Skip to Content

A Road Trip Along The Clare Coast With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

A Road Trip Along The Clare Coast With The Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

This article is sponsored by Ford Ireland

—————————————-

It’s hard to beat a few days in Clare when the weather plays ball.

With an endless number of charming towns and villages (Liscannor, Doolin, Ennis, Spanish Point, etc.), you’ve your pick of great bases for a weekend away.

We spent a couple of days in Clare recently and opted to tackle some of the area’s many coastal strolls, like the Kilkee Cliff Walk and the Liscannor to Cliffs of Moher trail.

On a recent road trip, we explored a chunk of Clare via the comfort of the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid. 

Some quick need-to-knows about this Clare coast road trip

Here’s a quick overview of this road trip to have a flick through before we get into the various places to visit (times are rough estimates).

1. Distance from the main cities in Ireland

I’m going to use the different cities listed below as our point ‘A’ and Doolin as our point ‘B’ to calculate the distances:

  • Cork City: 2 hr 35 min
  • Limerick City: 1 hr 10 min
  • Waterford City: 3 hr 2 min
  • Dublin City: 3 hr 6 min
  • Belfast City: 4 hr 36 min
  • Galway City: 1 hr 23 min
  • Kilkenny City: 2 hr 40 min
  • Derry City: 4 hr 40 min

2. A different side to Clare

Many people visiting Clare tend to head back to the same places over and over. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it often means people think Clare is a one-or-two-horse-county. This couldn’t be further from the case, as you’ll hopefully discover below.

3. A hybrid road trip

We were hitting the road in the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, which combines all electric driving with a petrol engine. The Kuga PHEV has a choice of driving modes, so you can decide whether to run on all electric power for up to 45-63km*, the petrol engine or a combination of both. You can seamlessly switch from petrol to electric at the touch of a button which is handy for our road trips.

Places to visit along the Clare coast

Loop Head Drive

Below, you’ll find a handful of places to visit along the Clare coast, many of which have great walking trails to head off along.

Just keep in mind that these aren’t in chronological order, so you can pop them in to your itinerary based on where you’re starting your trip from.

1. The viewpoint up over Fanore

Fanore

I stayed in Fanore a few years back and stumbled upon a trail that offers incredible views of the Burren and Clare coastline.

Now, you can walk this trail if you like, but just keep in mind it’s very steep. We drove it on this occasion, starting at this point.

The road is narrow enough, but on the few occasions that I’ve been here (two of which were during peak tourist season) I’ve only met a couple of cars.

Even on a dull day the view from here is outstanding. There’s a parking area about halfway down the hill where you can hop out and take it all in.

Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid feature-focus: Best-in-class rear legroom and luggage space can be realised using sliding second row seats, able to easily move forward or rearward up to 150 mm.

2. The Kilbaha Cliffs

Kilbaha

The cliffs near Loop Head Lighthouse are one of the most overlooked places to visit in this part of Ireland.

Few visit the spectacular cliffs at Kilbha. And that’s what makes them that little bit more special. I’ve been 5 or 6 times and it’s rare that you’ll ever meet more than a handful of people.

You can park up at Loop Head Lighthouse and then take the grassy ‘trail’ to the right. The cliffs in the photos above open up in front of you.

It’s worth wearing waterproof shoes here as the ground gets very muddy at times.

3. Doonagore Castle

Doonagore

The fairytale-like Doonagore Castle can be found in Doolin, a handy 3-minute drive from the colourful little Fisher Street, where it’s finely situated on a hill overlooking Doolin Point.

The castle, which dates back to the mid 16th century, is what’s known as a round tower house and it has a little courtyard that’s enclosed by a defensive wall.

Interestingly enough, the castle is used as a navigational point for the boats and ferries that are making their final bob into Doolin Pier.

The only tricky thing here, aside from the fact that you can’t get near the castle itself, is parking. There isn’t any… There is, however, a couple of pull in areas that, if free, give you a good vantage point.

Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid feature-focus: The FordPass app* and connected modem will keep you connected. Your vehicle will communicate with the world around you, updating you with information about your car and keeping you moving in intelligent ways. With real time traffic updates, finding your nearest charging station, and vehicle health alerts you’ll always be kept up to date.

4. The Bridges of Ross

Bridges of Ross

The Bridges of Ross is located on the northern side of the Loop Head Peninsula, just before Loop Head Lighthouse. 

The name of this natural feature is slightly misleading. Originally, there were three natural sea arches, two of which have since fallen into the water after many years of erosion.

There’s only one bridge remaining. Now, although the photo above looks like the person is walking dangerously close to the edge, that isn’t the case.

There’s ample room to walk across the ‘Bridge’ and you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the surrounding Clare coast as you stroll.

5. The Loop Head Drive

Loop Head Drive

You’ll often hear us talking about ‘stops that aren’t really stops’ on this website. 

Although attractions and landmarks tend to be key destinations on many road trips, it’s often the nondescript places that get get etched upon your memory.

The Loop Head Drive is one of those routes that unearths parts of the Clare coast that many never knew existed. 

Head out to Loop Head Lighthouse, first, and then follow the coast road back towards the Bridges of Ross for a very scenic spin.

6. The Kilkee Cliff Walk

Kilkee Cliff Walk

The Kilkee Cliff Walk is a trail that starts at the famous Diamond Rocks café in the town’s west end.

There are several different walks that you can tackle here but the short, 1.8-2km/30-40-minute trail is one of the more popular paths to follow.

If you don’t fancy this length of a stroll, you can always drive up along the coast from Kilkee to the Wild Atlantic Way discovery point for the cliffs.

From here, you’ll have cliffs in front of you, towards Loop Head, and ones behind you, towards Moher. Although we visited on a mild afternoon, the wind cuts you, so a decent top layer is needed!

7. The Liscannor to Cliffs of Moher trail

Liscannor

The Hag’s Head to Cliffs of Moher Walk connects the villages of Liscannor and Doolin on the coast of Clare via a cliffside walk over the Cliffs of Moher (the Doolin section is closed currently, so you’ll only get as far as the Moher visitor centre).

Parking is available at a private car park in Liscannor which is conveniently called “Cliffs of Moher Liscannor Walk” on Google maps. 

The Liscannor to Cliffs of Moher Walk is a strenuous hike with 250m of ascent over narrow paths along a sheer cliffside and is graded as moderate to difficult. 

The walk from the car park in Liscannor to the visitor centre is roughly 5.4km, so the entire trail is around 11km. It’ll take you around 2 hours one way, depending on pace.

Learn more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid

And that is a wrap on our mini-road-trip-guide to the Clare coast. You can discover heaps more places to visit in Clare in our Clare guide.

Or, if you’d like to discover more about the Ford Kuga ST-Line X Plug-in Hybrid, visit Ford.ie.

*Based on full charge of Kuga PHEV ST-Line. Estimated range using Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Figures shown are for comparability purposes and should only be compared with other vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements like temperature, driving behaviours, route profile, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age and condition. 63-km WLTP Overall Range reflects a combined driving cycle and 45-km WLTP Extra High range reflects motorway driving – both tests are conducted in controlled conditions with an ambient temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and no climate or electrical load.

*FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply.

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.