Saturday, July 18, 2020

Exploring County Clare, Ireland As A Family | Loop Head, Kilkee, The Burren, Cliffs Of Moher, Doolin and Lahinch

County Clare, Ireland is a place like no other. With it's majestic cliffs and stone-clad terrain, it's like a whole world of it's own. We were delighted to get to explore County Clare as a family and I can definitely say it's a great family-friendly part of the world to visit.

Our boys loved everything about their road trips to County Clare and are dying to return to this beautiful place again someday. If I had to describe how our trip to County Clare made me feel, the word 'happy' immediately springs to mind.

On our first road trip to Clare we visited one of the counties most famous landmarks - the Cliffs of Moher. We were lucky enough to visit on a warm, sunny day and had a perfect view of the cliffs. We paid to get into the cliff sight (€7 per adult and children under 12 are free), but there's also ways to see the Cliffs of Moher for free too from the Doolin side of the cliffs.

I'd highly recommend a visit to see the Cliffs of Moher as a family, after all, they're one of Ireland's most famous landmarks. Just stick the the viewing areas and pathways, especially with very young children.

The Burren is another 'must-see' sight in County Clare. My boys likened it to 'being on the moon' and I'm sure other children would think the same. They had great fun jumping from limestone slab to limestone slab.

We visited the Poulnabrone portal tomb - the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland with the kids too. It was great to show them such a historical site as part of our travels around Clare. If you're into history, it's definitely a place to visit.

On our second road trip to County Clare we visited Loop Head Lighthouse, which is situated right at the end of the Loop Head Peninsula. Sadly, the lighthouse was closed for renovations during the time of our visit so we didn't get to see inside the site. This is a great stop along the Wild Atlantic Way and definitely a great one to tick off our list!

We did, however take a walk down the hill on the left-hand side of the lighthouse which led us to some amazing cliffs. The stone patterns down there were unlike anything we had ever seen before, it was as if they had by laid by hand. It was amazing to sit on hose cliffs and watch the tide swirling below, There was also a lovely view of Count Kerry over the water too.

There are many beautiful beaches in County Clare that are perfect families and one we loved, which wasn't too far from Loop Head Lighthouse, was the Victorian seaside front of Kilkee. This is like a bay of sorts, with stepped viewing platforms for sitting and sunbathing. The water here was so clear and perfect for letting the kids swim and paddle in the water.

Kilkee is a lovely sandy beach too, perfect for building sandcastles. There's also great facilities with toilets placed at three areas along the seafront and lots of car parking space. I think it was just €2 for 2 or 3 hours which is so reasonable too. It was a gorgeous beach and we'd love to return someday.

We had a very brief stop in the little village of Doolin on our travels around County Clare. I think the village's most famous landmark and best photo opportunity is this spot with the pink sweat shop with the thatched roof. It's a very sweet spot but was incredibly busy with cars, even on a Sunday morning! It is worth a stop though if you're like us and can never resist a photo opportunity. As far as amenities, the only toilet we could find was within the visitor centre. There also didn't seem to be much open for a Sunday morning.

Had we more time on our trip to Clare we would have taken the ferry from Doolin to the Aran Islands. This is actually on our bucket list and is something we definitely want to do, maybe later this summer. A trip to Inís Mór (the largest of the Aran Islands) cost €25 per adult and €15 per child, so it is a little expensive, but worth it if you really want to visit and experience 'true Ireland'.

The last spot on our latest County Clare road trip was Lahinch (or Lehinch as I've also seen it spelt). The beach here is another great spot in Clare, great for surfing and we were hoping the boys could have a swim but the tide was in when we visited. There's a great walkway along the seafront with steps down at different point so the boys had fun playing on these and seeing how long it would take for the waves to splash them!

We got ice-creams in O' Connors Ice-Cream Shop which is close by to the seafront. 4 large ice-creams with sprinkles were €11. There was also a playground and toilets located by the seafront too, making it a great family-friendly place to visit for a beach day. We'll have to return when the sun is shining and the tide is out a bit!

County Clare really is such a wonderful place. There's something about it which just warms the heart. It gives a real sense of old Ireland and all the simple things in life which make it beautiful and enjoyable. The natural landscape of Clare is absolutely beautiful and there's so many great places to visit along the coast and further inland too.

We'll return again someday, hopefully soon. If you're visiting Ireland as a family then a road trip to County Clare is a must. You won't regret it!

During our visit to Clare we stayed at The Inn At Dromoland, you can read my review here if you're looking for accommodation ideas.


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