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The Doolin Cliff Walk: Trail Guide With Map

The Doolin Cliff Walk: Trail Guide With Map

The Doolin Cliff Walk is a strenuous, 6.6km linear trail that will take around 1 hour and 35 minutes to complete.

It starts near Fisher Street in Doolin and it follows an often-steep trail along the coast, finishing at O’Brien’s Tower near the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre.

Although there was once a shuttle bus that took you back to Doolin from the cliffs, it no longer exists (you can, however, take a Bus Éireann bus or a taxi – info below).

In this guide, you’ll find a map of the route, several warnings and what to look out for along the way.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Doolin Cliff Walk

Doolin Cliff Walk

Photos via Shutterstock

 

Although this is one of the more straightforward Cliffs of Moher walks, there are several key things to be aware of before you set-off.

PLEASE pay careful to the safety warning, as proper care is required while doing this version of the trail.  

1. Start point

The trail begins on the road adjacent to Fisher Street (the road that goes uphill just past the Doolin Inn – here on Maps).

2. Length

If you walk from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher via the 6.6km route outlined below, it will take you around 1 hour and 35 minutes. If you plan on walking back to Doolin, the entire trail would be 13.2km and would take just over 3 hours.

3. Difficulty

This is a tough trail in places. There are a handful of very steep inclines. For that reason, this is graded as a strenuous walk. Good walking shoes are an essential.

 

4. Getting back to Doolin

As this is a linear trail, you are faced with 3 options (note: the Cliffs of Moher shuttle bus no longer runs!):

  • Walk back the way you came
  • Get a taxi (065 707 5000 is the number for The Taxi Company)
  • Take the Route 350 Bus Éireann from the coach car park near the visitor centre (here on maps)

5. Safety warning

The Doolin to Cliffs of Moher walk follows a trail that hugs the cliff edge and the ground is uneven, so it’s easy to loose your footing at times. Care and caution is required. Please, please, please avoid getting near the edge.

 

A Doolin Cliff Walk map

Above, you’ll find a rough Doolin Cliff Walk map that shows an outline of the route.

In previous years, a section of the walk was closed off to the public, but that is no longer the case.

I would, again, stress caution when it comes to trying to get too close to the edge. 

There have been several tragedies here in recent years due to people doing just that, so please be careful.

 

An overview of the walk from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher

seeing the cliffs of moher for free

Photos via Shutterstock

Start the Doolin cliff walk from the road next to colourful Fisher Street (aim for here).

Please keep in mind that this is, at times, a busy road, so keep a listen out for cars.

A gentle uphill trail to begin

The first section of the walk from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher leads you into a false sense of security, as it’s reasonably flat.

You’ll reach the first stile after around 1km (you can’t miss it – it’s like a mini step ladder up and over the fence).

It’s from this gravel path where the you’ll start to get a feeling of the majesty of the cliffs, even from this relatively low height.

 

The first real incline

You’ll be given your first challenge at around the 1/2 way mark when you reach this left turn.

The uphill section only measures around 455m, but by God you’ll feel it in the thighs!

The Doolin Cliff Walk levels out from here for a while.

At this point, the most impressive views are behind you, with the Burren National Park visible in the distance.

The cliffs come into view

The trail begins to get a little steeper about halfway through the walk but as the path rises, the views become ever more impressive.

It’s well signposted but again PLEASE DON’T BE TEMPTED TO GET TOO NEAR THE CLIFF EDGE, as sudden gusts can come out of nowhere.

You’ll get your first proper eyeful of the cliffs soon enough, but they’ll disappear as you’re faced with another incline. 

On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Aran Islands off to your right!

 

The final slog

Before you reach O’Brien’s Tower, you’ll have to conquer the steep incline from this point, but you’ll be soon rewarded.

The cliffs rise majestically and disappear off into a hazy distance with the Branaunmore sea stack a unique part of an already stunning landscape.

67 metres high, the sea stack was once part of the cliffs but coastal erosion slowly removed the layers of rock that connected it with the mainland.

Finally, you’ll reach O’Briens Tower where you’ll also find the main viewing points and visitor centre.

When you’re ready, either retract your steps, take a taxi or get the 350 bus back to the start point (there are plenty of restaurants in Doolin for a post-walk feed).

 

Other Cliffs of Moher walk options

 

If the relatively short walk from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher doesn’t tickle-your-fancy, worry not – there are several other options.

Personally, I think the trail from Hags Head is one of the best things to do in Clare, as it’s a quieter trail and you get views of the cliffs from the get-go.

Here’s a quick overview:

 

The guided Doolin Cliff Walk

cliffs of moher at sunset

Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re looking to try one of the more popular things to do in Doolin, give one of the guided walks a bash.

These guided trails are great if you’re not confident in tackling the trail by yourself and if you fancy discovering stories about the local area.

 

Pat Sweeney

Pat Sweeney’s family have been farming the land around the cliffs for five generations and he knows the Doolin to Cliffs of Moher Walk inside out.

From taking you to the finest viewpoints to providing interesting information about local history, folklore, characters and wildlife, Pat’s your man.

His easy going style will make the hours on his tour pass by in no time.

Cormac’s Coast

Check out Cormac McGinley’s walking tour too. Cormac worked as a ranger at the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre for 11 years so it’s fair to say he knows what he’s talking about!

His tours are packed with info and stories and typically last between three and four hours.

Both tours have rave reviews online.

 

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