Adventure Days Start in Bunratty Castle
Bunratty is the perfect starting point for a trip in County Clare. Consider first a day out in Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. The extensive grounds depict what life was like in old and medieval Ireland, roaming the cottages and Bunratty castle make for an authentic experience. Every cultural activity can be experienced in Clare from traditional Irish music to surfing and perfume making.
Kilkee is a popular seaside town with gorgeous Victorian streets. Kilkee is famous for its horseshoe shaped beach, Pollack Holes and spots for deep sea diving. Just ask a local and they will show you. Kilkee also offers easy, stunning cliff walks.
Further up the coast, Doonbeg is a charming village. Home to just a few pubs and world-renowned golfing and a long quiet beach with rugged sand dunes.
Heading north again for 20km and the next coastal town is Miltown Malbay, famous for its Irish music roots and yearly Willie Clancey music festival in July. The local visitor centre is worth a look for a quick cultural history. Whitestrand Beach is located here.
A short drive away is Lahinch town and beach. It offers a hive of activity: golfing, surfing, indoor and sea swimming as well as long walks when the tide is out. Lahinch is great for a stroll and has great surf shops and art galleries. Lahinch also has a good choice of places to eat.
Between Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher is Clahane beach. This small beach with easy parking is ideal for a swim and rock pool exploring. Afterwards, take a looped walk that is clearly marked near the beach.
From Lahinch it is just a short drive inland to Ennistymon town or via the coast road to the Cliffs of Moher.
The Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs are worth a walk, boasting an ideal sunset on a clear day. We recommend a spot with cheaper parking: ‘Guerrin’s Path’ (€5 per person), the entrance is 2 km south of the main car parking lot. Parking is free in the main parking lot after 7pm in summer months. If you drive to the most southerly point of the cliffs to ‘Hag’s Head’ there is a third entrance and an honesty box, it is €2 per person. It is a ten minute walk to the cliffs from here.
Further up the road is Doolin Village with great restaurants and daily sailings to the Aran Islands on the Doolin2Aran ferry. Doolin is popular for its live traditional Irish music and atmosphere. Doolin Cave, just 2 km north of the village has a network of underground rock formations, unique to this part of the Burren.
After Doolin, go on a spectacular drive to Fanore Beach and Blackhead you can take this narrow road to the fishing village of Ballyvaughan.
Ballyvaughan is a great starting point for hikes through the northern part of the Burren. Free printed maps can be found in Linn’s Fashions behind the Spar shop.
Inland Adventures From Bunratty
Away from the coast Clare has many gems to visit. Start off your day in Ennis town and visit landmarks such as the Ennis Friary, Clare Abbey or Clare Museum. Later, head for Corofin and learn about the Burren and your ancestry at the Corofin cultural and genealogical centre. Here get printed maps for walking the Burren walked loops. Good starting points for looped walks start in Corofin, Carran or Ballyvaughan.
In Corofin we recommend visiting Lough Avalla Farm Loop – head for Mullaghmore and take a left instead of a right. The farm lands offer meadows, exposed limestone and hazelwoodlands to walk. Have a cup of tea afterwards and leave a donation.
Corofin also has a stunning lake ideal for fishing with stunning views. If you want to rent a boat inquire at any shop in the village.
For a memorable day out visit The Farmyard. Enjoy a magical interactive day out on a working farm nestled near Mullaghmore. At the Farmyard relax with the animals or learn how to bake bread in a cottage. The couple who run the Farmyard have been delighting visitors for years in this relaxing setting. Booking is essential.
Area around Kilnaboy
Around Corofin visit Kilnaboy Church (high cross at the rear), The Father Ted house (from the Channel 4 series) it is hard to find but look for the sign near the Kilnaboy Church, stop off for a quick photo opportunity at Leamaneh Castle a 15th Century Tower house on the road to Kilfenora Village.
The Burren has little villages to stop and have a walk around including Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. In the Burren we recommend a stop at Poulnabrone Dolmen along your drive. Poulnabrone are ancient burial chambers and an important part of Clare’s heritage. Caherconnell Fort and visitor centre is worth a quick stop for a short history and coffee break.
Cahermore Poulnabrone can be found just south of Ballyvaughan on the R480. Near here is an ancient ringfort, An Ráth. A ringfort was an important part of rituals in ancient Ireland.
More Places in The Burren
More places to visit in the Burren include The Burren Smokehouse, The Burren Outdoor Education Centre and Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, The Burren Perfumery and Buren Nature Sanctuary. For cycling enthusiasts rent a bike for a different day out with E-whizz Bikes. If you find yourself on the northern part of the Burren, we recommend an hour long walk on the Flaggy shore for a most unusual beach!
There is lots to do in County Clare either inland or on the coast. Our best advice is pack snacks, water and extra clothes for your best adventure day out. Bunratty castle