Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

About

Located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of the Burren area near Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher are located in County Clare, Ireland.

The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head (Irish: Ceann na Cailleach), and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland’s most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.

There are many animals living on the cliffs. Most of these are birds, with an estimated 30,000 birds from 29 species. These include the noted Atlantic Puffins, which live in large colonies at isolated parts of the cliffs and on the small Goat Island. Also present are hawks, gulls, guillemots, shags, ravens and choughs.

O’Brien’s Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O’Brien, a descendant of Ireland’s High King Brian Boru, in order to impress female visitors. From atop that watchtower, one can view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, the Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve Pins to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south.

The Cliffs of Moher has been developed by Clare County Council to allow visitors to experience the Cliffs, without the distraction of overly-imposing man-made amenities or features. In keeping with this approach, the “Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience” is built into a hillside approaching the Cliffs, blending naturally with the surrounding countryside. The centre is also environmentally sensitive in its use of renewable energy systems including geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, and greywater recycling.

Officially opened in February 2007, having been planned and built over a 17 year period, the €32 million facility features an array of interactive media, exploring topics such as the origin of the Cliffs in local and global geological contexts, the bird and fish life in the area, and many more. An IMAX-type multimedia show allows visitors to experience a bird’s eye view from the cliffs, as well as seeing the inside of underwater caves at the foot of the cliffs. The official Cliffs of Moher website features pictures and information on tours, school trips and other areas of interest.

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience won an award in the Interpret Britain & Ireland Awards 2007 awarded by the Association of Heritage Interpretation.

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