I had the fantastic opportunity of travelling to Ireland this year which was my first time visiting this lovely country. I travelled to the Atlantic west coast of Ireland in County Clare, which is home to the beautiful Burren coast. The Best of the Burren Way is our new long-distance walk in Ireland and I had the best walking experience here. With it being my first visit to Ireland I felt really immersed in the local Irish traditions and revelled in the friendliness of the locals. Not only that but I was struck and in awe of the unique scenery and moonscapes of the Burren. I really feel that this is a very special part of Ireland and I want to summarise the real highlights of this walk and what makes it a great walking choice for your next trip to Ireland:
B: Báinín is the Irish word for white wool and Aran jumpers are traditional and distinctively made throughout the Burren. You can find the traditional Aran sweater shops in all of the villages on your walk and also on your visit to the Aran islands (where the name is derived from!). Why not treat yourself to a traditional jumper renowned in this area?
U: Unique Cliff Coastal Walk – The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most iconic sights and form part of the top attractions to visit in Ireland! The coastal walk was just stunning and the Cliffs of Moher were so majestic – this was definitely a real highlight of the whole walk. The cliffs span up to 214 metres at their highest point and we had a very clear day with beautiful views of the Atlantic ocean and even across to the Aran Islands (as we were very lucky with the weather!). There is a visitor centre about halfway on the coastal path (which starts just outside of Liscannor through to Doolin) and where you can stop off for some lunch or explore the exhibition and souvenir shop. I loved the fact that I could stop off on the coastal path, take pictures and immerse myself in my surroundings – it was incredible.
R: Rocky – The word Burren comes from the Irish Gaelic word “Boireann” meaning “rocky place”. This is a major theme of the Burren with the rugged Cliffs of Moher, the limestone pavements (particularly on the walking section via the Blackhead Headland) and geological rock formations. The diversity and unique landscapes were so different to any other place I have been to!
R: Real experience: In the Burren, you get a true and authentic Irish experience and the area feels like an undiscovered part of Ireland. I loved the fact that we had the trail to ourselves quite a lot of the time, we got to meet so many friendly locals and we received a warm welcome in our lovely B&Bs each day. There was also a good choice of traditional food such as Irish stew for dinner and freshly made and delicious soda bread with breakfast!
E: Evening entertainment. The best evenings can be found on the Burren Way and the live music is unmatched. Doolin is the traditional music capital of the Burren and the renowned O’Connors Pub provided some of the best music of the whole walk!
N: Nature: The Burren traverses past a lot of farmlands and with this we got the opportunity to meet many farm animals on the way! You should also keep an eye out for some local bird wildlife at the Cliffs of Moher and I would recommend bringing your binoculars to marvel at the natural habitats.