The magic of county Clare lies in what there is to see, rather than what there is to do. Experience nature, history and what modern rural Ireland looks like in this humble and beautiful landscape.
NEAR LOOP HEAD
Loop Head Lighthouse
There has been a lighthouse at Loop Head since 1670, originally a signal fire on the roof of a single-storey cottage where the light keeper lived (which can still be seen on the grounds). The present tower, which stands 23 metres high, was built in 1854. The range of the light is 23 nautical miles and its ‘character’ is a white light flashing four times in 20 seconds.
Thalassotherapy, from the Greek word ‘thalassa’, meaning sea, is the use of seawater and seaweed for therapeutic purposes, a tradition dating back to Roman times. The Kilkee Thalassotherapy Centre has won awards for the services they offer, and offer more info here: http://www.kilkeethalasso.com/
There is perhaps no better way to enjoy the unique peace and laid-back pace of the Loop Head peninsula than on horseback. If you feel like saddling up, Carmen’s Riding School can offer short or long treks on quiet country roads with beautiful views over the Shannon Estuary, Poulnasherry Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Short treks last either one or two hours, while half-day trips take a leisurely 4 to 5 hours. More info at https://www.facebook.com/CarmensRidingSchool
Clare’s rural setting and clear horizon makes bird watching a rewarding exercise. Take the time to seek and spot the beautiful creatures that circle the sky over Loop Head, and keep an eye out for land and sea creatures as well: not least of all dolphins! More info at http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/
The Cliffs of Moher
These majestic cliffs are one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and zig zag along 8km of the coast of Clare. The name comes from an ancient Gaelic word ‘mothar,’ which means “ruined fort” as a 1st century BC fort stood where the Moher tower now stands. Be on the look out for landscape curiosities like the Hags Head. More info at http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/
See 15th and 16th century furnishings and tapestries, and learn how this medieval fortress survived the many events that unfolded in the west of Ireland, form its origins as a Viking trading camp, to the stronghold of two powerful families, to the historic site it is today. More info at http://www.shannonheritage.com/BunrattyCastleAndFolkPark/
Don’t judge an attraction by its name – this features more than a lesson in geology. With events such as Raptor Conservation Day, a Wood Craft Village and family themed workshops, you will have loads to keep you busy before you even reach the caves – which are also stunning. More info at http://www.aillweecave.ie
The Burren is a karst landscape, which means its surface is a lunar-like landscape of rock and cliffs. It has seven walking trails, woodland, and otters, mink and lizards cohabitate on the unusual ‘fertile-rock’ surface. More info at http://www.burrennationalpark.ie/