Loop Head - Wild Atlantic Way
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Loop Head is one of the most remote and wonderful places in Ireland. It remains a place to itself, protecting the waters of the Shannon estuary from the open ocean.
Between Kilkee and Kilrush is Loop Head, at the western tip of County Clare, peaceful roads and deserted beaches stretch out along the Loop Head Drive. The cliff-girt headland that separates the sheltered water of the Shannon Estuary from the fury of the Atlantic Ocean.
The tip of the head is occupied by a graceful lighthouse, the land is level and bright with wild flowers, pink thrift, yellow vetch and white campion. You can climb the Loop Head Lighthouse for panoramic views - from Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher. To the north there are four great promontories and cathedral-sized caverns. Out at the very end of the peninsula, the white letter E-I-R-E are cut into the grassy clifftop, a relic from the Second World War, to be seen from the air.
Seabirds by the thousand, fulmars and kittiwakes and others, make their nests on the rock ledges. A little way to the east are the Bridges of Ross, natural arches of limestone. Farms are scattered and few and the entire area has a heavenly feeling of remoteness. There are also around 160 bottlenose dolphins living in the mouth of the Shannon River, where it joins the wild Atlantic off County Clare's Loop Head Peninsula. You can follow the road from Kilrush to Aylevarro Point, to see them playing just offshore. Or, for a close-up view, you can take a Dolphinwatch boat trip from Carrigaholt, to see dolphins - and hear hydrophone recordings of them too.
Loop Head was awarded the European Destination of Excellence - "Aquatic Tourism".