County Clare Things to Do Tips by Bwana_Brown Top 5 Page for this destination
County Clare Things to Do: 122 reviews and 232 photos
O'Brien's Tower on the Headland
O'Brien's Tower and the visitor parking lot mark the approximate centre of the Cliffs of Moher natural attraction. This photo was taken from the south, showing how the 700-foot cliffs dwarf this observation tower that was built in 1835 by Cornelius O'Brien, a wealthy descendant of the High King of Ireland. Even at that early date, hundreds of tourists visited this site and O'Brien was a strong believer in tourism. He felt that its development would help both the economy and the well-being of the local population. The ridges of sandstone, shale and siltstone are also clearly visble in this shot.
Directions: Not far south of the village of Doolin
Looking Down at 'Breanan Mor'
At the far end of our morning walk along the Cliffs of Moher, we came to this sandstone platform that had been worn away by the elements. It was an exhilarating experience to walk (or should I say creep) out to the end of this slab and then to peer over its edge at the sheer drop into the Ocean below! The pinnacle protruding from the water is a 70-metre (200-foot) chunk of rock known as Breanan Mor. As with the cliffs themselves, it is made up of ridges of sandstone and siltstone which are, in turn, covered by thousands of birds nests. On the headland is O'Brien's Tower near the tourist centre. This particular moment was the best of this trip and is one of my all time greatest travel memories!
Checking out the Sandstone Slab
Before my wife would venture out to the very edge of the cliffs, I had to go on a little scouting expedition! Here, she holds the high ground while I check out the rock platform that allows the view hundreds of feet down to the Atlantic Ocean! It really was fun to lay there watching the birds wheel and listening to the sounds of the wind and waves! Also thinking about 'I hope the cliff does not decide to crumble away a bit more at this particular moment' !!
Village of Doolin
Doolin is a very friendly and small village that will serve as your best base if you want to have lots of time to explore the Cliffs of Moher. It also has a reputation as one of the hot-beds of Irish music and it is well worth your while to take in its pub nightlife! This village is also a point of departure for the ferry service to the Aran Islands, one of the last outposts of Gaelic culture.
Directions: On the Atlantic coast, 4 miles north of the Cliffs of Moher.
1000-Year Old Ruins
As we were leaving County Clare to head back to Dublin at the end of our trip, we came upon these amazing ruins near the town of Gort and just a few miles outside of the county line. The abandoned church of MacDuagh was built about 1000 years ago and, on the same site, was a Norman tower from about 900 years ago. Again, as with most of our trip through Ireland, we had this place virtually to ourselves - no entrance fees and no other visitors. It was interesting to walk around the tower and, only then did I realize that there were no entrances to it except for an open doorway about 20 feet up. Apparantly, this tower was used as a refuge by the monks when danger was reported to be afoot in the area - just haul up the rope ladder and wait it out! Another interesting fact is that the tower is actually leaning slightly, about 2 feet out of plumb with true vertical - watch out Pisa!
Directions: To the north of Gort, just a few miles out of town.
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