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Ashleam Cliffs Achill: Map + Visitor Guide

Ashleam Cliffs Achill: Map + Visitor Guide

The White Cliffs of Ashleam (Cuan na hAisléime in Irish) are one of the more impressive stops on Achill Island.

You’ll find them relatively close to the start of the Atlantic Drive, marked with one of the Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points.

While impressive on a good day, Ashleam Bay is at its most impressive during wild weather, as the powerful waves thunder against the cliffs.

Some quick-need-to-knows about the White Cliffs of Ashleam


Although a visit to Ashleam Bay is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

You’ll find the Ashleam Cliffs close to Cloughmore on the southern side of Achill Island. They’re a 45-minute drive from Newport and a 55-minute drive from Westport.

2. The WAW Discovery Point

You’ll come to the parking area at Ahsleam as you spin along Achill’s wild and rugged coast. It’ll be on your left if you approach from Achill Sound (here on Maps).

3. The road leading to Ashleam Bay (warning)

The best part about visiting this part of Achill is the journey down to Ashleam Bay. You’ll follow a narrow road that zig-zags it’s way downwards, offering great views of the cliffs and beach below. Drive slowly and take care!


What to look out for at the Ashleam Cliffs

White Cliffs of Ashleam

Photos via Shutterstock

I’ve been to Ashleam Bay 7 or 8 times over the years and, even during the summer, it’s rarely too busy.

There’s a nice big parking area where you can pull in and, if you’re travelling with a person with limited mobility, they can enjoy the views from the car.

Clare Island to your left

When you jump out at the Discovery Point, take a look to your left. Off in the distance, you’ll see a large mass of land.

This is Clare Island and it guards the entrance to Mayo’s Clew Bay and its 300+ islands.

The island is most famous for it’s lighthouse, which dates to 1806, and an infamous former resident – the pirate queen Grace O’Malley!


The white cliffs in front of you

The White Cliffs of Ashleam are an impressive sight and they climb to 100 feet at certain points.

The stand proudly about Ashleam Bay and the little pebble beach below.

On a wild day, the waves crash against the cliffs with incredible power.


The bendy road below

There are many unique roads in Ireland and, although the road leading to Ashleam Bay is safe when you drive carefully, it falls into the ‘unique’ category!

The road is steep and it hugs the cliff edge during the lower half. Drive slow and watch out for sheep, cyclists and walkers.


Best seen along the Atlantic Drive

If you’re visiting Achill and you want to explore the best of it over the course of a day, follow the Atlantic Driving Route.

This ensures you follow a logical itinerary and it’ll take you to:


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