Tuesday 18 June 2019

Ireland's Top 10 visitor attractions revealed: 'Stunning... even in the rain'

Ireland's Favourite Visitor Attraction: Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

Reader Travel Awards

"Yes we are an island, encompassed by a coastline with many cliffs."

"But the Cliffs of Moher are sculpted by the natural forces of the Atlantic Ocean like no others. It is no wonder they draw such crowds... A picture on your phone will rarely do them justice. You just have to digest the views for yourself."

One reader encapsulates the views of so many. The Cliffs of Moher are "an obvious but awe-inspiring" choice, you said. A hero image of Ireland that attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year, yet still, somehow, a place where the power of nature can make the interaction feel almost private.

"They're stunning," you said. "Even in the rain."

You mentioned "the thrill of the height", the "wild waves", the "unspoiled" nature of this "other-worldly" vista. "Just wow... you're on the edge of Ireland."

The cliffs are "breathtaking" from sea level by boat tour, you mentioned, telling us that walks along the coast provide an escape from the crowds. "Park the car in Doolin and take the cliff walk all the way past the cliffs to Liscannor," one reader tipped. "Rugged cliffs, breathtaking views and little traffic. A perfect way to explore..."

Top 10 Visitor attractions 2019

  1. Cliffs of Moher
  2. Guinness Storehouse
  3. Dublin Zoo
  4. Tayto Park
  5. Newgrange
  6. Glendalough
  7. Giant's Causeway
  8. Kilmainham Gaol
  9. Spike Island
  10. Bunratty Castle

Judges noted how many of you mentioned the visitor centre (cliffsofmoher.ie), which recently added dynamic pricing to better spread visitors during the day; and a staff that make visits feel special despite the sheer volume of dashing tour buses that are for some a controversial benefit. "The people make Clare," you told us. "The cliffs are the icing [on the cake], but you can tell how proud they are of this."

"The sheer vastness allows for reflection. Even though the wind can be loud and the waves can be roaring, a deep silence can be found staring at those glorious cliffs or whilst walking along the path..."

"The scene changes with the climate," you said. "Wild winds and energy... the feeling that it's great to be Irish."

NB: The Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2019 are sponsored by Iarnród Eireann. Read the full list of winners here.

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