Friday 23 February 2018

My Favourite Walk: Aoibhin Garrihy on the Cliffs of Moher

Sunday Independent Walks

Aoibhin Garrihy for the Sunday Independent
Aoibhin Garrihy for the Sunday Independent
Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland. Photo: Christopher Hill/Failte Ireland

Aoibhin Garrihy

You might have seen images of the iconic cliffs or even visited the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre — but to really appreciate the stunning Clare coast, you must try the Cliffs of Moher walk.

Spanning 8km of coastal cliff edge from the picturesque seaside villages of Liscannor to Doolin, it’s one of Ireland’s most scenic and majestic treks.

The environmentally-friendly visitor centre, camouflaged in the hillside, is situated midway along the route at O’Brien’s tower and is a wonderful information point complete with toilets and a cafe. For me, the Cliffs of Moher are part of my heritage, my history — my story.

My family fished beneath the exposed face of the cliffs for years, now they make a living showcasing the landscape from a very unique perspective — one of their Doolin2Aran boats — and you can see views of Hag’s Head and the iconic sea stack and might even spot the famous bottle-nosed Doolin dolphin, Dusty.

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Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland. Photo: Christopher Hill/Failte Ireland

You’ll also see a host of incredible birds, from guillemots to razorbills to puffins. The nearby Aran Islands provide a stunning backdrop for photos. You might even stumble on the odd proposal or wedding shoot (yes, guilty on both counts — on September 30 last year I celebrated my wedding there).

The full route can be a challenge with a narrow trail, steep ascents and flagstone steps with a peak height of 214m so I usually tackle a portion of the route. The motivation for it all? A delicious seafood chowder at Vaughan’s in Liscannor when the cobwebs have been well and truly blown away.

It’s a place I love to bring my friends. Anyone planning to visit the west coast should stop by and savour all it has to offer.

Aoibhin Garrihy is an actor, presenter and entrepreneur.

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