Enjoy the incredible, rugged beauty of the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk
Most people drive to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, enjoy the stunning views there, then leave for various reasons. While that’s certainly a great way to enjoy the breathtaking landscape, it can feel constrained – the Cliffs don’t just start and end around the Visitor Centre.
The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk does a much better job of unveiling this marvel and letting you savour it at your own pace. As one of our visitors said, “People think they’ve seen it all when they drive from Cork to Liscannor via the Wild Atlantic Way. But the coastal walk is in a league of its own!”
On foot, you have all the time in the world to take in the scenery. Up there on the cliff, looking out to the Atlantic, under the infinite Irish sky – it is an exhilarating experience and one that is difficult to convey in words.
Invariably, Irish people say “Imagine that we have this on our doorstep and it’s taken me x number of years to see it! I’ve seen it so often on ads selling Irish tourism, but it looks incredible in reality.” As for non-Irish people, they’re content with enjoying the awe-struck silence inspired by the landscape…
Feel your spirits soar
It might have been exactly that landscape that lured you to visit this part of Ireland: wide expanses of moor, sea and sky as far as the eye can see. The Coastal Walk offers that in spades. Whether you walk down in the Doolin to Liscannor direction, or whether you walk up from Liscannor, you will get unrivalled views of the majestic cliffs.
It’s a sight like few others: the weathered sandstone cliffs plunging a hundred metres into the roiling waters of the Atlantic under an ever-changing sky. The memory of it will stay with you forever. With the wind buzzing in your ears and the bracing Atlantic air in your lungs, you will feel on top of the world.
You will enjoy a myriad of landscapes in one: people complain about the Irish weather, but that’s the great thing about it, it will completely change your perspective in a matter of minutes. Waves of mysterious fog coming in from the land
are followed by glorious sun a few moments afterwards, leaving each individual blade of grass a-glitter with dewdrops. No wonder Ireland is such fertile ground for poetry…After all it is on The Wild Atlantic Way.
And the exhausting and hunger-inducing effect of the Atlantic air isn’t a myth! It has the effect of putting the colour in your cheeks and you really are ready to eat and sleep afterwards like you wouldn’t believe… Exactly what you need to recharge on holidays.
Just a friendly tip: make sure you have plenty of space in your camera, as you will be taking a whole lot of pictures – the view changes at every step and your camera will fill right up.
What is the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk?
The walk is a recently refurbished and well-marked walking path that allows visitors to discover the breathtaking beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. It follows a cliff edge trail, sometimes going through the private land of farmers who have agreed to let (respectful!) walkers onto their fields. It goes from Liscannor to Doolin, taking in Hag’s Head and the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre on the way.
(Hag’s Head is the name given to the most southerly point of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland where cliffs form an unusual rock formation that resembles a woman’s head looking out to sea)
You could set off directly from the Cliffs of Moher Hotel here in Liscannor!
Something for everyone
If you’re a confirmed walker, there’s no need to explain the appeal of the Coastal Walk. You might even have come specifically to walk this trail. The whole length of the trail, from one end to the other, is 18 km. This might take fit, experienced walkers between 4 and 5 hours, with a stop for lunch or a warm cuppa at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre.
Does that sound too ambitious? Don’t be alarmed, the Coastal Walk is very moderate. There are a few steep spots, enough to allow you to be very pleased with yourself for getting an excellent workout – but nothing insurmountable. Children as young as 6 have walked the trail and loved it.
And you don’t have to walk all the way to Doolin, either. From Liscannor, you can choose to take a pleasant stroll to Hag’s Head (7km, 2 hrs approx), or push on to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre (12km from Liscannor, 3.5 hrs approx), and be back in time for a hearty lunch at our hotel.
If you’re a keen long-distance runner, you’re in for a treat! How about an ambitious, exhilarating run from Liscannor to Doolin and back in the same day? At the Cliffs of Moher Hotel we’ll be ready to celebrate your exploit in style, with a log fire, a delicious meal and a comfortable bed on your return.
The Hotel showcases some top quality local produce including Burren lamb and meats; local seafood for our fabulous Chowders and Fish ‘n Chips, and top quality smoked salmon from our neighbours in the now world-famous Burren Smokehouse.
