Images of Ireland | The Cliffs of Moher and Burren Way

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My lovely friend Jenni and I decided to walk part of the Burren Way. Honestly, the lengths one has to go to, just to get some child-and-husband-free time! We walked 38kms the first day, and another 20kms the next. By the time we returned home, we could barely move at all, let alone walk! But it was sooooo worth it.

The Burren Way is a five day, 123km long-distance trail in County Clare, beginning in Lahinch and ending in Corofin. It crosses the Burren, one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe.

We followed a convoluted route from Lahinch, taking in the Cliffs of Moher, which drop over 200m straight down into the sea, and overnighting in the fabulous hostel at Doolin. From there, we continued on to Fanore over Slieve Elva, at only 344m still the highest point of the trail.

Along the way we found the most amazing holy well dedicated to Maire of the Gaels, in other words, St Brigid. Judging by what we found, people have been visiting her there for a very long time. Reading all the messages and prayers, and seeing all the tokens left behind was a very humbling experience.

The word ‘Burren’ comes from Boireann, meaning ‘stony district’, and refers to the spectacular terraced carboniferous limestone hills and valleys which typically feature in the area. The area is full of special fauna and flora, of which I took many dreadful blurry photos, and stone monuments carved and built by our Neolithic ancestors. I think those must be on the part of the trail we didn’t yet get to…

The weather forecast rain and more rain, but Saturday dawned bright and clear, and remained that way for the entire day. On Sunday, the skies opened, but didn’t dampen our spirits in the slightest. It was a great trip, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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35 thoughts on “Images of Ireland | The Cliffs of Moher and Burren Way

  1. Thanks for another lovely article. I stayed up this time to read even though I’m very tired. I never grow tired of reading what you have to say.

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    1. Well its your neck of the woods, isn’t it, Claire? I’m sure you know it really well. It was a fabulous experience, walking along the cliffs, but I saw so many people taking risks by standing on the edge, as we neared the visitor centre. The rest of the route was practically deserted. The weather was unexpectedly wonderful on the first day, as you can see in the pics. On the second the rain came down and did not let up for a moment! Didn’t dampen our spirits though! 😊

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      1. What has always baffled me is anyone who shies from Irish weather, because ,to me, it is part of the Irish experience. And one gets both sides of the weather, no matter the time of year, within any given week. I find the drama of it all to be beautiful; something rather haunting and historic in its essence, if this makes sense! I don’t think there was a day in the entire year I spent in Connemara, when I wasn’t out walking the land. I completely understand why you and your friend walked the Burren; it’s the best way to become one with it all!

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  2. So beautiful! I’ve driven through part of this landscape on a roadtrip to Lahinch – my husband wanted a surf but the sea was like a mirror that day. Will have to go back and do some walking next time 🙂

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    1. They are stunning! You don’t need to walk the whole length of them to see that. The visitor centre is located quite strategically at the most impressive point, but it does get very busy there.

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  3. Even I would be dead after 38kms and I consider myself a walker! Congratulations Ali, for that alone you have shot up to the top of the admiration stakes 🙂 Gorgeous scenery though, so wild.

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  4. Well, most impressive! Both the distance and the scenery. I shall add the Burren to my walking bucket list; looks fab. And it’s great to go for two days or more, hostelling between; there is something about starting day two that is between agony and exhilaration.

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        1. Oh it certainly was! Just to spend time with my lovely friend, to have no responsibility for a couple of days, and of course for being out in the fresh air all day and being surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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    1. It is gorgeous, specially on a sunny day. I never knew Canada had karst limestone, it must have a very varied landscape. I know you have some very wild and beautiful spaces, but I’ve never been, only seen pictures. Must be a fab part of the world in which to live.

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      1. Actually, I meant the sea cliffs in your pictures. We have similarly spectacular features, but I’m not aware of any karst limestone areas, not here in British Columbia, anyway. Canada is a huge country with a great variety of environments and landforms, so there may be some limestone areas somewhere. I would like to visit Ireland some day; it seems like such a cool (both senses of the word), green place.

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  5. I visited the Burren so many years ago. Well… maybe visited is too much of a statement, since I stopped there for a few minutes on the way back to Dublin (I was in a car with other people and they decided the schedule). But boy, I left I heart there!

    Ok, putting it into the itinerary of my September trip 😉

    We are going to the Cliffs of Moher, is it possible to visit the Burren on the same day, you think?

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    1. You can’t escape it! You will be driving down the coast, there are plenty of places you can stop and walk a cross a bit of the karst, you don’t even need to make a detour. We saw plenty of coaches stopping on the roadside, even though there was no hard shoulder, to let people out! But there are parking places too, although not many. Just keep your eyes peeled, the scenery is terrific!

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