Discovering North Clare

Nestled on the west coast of Ireland, North Clare is a region of unparalleled natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. It is a place where the rugged landscape meets the Atlantic Ocean, creating dramatic coastal views that captivate visitors. Whether you are an adventurer, a history buff, or someone seeking tranquillity, North Clare has something to offer. Here’s a guide to discovering the treasures of this enchanting corner of Ireland.

The Burren: A Geological Marvel

One of the most striking features of North Clare is The Burren, a unique limestone landscape that spans 250 square kilometers. The Burren’s karst terrain is characterized by its vast pavements of glacial-era limestone, dotted with clints (flat blocks) and grikes (fissures). This seemingly barren land is actually teeming with life, boasting a rare combination of Arctic, Mediterranean, and Alpine flora.

Exploring The Burren
  • Burren National Park: A haven for walkers and nature enthusiasts, the park offers several trails that vary in difficulty. Each path provides a different perspective on the area’s unique flora and fauna.
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen: One of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological sites, this ancient portal tomb dates back to the Neolithic period, around 5,000 years ago. It stands as a silent witness to the region’s prehistoric inhabitants.
  • Caherconnell Stone Fort: A well-preserved example of a medieval stone ringfort, Caherconnell provides insights into the defensive structures used by early settlers.


Cliffs of Moher: Nature’s Masterpiece

No trip to North Clare would be complete without visiting the Cliffs of Moher. These awe-inspiring cliffs stretch for 8 kilometers along the Atlantic coast and rise to a height of 214 meters at their highest point. The cliffs offer panoramic views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and the rugged coastline.

Visitor Experience
  • Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre: The eco-friendly visitor center is built into the hillside and offers interactive exhibits that educate about the geology, history, and wildlife of the cliffs.
  • O’Brien’s Tower: For the best views, climb to the top of this tower built in 1835. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Twelve Bens in Connemara.
  • Doolin Cliff Walk: Several trails cater to different fitness levels, allowing visitors to experience the cliffs’ majesty up close.
  • Burren Smokehouse: Experience their mini food trail which comprises of smoked salmon tastings, the showing of their smoking process, and an interactive journey through time following the legendary Salmon of Knowledge.
  • JJ Corry Whiskey Tours: Get a taste for life on the Wild Atlantic Way with a visit to JJ Corry, a whiskey bonding experience in rural West Clare. The lost art of whiskey bonding has been revived and perfected on The McGuane family farm in this idyllic part of Ireland, where whiskey heritage flows through generations.
  • Doolin Yoga: Experience a Hike and Outdoor Yoga combo with Doolin Yoga. Enjoy a hike along the Cliffs of Moher from Hags head, experiencing the peace and tranquillity, taking in the array of wildlife and flora of the Wild Atlantic Way. This glorious hike will be followed by a Yoga session at Doolin Pier. There is an optional sea swim or pier jump to re-energize the body and mind. Lovely refreshments are provided at the end of the day.
  • Cliffs of Moher Cruise: Sail from Doolin on a voyage of discovery below the mighty Cliffs of Moher with Doolin Ferries. This is a unique opportunity to see the vast panorama of these iconic cliffs from the ocean, as fresh air and open space surrounds you.


Doolin: The Heart of Traditional Irish Music

Doolin, a charming coastal village, is renowned as the epicenter of traditional Irish music. The village’s pubs come alive each evening with the sounds of fiddles, tin whistles, and bodhráns.

Musical Heritage
  • Doolin Pubs: One of the most famous music venues in Ireland, this pub has been hosting traditional sessions for over 40 years. Musicians from all over the world come here to perform.
  • Doolin Music House: For a more intimate experience, visit Christy Barry’s home, where you can enjoy a private concert and storytelling session.


Ennis: A Historic Market Town

Ennis, the largest town in County Clare, is steeped in history and culture. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with colorful shops, traditional pubs, and historical buildings.

Exploring Ennis
  • Ennis Friary: Founded in the 13th century, this Franciscan friary features magnificent medieval carvings and sculptures.
  • The Clare Museum: Housed in a restored 19th-century building, the museum showcases the rich history and heritage of County Clare.
  • Ennis Market: Held on Saturdays, the market is a vibrant hub where locals sell fresh produce, crafts, and artisanal goods.

Outdoor Adventures

North Clare is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities that range from leisurely to adrenaline-pumping.

  • Surfing and Watersports: The coast of North Clare, particularly around Lahinch, is famous for its excellent surfing conditions. Lahinch Surf School offers lessons for all skill levels.
  • Seaweed Baths: Wild Atlantic Seaweed baths at Doolin Pier are a must visit! Immerse yourself in an hour of bliss whilst enjoying a panoramic view of the Doolin coastline.
  • Hiking and Cycling: The Burren Way and the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk are just two of the many trails that showcase the region’s natural beauty.
  • Caving: For a unique underground adventure, explore the Aillwee Cave or Doolin Cave, home to one of the longest free-hanging stalactites in the world.
  • Doolin Pitch and Putt: Doolin Pitch and Putt is an 18 hole links course which was established in 1995. Located on the road between Fisher Street and Doolin Pier just off the R479, they are open daily from March to October from 10am.


North Clare is a region that enchants every visitor with its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant community spirit. Whether you’re exploring the geological wonders of The Burren, standing in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, enjoying the musical traditions of Doolin, or delving into the history of Ennis, North Clare promises an unforgettable journey. Embrace the magic of this unique corner of Ireland and discover why it remains a beloved destination for travelers from around the globe.




Read Next: Embracing the unhurried, slow adventure in Doolin

Be sure to explore the rest of our website to find out more information, or to plan your next visit to beautiful Doolin in County Clare.

Instagram @doolintourism #lovedoolin
Facebook @DoolinTourism

[wppb-login lostpassword_url=#]

Don't have an account? Sign up today


Have an account already?