The Bloody Cranesbill Gastrobar displays top quality Irish and international contemporary art (Hotels Art Galley) with an emphasis on portraiture; excellent live music with an emphasis on top quality traditional music..
Remember to be very careful and heed safety recommendations: part of the trail can be slippery or muddy / boggy, and is not too far from the cliff edge.
Planning your walk
The Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk starts right in Liscannor, so you might start directly from our hotel!
There are several options:
- Walk to Hag’s Head and back, or go there for your morning run!
- Walk to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre and enjoy the attractions there. See O’Brien’s Tower, learn more about the incredible geological treasure that the Cliffs represent and enjoy the restaurant and souvenir shop. No overpriced tacky junk there, but quality Irish products that will make great gifts!
- Walk even further afield and never worry about having to trudge all the way back: you can catch the 350 Bus Eireann bus back to Liscannor (year round, fare €4.90). The bus stops right in front of our hotel.
The Cliffs of Moher park and drive from the hotel!
There are a couple of options:
- Drive to the official car park – The cost to park the car is €6.00. This includes entry to the visitor centre building, Cliffs Exhibition – Atlantic Edge
- Drive to the Hag’s Head at the southernmost point on the Cliffs of Moher – Park less than a mile downhill and hike up through farmland to get to the top.Parking €2.
In spring and summer (until late October), you can also avail of the PaddyWagon Cliffs of Moher shuttle. More details and exact route here.
At the end of the day…
All this walking around windy moors will no doubt have whetted your appetite – so settle in front of a roaring fire at the Bloody Cranesbill Gastrobar, the Cliffs of Moher Hotel’s own restaurant, for a well-deserved meal. The great outdoors will have sharpened your palate, so tuck in and enjoy the lovely flavours of our distinguished local cuisine.
And why not stay at our hotel for a few days? Situated in the lovely coastal village of Liscannor, we are right in the heart of the Burren. There’s enough to do in the area to keep you busy for several days – and make you want to come back! Discover Liscannor, its castle ruins, its lovely harbour, and enjoy activities such as walking, angling, golf (Lahinch Golf Links), as well as plenty of historical sites around the village, like St Brigid’s Well and Kilmacreehy Church.
The Cliffs of Moher hotel is also a great location to visit the spectacular Aran Islands a cluster of three islands namely Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. The Aran Islands are known for its serene ‘spiritual’ atmosphere, limestone landscape surrounded by miles and miles of stone walls, isolated blue flag beaches, stretches of spectacular cliffs and a mosaic mix of pre christian and christian monastic sites. This is unlike anywhere you might have visited in the past.
Some important points to bear in mind
Birdwatchers, don’t forget your binoculars!
The Cliffs of Moher are home to many species of birds, the most famous of which is perhaps the Atlantic Puffin, sporting a brightly coloured beak during breeding season. The puffins come back to their burrows year after year and in the spring, the cliffs are alive with their cries.
Important safety rules
The Coastal Walk is a well-marked, well-maintained path which has been reinforced with flagstones in places. It is an easy-to-moderate walking terrain with a few steep places, but on the whole it makes for a pleasant, reasonably easy walk. However, it is a remote trail and parts of it can be uneven or boggy, especially after rain, and there are no barriers or fences, apart from the portion around the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. Please note that there are no fences on the cliff edge.
Please read the Cliff Path Safety Code.
Keeping normal safety precautions in mind and being careful is all you need. Apart from good quality walking gear and raingear, you don’t need any special equipment. Make sure to take enough water and snacks with you, have warm and waterproof clothing in your backpack, even on a glorious day, and carry a mobile phone.
Trainers are not ideal: prefer sturdy walking shoes or boots to get a good grip and ankle support.
Please note that, as the path crosses private farming land, dogs and bicycles are not allowed.
The Coastal Walk with children
Begin your journey at The Cliffs of Moher Hotel a beautiful hotel in the seaside village of Liscannor, Co. Clare.
It’s a great location for the Cliffs of Moher, the Cliffs Coastal Walk, golfing in Lahinch, the Aran Islands and the many other attractions of this beautiful coast on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.