Loophead, Co. Clare
County Clare is a home to beautiful scenery, from the the steep Cliffs of Moher to the hidden treasures of Aillwee Caves in the Burren, the tourists are always impressed. However, away from the eyes of the average tourist, sticking out far into the Atlantic Ocean, is the beautiful Loophead peninsula.
Loophead peninsula is the most western point of County Clare. It is scarcely populated, with only three villages sitting on it: Kilbaha, Cross and Carrigaholt.
The tourists don’t normally venture much further than Kilkee, which is the last big town before the tranquility of the roaring waves of the Atlantic. Kilkee is an attraction of its own. It is something of a surfing paradise with a long sand beach situated in a lovely round bay and it’s also a host to Cois Fharraige Surf and Music Festival in the summer.
There is 25 kilometres of magnificent landscape and stunning views between Kilkee and the tip of Loophead peninsula, which houses the Loophead Lighthouse. On the way you can visit The Bridges of Ross,The Ionad Cois Cuain Memorial Garden and The Five Pilots Memorial in Kilbaha and The Little Ark.
If you follow the signposts for Loophead Lighthouse and continue to the end of the road, you will be rewarded with a view of some of the most beautiful cliffs in Ireland.
The Lighthouse is surrounded by a long white wall and not normally accessible to public. However, you can walk around the wall to admire the scenery.
Starting to the left and circling the Lighthouse clockwise, you will first walk down a hill that flattens out on the top of a fairly low, but nonetheless very vicious looking cliff. When the winds are strong and the sea swells are great be very careful and do not approach the edges of the cliffs! From this point you can see County Kerry and it’s magnificent mountains rolling into the Ocean.
Continuing around the wall to the other side of the Lighthouse you will reach the steep cliffs that are home to numerous birds. Sometimes you can see dolphins swimming far below.
If you continue on the path that’s like a carpet made of grass, you will be able to cast your eye on the most amazing natural beauty of the cliffs. It might be tempting to go to the edge of the cliff, but be careful as there is no fence to protect you from falling even on a quiet day!
This is how tranquil it can be:
Quite different from this:
On the way back, rather than driving the way you came, turn left on a small local road that goes along the coast and joins the main road to Kilkee again at Feeard.