The Barony of the Burren forms the northern part of County Clare, overlooking Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The word Burren comes from Boireann, or stony district, and refers to the 130 square kilometres of spectacular terraced carboniferous limestone hills and valleys that characterise the area. The highest hill, Slieve Elva is a mere 344 metres above sea level, but the south-western end of the Burren bedrock drops into the sea at the Cliffs of Moher which rear more than 200 metres vertically out of the sea. Added to these surroundings are hundreds of miles of rambling stone field walls and a unique density of well-preserved monuments and buildings from the Neolithic to the early Christian period, and a rich treasury of rare wild flowers. The Burren Way is a 114km walking route that takes in the best of what the Burren area has to offer, from the coast at Doolin to majestic wild-flower-decorated limestone terraces and from the remains left by the Neolithic inhabitants of the Burren to the rich heritage of early Christian churches and sites. The long views from the top of Mullaghmore, one of the easternmost Burren hills, are particularly spectacular in good weather. Terrain consists mainly of quiet tarmac roads, old green roads, ancient cattle droving roads, paths and forestry tracks, but there are also some stretches on busy roads. There are a few short steep climbs involved. Overnight accommodation options are very good in the area, and there are public transport links to some of the main centres on the route. Walkers may want in particular to linger in the village of Doolin, a mecca for traditional musicians from all over the world.
Maps and other information
At Start - in car park at beach in Lahinch
At End - car parking in Corrofin
85 kms or 74% of the Way follows local roads.
***Do not enter farmland with dogs even if on a lead ***
The Burren Way Brochure
At Start: Very limited Bus to Fanore Cross to Doolin and Lisdoonvarna. Check with Bus Eireann.
At End: Bus to Galway, Lahinch (limited in winter). Check with Bus Eireann.