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ragnvaeig Lahinch - A travel report by Amanda
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Lahinch,  Ireland - flag Ireland -  Clare
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ragnvaeig's travel reports

County Clare for the unpretentious goth

  13 votes
Lahinch and surrounding County Clare have unpredictable weather, but good surfing and magnificent views of the North Atlantic. Spend a week or a weekend.

My friend Brendan at the beach
My friend Brendan at the beach
Lahinch is a small seaside town in County Clare that serves as a nicely central location from which to tour the county. While it's essentially just a few bends in the road on the coast, most go there for the surfing. You can contact the West Coast Surf Club for information on where to rent surfing equipment and how to book classes. Bring your own gear as well, but make sure you bring a full-body wetsuit of 5 mm thickness or better, as the water is very cold, and your First-Aid kit. There are rather dangerous submerged rocks on the south end of the beach, but the 3-4 metre swells are well worth the risk!

Favourite spots:
Cliffs of Moher, looking north
Cliffs of Moher, looking north
The Cliffs of Moher, north of Lahinch on the coast, offer absolutely stunning views of the North Atlantic and the Aran Islands when the weather is clear. Spent a few hours climbing on the walking trails and having a look at the watchtower. The Cliffs are over 200 metres high, and are home to a huge colony of nesting seabirds. The Burren looks like the surface of the moon, and is thus hauntingly beautiful. There are a few tower houses out here that were built by the O'Briens and the O'Connors, overlooking a set of flora that resembles that of the tundra in Scandinavia!

What's really great:
The variety of wildlife in the county is pretty spectacular, and it's better to come here for that than for the nightlife. County Clare is a place to be away from civilisation, but close enough to preserve a fairly modern lifestyle. Ennis, in the south of the county, has been voted one of the most technologically advanced cities in Europe, with cable modems in most homes and IT in all the schools, and 20 km away you can live in relative isolation, with your closest neighbors a good walk down the road.

The tidal flats in Doolin
The tidal flats in Doolin
There's a pier in Doolin where you can climb down the rocks and play in the tide pools. Found anemones, crabs and a bunch of seashells. The beach in Lahinch itself is great for sand castles and shells as well, in addition to the surf.

I preferred the Lahinch Hostel on Church Street, because they store surfing equipment indoors, and are right on the beach. They have dorms for €15/person/night and private rooms for €20-45 per room, and you can contact them at Look for the steeple in town in order to find them.

One of the two discos in Lahinch was interesting mostly from an anthropological standpoint--it was, at best, a packed meat market. I don't think I've been so uncomfortable in a club anywhere. Not only were the girls having trouble with men grabbing their asses, so were the guys having trouble with the local girls. We managed to escape and went to make sand castles on the beach.

So don't try the club on a Saturday.

O'Looney's on the Marine Promenade overlooks the sea, has an outdoor seating area, and is a nice quiet place for a game of billiards late in the evening. They'll even stay open a little later than usual if you bring along a crowd of people who behave themselves and buy lots of drinks (just like postgrads from TCD!)

Bad pic of Bunratty, since the light was fading
Bad pic of Bunratty, since the light was fading
There was a pub in Doolin that served amazing seafood chowder and a corner for trad. I don't remember the name, but it was on a road leading north and east out of town, on the east side of the village.

For a truly so-awful-it's-good dinner, visit Bunratty Castle in the southeast of Co. Clare. Two historians and an archaeologist give it five groans. We made the evening bearable by consuming all of the really minging (uh, bad) wine they had, plus two jugs of the lovely mead that our lovely waitress smuggled to us. The costumes and music are definitely geared toward the tourists, but the food was quite good, especially the spareribs. Expect to be treated like unruly children when the staff sing at you, but if you rise to the occasion it's a grand time.

Other recommendations:
Andronikos braves the waves
Andronikos braves the waves
The Lahinch Surf Shop has most of what you need, and does online surf reports:

The Celtic T-Shirt shop sounds like a tourist trap, but they actually have a really nice selection of shirts with artsy and smarmy things on. Found a lovely shirt with artfully done deer on, and it was tasteful enough for a rather picky goth.

Published on Monday November 29th, 2004

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Mon, Dec 06 2004 - 01:17 PM rating by fieryfox

A nice report and lovely pictures. :-)
Cheers. Farizan.

Tue, Nov 30 2004 - 04:27 PM rating by picasso

Seems to me very loving and inviting place to visit in Ireland

Thank you very much ,looking forward to read some more from you.


Mon, Nov 29 2004 - 08:17 PM rating by horourke

I cannot find terms of sufficient enthusiasm to reflect my respect for this further presentation of Ireland
Thank you.

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