O’Brien’s Tower and the Cliffs of Moher

For those familiar with the Cliffs of Moher, part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, the name Cornelius O’Brien might ring a few bells

O' Brien's Tower, County Clare
O' Brien's Tower, County Clare

Cornelius was a busy man. Landlord, solicitor and County Clare’s representative in the British Parliament. He was even in a duel once. Well, almost.

He also built a certain tower. In order to harness the views of and from Moher, O’Brien decided to commission a viewing platform at the cliffs’ highest point. But it wouldn’t just be practical, it would be pretty, too. The result? O'Brien's Tower.

Arguably, the finest views from O’Brien’s Tower are the cliffs themselves. Depending on the mist, the day and the weather, you might be lucky enough to see the Aran Islands. The panorama of the Atlantic stretches wide across the horizon and the islands, a traditional Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) region, spread themselves across it.

Big Bens

It seems a little greedy that from somewhere as engrossing as the Cliffs of Moher, a visitor to O’Brien’s Tower can also clap eyes on Connemara’s Twelve Bens (also known as Twelve Pins) mountains. Fringed with scree and stony peaks, the 12 mountains (the highest of which, Benbaun, rises to 729m) congregate in a grand circle, encasing a valley which floods with sun at the slightest invitation.

Think a friend might enjoy this article? Click to save and share

Head west

Swing round south from the tower and your eyes will settle on Loop Head and its formidable, impeccably whitewashed lighthouse, manned until 1991, when it became automated. When you’re gazing dreamily on the lighthouse from O’Brien’s Tower, know this: you can rent the lightkeeper’s house from the Irish Landmark Trust.

According to the Trust’s Karen Johnston, the views from here aren’t half bad, either: “You feel like the only person in the world as you gaze, uninterrupted, out to sea from the upstairs viewing room. If you are lucky, you’ll spot dolphins and whales as they pass by.”

Come for the Cliffs, stay for the whales and dolphins.

Thanks, Cornelius.

Save this page to a Scrapbook:


Save this page to your Scrapbook:

Add Add

You have Scrapbooks created. Click below to see all of your saved pages.

See Scrapbooks

Create a new Scrapbook:

Cancel Create

This page has been save to your Scrapbook


Hmm, don't know that email. Can you check it and try again? Note: Please fill in your email address manually instead of copy/pasting it and ensure there are no spaces before or after your email address.

Getting here

Excited your interest? There are airports throughout the Island with international arrivals. Discover airlines flying to Ireland from your location.

Find flights

Places to stay

No results match your search criteria