with North Clare Sea Kayaking. This will be a fun filled, adventures activity and you will get a chance to view cliffs, waterfalls, sea caves! What a way to spend some time when the sun is shining. They also offer cycling tours of the Aran Islands.
Of course I am going to mention the famous Cliffs of Moher. On the way here be sure to stop at the Rock Shop. It has a great shop here and great place for lunch! The Cliffs of Moher was one of my favorite places to visit. You can enter the visitor center which offers you access to an information center, a virtual video that brings you on a journey down to the base of the cliffs, a gift shop and a cafe! There are two paths to visit along the cliffs. One towards O’ Brien Tower and the other on an extended trip along the cliff edge. Puffins can be seen from Mid-April although I’ve yet to see any but you can enter the Cliffs at different locations and do the cliff walk! You can also do a cruise along the base of the cliffs!
Lahinch is a great place to stop at even just for an hour. Grab yourself a 3 in 1/fish & chips/ice cream whatever it may be and atake a walk along the beach. Sunsets here is particularly nice. The Irish Open is also on in Lahinch this year so there is a great golf course here too!
A Lot of people that visit Clare leave there sight seeing here at the Cliffs of Moher and until recently I would have agreed but there is so much more to see in the South West! Starting with my new favorite place, yet similar to my old (Cliffs of Moher) favorite place… The Kilkee Cliffs. These cliffs are amazing! Just as good as the Cliffs of Moher in my opinion if not better! You don’t have the huge crowds, there is no visitor center, you do not have to pay and you can walk down a stairway that leads you to the base of the cliffs. It really is amazing, such a gem!
Next we are heading to the most Western part of Clare to Loop Head Lighthouse. This a great stop off and even though the weather wasn’t the best when I visited, it is worth having a walk around. You can walk all the way to the edge and can see ‘Lover’s Leap’ a single standing sea stack! Have a read of this link to read the myth/story on the meaning behind Lovers Leap. You can see the power of the the Atlantic and the calm of looking out to unspoiled scenery, it is definitely a spot that will clear the cobwebs! The lighthouse towers over you, which you can visit and get a guided tour, along with an exhibition in the nearby cottages but check opening times, it was closed when I went. It is also set to be a great place to spot whales and dolphins!!
Last but not least, finishing in a calm and quiet woodland area in Kilrush; Vandeleur Walled Garden. This is something different, there is a fairy house, indoor garden area that grows many different types of flowers along with a big outdoor garden and a maze! Tea room here makes a big selection of homemade food! Best hot chocolate I’ve ever had here too btw!
So that is that! I hope you liked this post, from kayaking, to ferry rides, to cliffs, a lighthouse and some gardens. you will see all of what Clare’s Wilds West has to offer! Any questions please do not hesitate to ask. If you have any feedback I would love to hear it!