The Cliffs of Moher are, without a doubt, a must-see in Ireland. Of course, one’s experience of the Cliffs will be highly dependent on the weather. The day my husband and I visited the Cliffs started out foggy and misty. As the day progressed, the fog slowly dissipated. Although visibility improved, the weather did not. We walked the length of the Cliff’s pathway (plus a tiny bit of off-roading) during periods of high winds, drizzle, and several good downpours along with a few treasured breaks in precipitation. All told, we experienced the Cliffs through the gamut of wet weather.
It was no small feat to keep my camera lens spot- and mist-free, so I’m pretty happy that I was able to take any decent pictures at all. This post includes my top picks, but shown in the order of the narrative, not necessarily in the order they were taken.
It was raining when we arrived at the Cliffs, so our first stop was the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. The facilities were modern, clean, and eco-friendly. Along with a cafe, coffee shop, gift shop, and restrooms, there is an information desk with helpful staff. When we asked, “How do you pronounce ‘The Cliffs of Moher’?” we were told that it sounds like mother, but without the “T,” so “MU-her.” Yup, we’d been saying it wrong.
The Visitor Centre also contains the Atlantic Edge interpretive experience, which is organized into themed areas exploring the different elements of the Cliffs, including Ocean, Rock, Nature, and Man. The Atlantic Edge contains images, displays, video, and a “virtual reality cliff face adventure,” which allows you “to experience life at the cliff face both above and below sea level.” The photo above shows the Atlantic Edge with emphasis on the screen showing the video, “The Clare Journey,” which is an aerial tour of County Clare including the Cliffs of Moher. With so much to see and do in the Visitor Centre, we could have stayed all day, but, rain or not, we were itching to see the Cliffs.
To get you further oriented, here’s a panorama of the area taken from the North Platform, with O’Brien’s Tower to the north and Hag’s Head at the far southern tip. Click on this photo for a larger view.
O’Brien’s Tower houses a little shop, which provides access to the roof (for a fee). The Tower is said to provide spectacular views. I really wanted to go up, but the wind was so strong that people’s umbrellas were turning inside out. Combine the wind with rain and low visibility as a result of the fog and the decision was simple to stay on solid ground. Next time, though. Definitely next time.
This photo provides a better view towards Liscannor Bay. The area pictured in the foreground is where one enters the cliff area from the Visitor Centre. Turn right for O’Brien’s Tower, left to head south along the Cliffs, or straight to the Main Platform at the Cliffs’ edge.
Looking back, O’Brien’s Tower is visible along with the rock ledge seen earlier. The pointed rock in the water below O’Brien’s Tower is called the Stack. The strip of land in the foreground jutting out into the ocean is called Goat Island.
That photographer is braver than I am, because this was as close to the edge as I could get. I also could not bring myself to move down the path beyond the area by the three poles, so I gave my husband my camera and he took pictures for me.
To add a little perspective, take another look at O’Brien’s Tower in the photo two above, then look again at this photo. I remind you that those dots next to the Tower are not ants, but humans. Yeah, the Cliffs are that high.
On a side note, you can see the outlines of the Aran Islands in the distance.
Now to the Stack. I wish three things: 1. that I knew why some of my photos come out looking like watercolor paintings. 2 that I had known all those white dots were birds, including puffins! and 3. that I’d used my zoom lens to its full capacity. Instead, I cropped and enlarged this photo to give you…