Stretching along Ireland's western Atlantic Coast, the Cliffs of Moher are definitely not to be missed. After waking up at literally the crack of dawn (a big achievement for yours truly), Larry and I hopped on a coach and, on the rainiest day I have ever experienced, headed off westwards towards this dramatic spot. Here are some reasons why you should do the same if you ever find yourself in Ireland.
1. They're stunning. EVEN if it's torrentially raining. I definitely didn't take the above picture... This is what it looked like when I went there..
and this is what I looked like after having been...
It rained quite a bit. But it was hard to ignore how beautiful the coasts are.
2. They go on for 5 miles and at their highest they reach 214m This means that if you're into coastal walks with outrageous views you will be living the dream. As well as more than 600m of coastal pathways, dotted with viewing platforms and buskers playing traditional Irish music, there is a Cliffs Coastal Trail which is 20km long. A 12km round trip to Hag's Head, for example, would take around 3 hours. Larry and I, however, found battling along the shorter pathways pretty gruelling enough in the november downpour and heavy wind and so didn't get to explore the trail, but it is on my list of things to do for my next visit.
3. There is wildlife galore Apparently you can see puffins, guillemots, razorbills and even peregrine falcons (for you noobs, they're the fastest creature on the planet.. keep up). Also there are frequent sightings of dolphins and seals and maybe sharks. Larry and I didn't see any of these. It was very, very rainy.
4. Dumbledore went there once?
5. There's a really warm warm warm visitor centre It has a cafe, a restaurant (with beautiful cliff views, and home cooked foods using local ingredients), a shop (fairly expensive as you'd expect), some displays and some relatively nice toilets. Perfect for warming up after venturing outside in the rain.
6. O'Brien's Tower provides even further panoramic views of the cliffs. Built in 1835, this tower overlooks the coast and gives some pretty fantastic views of the coastline (€2.00 extra). You can see as far as the Aran Islands to the west, the Twelve Pins in Connemara and all the way to the mountains of Kerry.
What's stopping you?!
* Admission: €4.00 for students. €6.00 adults.
* Opening times: 9am - 5pm (Closing time varies throughout the year depending on the month. In June/July it closes at 9pm)
* Bring with you: A waterproof, A camera, A Flask
* A cup of coffee - about 2EUR depending on which cafe you choose.
* Guided tours available for 45EUR. See here for more information
* Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.
Thumbnail photo from the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre site