Ballyvaughan - Wood Loop

County Clare
9 reviews
Grade Moderate
Length 8.8 km
Am 2 hours
Format Loop
Ascent 15 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Purple arrow
Start Point
Ballyvaughan Town
Finish Point
Ballyvaughan Town
Nearest Town to Start Ballyvaughan
Grid Ref. M 229 079
Lat. and Long. 53.11682, -9.15159

This loop on minor roadways, green lanes, woodland and cross country, explores the valley behind the seaside village of Ballyvaughan with splendid views of the surrounding Burren's folded limestone layers. It passes close by Ailwee Cave.

Maps and other information


Car park

Trekking shoes, raingear and fluids are recommended

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 51

Paula Barnes from Galway

Very impressed with signage. Well done. The rocks a bit slippy on a wet day so be careful. Loved this walk. Great variety woodland, burren and holiday homes to nose at! Note that Alliwee caves offer no food . They do have tea and coffee and water however.

Alison Devlin from Louth

Rocky slippy terrain makes for a challenging enough walk. We abandoned about 5km in after coming across fresh cow dung and hoof prints in the mud. I didn't fancy meeting a bull en route. It is well signposted so no issues navigating

Patricia from Sligo

A wonderful adventure of different terrains. Definitely requires strong walking boots/shoes. Sometimes difficult to spot the direction arrows especially in the limestone area near the beginning of the walk. We got caught in a heavy shower so also recommend rain gear.

Cillian from Clare

Our Group from Ennis Macra na Feirme walked this trail yesterday 27-8-17. A nice start to the walk passing the primary school and heading through working farming fields and into woodland. Be prepared to get you boots/runners muddy for this walk. In places wellingtons needed. I agree with a previous post re signage on the rocky area. Just keep your eye out for the red paint markings on the rocks and that will guide you. Some briars and hedges could be cut back along the way. Nice to emerge at Aillwee cave and eventually towards holiday cottages. Everyone we met was nice and friendly and lovely meal had after at the Wild Atlantic Lodge.

Jeroen from Netherlands

Walked this trail today in good weather conditions in 1:45 at normal pace and occasional stops to enjoy the scenery. Beautiful route. Signposts seem to have been improved as we had no difficulty whatsoever to follow the trail (as some previous posts mention this to be an issue).

Dave from Wexford

I have walked this trail several times and have always enjoyed it even on one occasion when I foolishly set out without rain gear and got thoroughly soaked. The walk begins at the seafront in Ballyvaughan and then enters farmland and light scrub. A portion of the walk is on country roads bringing you past the Ailwee Cave which is around midway and an ideal place to stop for a rest or a coffee. The trail is flat and the terrain is roughish in places so stout footwear is a good idea. Road sections are quiet with little traffic. The trail brings you through the rough farmland of west Clare with very pleasant scenery at all times (except through the light scrub) and finishes up back where you started in Ballyvaughan. Requirements: fluids, stout footwear and rain gear.

Richard from Dublin

Walked this loop on 17/08/2015 and unfortunately I have to say I was disappointed in the trail. After starting down by the sea front the walk covers a large area of dense undergrowth and muddy farm land. Waymarking becomes very vague through a section of limestone which leads to a sense of uncertainty about the route. Eventually the walk brings you beside the Aillwee Caves and the views of the Burren upland area make up for a disappointing start to the walk.

Lindsay from United States

Beautiful scenary. Highly recommended. About 3 hours and you're able to see all of the region's landscape. It goes right by Ailwee Caves for a stop off but check to see if it's open first. The trails are not well marked so keep your eyes peeled for markers.

Alan from Dublin

I walked this trail in July 2014. Although it is not as spectacular as some of the other waymarked trails in the area, it is a pleasant walk through quiet countryside, ideal for a couple of spare hours on a summer evening.

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