From Kerry, we travelled north, taking the ferry between Tarbert and Killimer on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. Located on the western coast, you might recognise these famous cliffs as the Cliffs of Insanity in The Princess Bride or as the cliffs with the cave in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. However, these cliffs are far from a new tourist attraction. Irish travel journals from as far back as 1780 even document the scenic nature of the cliffs.
Now, a tourist centre and education centre marks the site at the bottom of the hill. The admission is not unreasonable. Adult admission is 8 euros, but children under 16 are free, which helped a lot!
My son was fascinated by the geology of the site. 320 million years ago, the cliffs began to form when heavy rainfalls and floods caused dirt and sand to be washed into a river and collected in the delta where it ran into the sea. Those sediments were compressed, forming what we see today. The education centre focusses on this and has some wonderful interactive pieces for children. The weather was windy and cold when we visited, so the education and visitors centre were great for a break from the chill.
A portion of the cliffs have walkways and barriers to help prevent accidents, but trails do extend beyond the limits of the site. Due to the proximity to the edge and the wind, we decided not to take the trails. Frankly, it made me uneasy with the children. The wind threw us off-balance a little while we looked around, I didn’t want it to happen on a trail so close to the drop. Many tourists did opt to take the trails, and I’m certain the views were incredible.
We spent a good bit of time exploring the cliffs and ate lunch in the cafe before we loaded back up into the cars and continued our journey to Galway. The drive up the coast was beautiful. I wish I could say that we explored Galway more, but by the time we checked into our lodgings and ate dinner, it was raining and late. We opted to sleep rather than explore before we left early the next morning for the north.
Next . . . Northern Ireland, Giant’s Causeway, and the Dark Hedges.