Posted in Clare, Wild Atlantic Way

Cliffs of Moher Coastal Hike

I’ve been to the Cliffs of Moher at least a thousand times (this year!) and I’m still in awe by of the view each time!

To put it mildly, it’s the most amazing sight you will see in Ireland!

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Pic (c) Tara’s Ireland
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The Cliffs of Moher – July 2016.  Pic (c) Tara King

Photos will never do this place any justice. You have to be there in person to really appreciate it.

My favourite part of the cliffs is outside of the official ‘zone’ so to speak.

It’s a large cliff-side platform that can be found on the coastal trek towards Doolin.

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O’Brien’s Tower at sunset. Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

To get there, you need to go up past O’Brien’s  Tower and out on to the cliff-top dirt path.

Before you reach the dirt-path, you will see a notice informing you that you’re leaving the Cliffs of Moher property and to exercise caution.

They’re not wrong about exercising caution.

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

The terrain can be treacherously slippy at times, especially if it has been raining.

Keep following the dirt path and you will come to what’s known as the stony-steps (below.)

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

When you get to the bottom of the steps, the platform will be on your left, slightly hidden around the corner of the cliff.

The views from here are amazing but I can’t stress how careful you need to be at this particular spot. The cliffs are 702 ft high, so it’s not for the fainthearted or vertigo-prone.

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

Rock falls are very common, and as you’re not on the official grounds any more, you need to be mindful of the unexpected.

Compared to other sections of the cliffs, the platform is a very sturdy surface but in saying that, you still need to be cautious.

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

Another factor of which to be mindful is the weather.

When I was there, it was completely calm; absolutely no gusts of wind. This is why I didn’t mind going right out to the edge.

If it’s in any way breezy, steer clear from the edge.

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When I worked as a news reporter in Clare, I remember a man from the Doolin Coastguard explaining to me how some people fall from the cliffs in freak accidents.

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

He explained that when a sightseer stands and looks over the edge on a breezy day, a gust of wind may potentially be rushing up towards them.

This gust clashes with the gusts at the top, and the force of the two combined is enough to push a person over the edge of a cliff in a split second.

Like I said, when you leave the unofficial zone, be mindful of the conditions and the terrain.

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The final leg of the hike. Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

After the platform is the final leg of the coastal hike. Here you will enjoy some more insanely stunning views.

There’s a high point where you will get some great shots, and on a clear day, you will also be able to see the Aran Islands.

There’s also a fence nearby where people have started attaching ‘love padlocks’ to, so if you want to leave a lasting mark on the cliffs, bring a padlock with you!

From here, the pathway leads you down a hill and on to a gateway that will bring you out on to the main road towards Doolin.

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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

If you make it this far, and if the weather is good and you have time to spare, then I would recommend you hike on towards the nearby Doonagore Castle.

It’s privately owned and not open to the public, but still worth a visit nonetheless.

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Doonagore Castle, Doolin. Pic (c) Tara King, July 2016
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Pic (c) Tara King, October 2016

T xx

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