Walking and the Wild Atlantic Way
Whether you’re a keen enthusiast, a slow rambler or you simply like a great walk with some beautiful scenery and landscape – your stay at Hotel Woodstock in County Clare means you couldn’t be better placed for the Wild Atlantic Way. There are so many amazing trails waiting for you to discover – offering up all the beauty of The Burren landscape, the awesome views from the Cliffs of Moher and the splendour of the surrounding countryside. Best of all – they are right on our doorstep or just a short drive away…
16.5 km (20 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
A 6 km walk
This beautiful looped walk starts in the village of Ruan (northwest of Ennis town) and is a wonderful trail that combines lakeshore, laneways and wooded tracks. Following the purple National Loop arrow you will walk through the south-eastern extremity of the Burren area, through 400 hectares of the incredibly scenic Dromore Woodland Nature Reserve. You will also travel alongside the shores of Lough Garr and Dromore Lough. There’s a wealth of natural features to take in, including rivers, Burren limestone pavement and scenic woodland, and you will be treated to the huge variety of flora and fauna that the area has to offer. There are many historical points of interest too –including the ruins of Kilakee Church and the impressive O’Brien Castle.
40.4 km (40 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
An 18 km walk
Easily the very best way to experience the Cliffs of Moher during your time with us at Hotel Woodstock. While the full trail is 18 km long, you can walk it any way you choose, starting and finishing anywhere. Most walkers begin in the village of Liscannor, and follow the walk marked with a blue arrow on a white background – combining steep ascents with flagstone steps and farm tracks. Wherever you look there’s beauty – from the wild Atlantic Ocean with its views out to the Aran Islands, to the rugged beauty of the Burren countryside. And at the highest point of the walk you will be an astonishing 214m above sea level. Please be aware though that some of the walk is along an exposed cliff top path – so you’ll need to take care, have a head for heights and be reasonably fit.
22.8 km (27 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
A 114 km walk
If you’re looking for a long-distance walk, to really blow the cobwebs away and breathe some fresh, country air – The Burren Way is where it’s at! It’s a real up-close-and-personal experience of this magnificent limestone pavement that is such a well-known feature of Clare. It’s about a 5-day walk, which you could combine with a stay at Hotel Woodstock, either before, after or both.
The walk comprises a mixture of forest paths, tracks, quiet tarmac roads and a few more energetic climbs. You’ll wind your way from Lahinch to Corofin, and enjoy an amazing contrast of colour and texture: the emerald Atlantic, the rugged Karst landscape, the green country ways. As you go, be on the look-out for the beautiful wild flowers of the Burren, totally unique to the area – along with a wide selection of bird and animal life.
45 km (51 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
A 14.50 km walk
Starting and ending in the village of Fanore, this walk takes you up the Caher Valley in North Clare, and is much-loved for its incredible views of the Burren landscape and out to the haunting Aran Islands. It takes around 3.50 hours to complete, following the red arrow on a white background: and there is about 300 m of climbing – making it a little tougher than many of the other local walks. En route, you’ll come across one of the few rivers in the Burren, the Caher: this cuts its way down through the rock and glacial deposit to emerge on the strand at Fanore where it enters the sea.
“The Loop provides one with nature at its best, the views incredible, the mythical surroundings a constant and the walk a slight challenge. Welcome to the Burren!”
– Trip Advisor
60.9 km (54 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
An 8 km walk
The Kilkee Cliff Walk is a beautiful alternative to the Cliffs of Moher – providing a quiet walk and one without fencing. It’s a circular route that begins at the Diamond Rocks Café at the West End of the town of Kilkee, stretching to Intrinsic Bay. You’ll follow a cliff path along the beautiful coastline – and pass the famous Pollock Holes, the Diamond Rocks rich in quartz and a natural stone amphitheatre which has been formed by the waves. You should note that there are no walls between the walkway and the cliff’s edge – so walk very carefully.
23.3 km (29 minutes) from Hotel Woodstock
A 8 km walk
This is a real ‘riches of the Burren’ walking experience, combining everything that this amazing National Park has to offer – from geographical splendour to natural beauty and points of historical interest. It’s an 8 km walk that starts and finishes at Mullaghmore Crossroads, and takes about 2 to 2.5 hours to complete. The loop is way-marked with standing stone slabs and can be a reasonably challenging walk in part – but well worth it, as it weaves its way across the Burren limestone pavement, through pretty hazel woods and up high hillsides that reveal stunning views of Mullaghmore. You’ll also pass through an old Celtic farm, traverse laneways and trek across pastures, stone fields and scrub. Watch out for beautiful local touches as you go, such as hand-made hazel gates and stiles.
Please note that hiking boots are a necessity for this walk as the limestone can be very slippery, especially after rainfall.