Dublin is undeniably a cracking city to spend a weekend in! It’s all about the craic you know!
Once you’ve fitted in a pint at as many of its 1000+ pubs as you can and studied up on your Yeats and Heaney poetry, why not set your sights on other areas of the gorgeous Emerald Isle?
We reckon a first-rate way to relax after business in Dublin is complete is to hop in your hire car and head cross country to the Cliffs of Moher. The craggy cliffs are a key stop along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and are the stuff of legends thanks to their boundless beauty and unique biodiversity. They even became an UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015! It’s easy to see why.
So, where exactly are the Cliffs of Moher?
Wee bit unfamiliar with Ireland’s geography? You’ll find this 13km stretch of cliffs in County Clare on the country’s west coast and just south of Galway.
The Cliffs of Moher begin outside the village of Doolin and carry on south all the way to the Hag’s Head. As with loads of places in Ireland there’s a legend attached to the Hag’s Head – it was named after a sea witch who plunged to her death after following a handsome hero she’d fallen head over heels for across the whole of Ireland. Well those Irish heroes are pretty handsome!
And this isn’t the only legend these famous cliffs tell. It’s not hard to see why, thanks to the stunning outlook across the Atlantic and the sheer drop of the cliffs plunging straight down into its chilly, swirling waters!
Stunning, but slightly disconcerting too!
What to see and do at the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are an absolute treasure trove of outdoor activities and have unsurprisingly been a magnet for visitors for centuries. No matter your level of fitness or your interests, these spectacular cliffs are the perfect place to explore if:
You’re an avid bird watcher
This corner of Ireland is a haven for all kinds of bird species, so much so that the cliffs are classified as a Special Protection Area!
If you go to the Cliffs of Moher between May and September, you can whip out your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for nesting seabirds such as Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Guillemots and Razorbills. It’s also the home of mainland Ireland’s largest colony of Puffins – you can look out for their bright orange feet and beaks as they swoop from the water to their nests all along the cliffs.
You live for working up a sweat on a hike
If this is you, you’re in for a treat! The Cliffs of Moher are a goldmine when it comes to great coastal walks in bracing yet refreshing winds. For a full day of hiking, why not challenge yourself to the Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail which starts off in Doolin and follows the cliffs for nearly 18km all the way to Liscannor?
If you’ve not quite got the minerals for that level of exertion but you want to get the blood pumping, the shorter Doolin Cliff Walk is an awesome all-rounder which’ll take you two hours to walk each way. It also begins in Doolin and takes you through untouched countryside and right along the cliffs to the visitor’s centre. You could even explore the trail on a guided walking tour with a County Clare local! You know they’ll have some craic!
You want somewhere breath-taking to get down on one knee
Planning the perfect proposal? Few places are as atmospheric as these gorgeous cliffs! If you plan your visit on a clear day (or at least a dry day!) you’ll have your pick of epic spots along the coastal trail.
So you’ve managed to get the ring without bankrupting yourself and you’ve got to Ireland, but how are you going to do it?
We’ve got you covered! The area around O’Brien’s Tower (a 19th century tower that looks like it belongs in a castle) is a safe bet. To make the experience even more memorable, you could wait until sunset for uninterrupted views of the sun dipping below the horizon out at sea. Now that beats getting down on one knee in front of a bewildered restaurant!
You’re a Harry Potter fanatic
Who isn’t right? So you’ve watched the film series multiple times and just can’t get enough of the wonderful wizarding world! We know, us too! Well you’ll be thrilled at the Cliffs of Moher’s connection to Harry Potter. The plunging peaks and dramatic skyline had a starring role in the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince film. Wracking your brain to think when exactly they feature? Skip forward to the scene where Harry and Dumbledore apparate to a cave to destroy one of Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes and you’ll spot the sheer rock faces of the cliffs in the background.
Yeah that’s the one!
The Cliffs of Moher have also had screen time in various other movies and TV shows, from romantic comedy Leap Year to the cult classic The Princess Bride! These are some pretty famous cliffs!
Want to explore even more of the Emerald Isle? Check out our guide to historic Cork or consider popping over the border into Northern Ireland for an epic tour of the country’s best Game of Thrones filming locations.