We set off with a county in mind but no exact location. I think this is how the best adventures begin. Something draws me to County Clare, probably the endless memories from childhood summers spent there. Something about it makes me feel at home. Wild salt air and vast ocean kind of ignites something in me that makes me feel like anything is possible.
The Cliffs of Moher is always a popular spot, with locals and tourists alike. The first time I went with the girls there was three of us in total, and being students we were not up for the €6 per person charge to park the car by the visitor centre. So we took a tiny country road, that for awhile we genuinely thought would drive us off the cliffs. We followed signs for a different car park and ended up parking in some farmers driveway. They had a little letter box which they asked you to put €2 in – honesty box. I’ve parked here ever since, the people who own it are lovely, even if they occasionally lock you in 😀
Be prepared – the west is wild! Bring EVERYTHING! Perfect for people like me who feel the need to pack everything and the kitchen sink. No one will judge you for bringing that second jacket, if anything they will be jealous! It’s Ireland so you never know what might happen – sun, snow, rain, wind, or all, at once. Please be mindful that the cliffs are very real, with real back wash and jagged edges. So you know maybe don’t do what this eejit in the photo to your right was doing! Like they were just chilling with their legs dangling off the edge. Or on the other side you have another selfie seeker stood on top of a stack. I like my walks to not consist of calling the Coast Guard – thank you. But god forbid the number is 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Going from this alternative car park you are in essence doing the walk along the cliff back-to-front. But in my opinion, it’s just as impressive with different rock stacks, a castle and views of the Aran Islands. Not to mention the way to the other carpark is pretty scenic too, pretty cottages and farms. Typical of the path less travelled I suppose. It’s great if you can get a really clear day because you can see the Aran Islands really clearly, but my personal favourite is going for sunset. As you can see from the pic above it is pretty impressive! If you have more dosh to spend or you don’t like my alternative parking space then I suggest you check out the cliff’s official website. They’ve a Facebook and Twitter n’all. I barely have those 😀
You can make this walk as long or as short as you please. You can walk from the farmer’s driveway all the way to the visitor centre and on down the other side towards Doolin. However, be advised the walk down to Doolin is steeper and it’s advised you use those walking/hiking stick things. I know – I have a beautiful way with words!
If you want the full experience, with a history about the cliffs, I would highly recommend going to The Rock Shop and take a moment in their presentation room where they take you through a history of the cliffs and surrounding area. I haven’t been there since I was a child but I remember it being very cool. Plus fossils that are thousands of years old have to fascinate everyone right? (They are on sale there too!) The visitor centre is impressive too, with a similar video series bringing you through the different types of fauna and flora that inhabit the cliffs. But to be honest I avoid the place out of protest to the price of the damn parking!
I’d absolutely love to be a complete tourist and go on a boat trip to see the cliffs from the sea and probably the guided walking tour. I don’t know if they do them anymore though. But I will add it to my summer Bucket List for definate!
Find a flat rock, sit, meditate, breathe. Let it inspire you as it does for me.