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The Burren:

The Burren, a great rocky expanse in County Clare, is one of the world's truly unique places in that it can supports Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants side-by-side. Its ancient, awe inspiring stone structures hold secrets from the past that may never be unraveled. The limestone karst mountains are largely denuded of soil, so the landscape is composed of cracked, fissured, incredably weathered grey rock.

Blackhead fort



It's an amazing place. The karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq km starts at Doolin and extends to the north and east. It is composed of limestone pavements, which are eroded in a distinctive pattern known as karren.


This pavement is crisscrossed by cracks known as grykes and underneath the pavement there are huge caves and rivers that suddenly flood when it rains. Burren-Free-Visitor-Guide-2014


The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses and a ruined Cistercian Abbey from the 12th century, Corcomroe. You can find villages abandoned since famine times and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car. And if you go in springtime you will find rare wildflowers such as gentian and orchids and bloody cranesbill.

An unpolluted and unspoiled area of over 100 square miles starting from the west at Doolin that really captivates visitors with it's jagged terrain of limestone pavements and fascinating countryside of contradiction and paradoxes the Burren is just made for browsing and discovery.

It is also a botanist's dream being home to flowers of Alp and Tundra and Mediterranean - Spring Gentian, Mountain Avens , Maidenhair Fern, Mediterranean Orchid. Towards the end of the Stone Age, man was drawn to the Burren by the dry and wooded uplands and immediately embarked on large-scale forest clearance. This and the constant action of wind on the cleared areas together with overgrazing resulted in exhaustion of the soil and, by mediaeval times, the stark landscape we see today.

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The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geo Park:

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geo Park

The Burren is one of the largest and most accessible Karst regions in the world. It is the only place that Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants grow side-by-side. The Cliffs of Moher are over 200 metres high and run for over eight kilometres along the Atlantic Ocean. Over 30,000 pairs of seabirds including a number of protected species nest at the Cliffs of Moher.

A Geopark is an area with geological heritage of international importance. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher region is a UNESCO-supported Global Geopark in recognition of the region’s significant geological, ecological and cultural value, as well as its sustainable tourism practices.

The Burren & Cliffs of Moher was awarded UNESCO recognised Global Geopark status in 2011. Sea View House is an Official Tourism Partner of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geo Park.


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The Burren Ecotourism Network:

The Burren Ecotourism Network


Sea View House is a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network, a network of tourism enterprises in the Burren, who demonstrate ecotourism ‘best practice’, positively discriminate in each other’s favour, provide ‘one voice’ representation on issues impacting the Burren (where appropriate), and inspire conservation activism.

Both organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible tourism that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people. They work together to promote ‘The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark’ as a leading sustainable visitor destination, celebrated for high standards in visitor experience, conservation and learning.


The Burren Ecotourism Network produce the Burren Naturally Yours, a Free Burren Guide


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Places to visit in the Burren:

Kilfenora Burren Centre:

This is a good place to learn about the Burren before exploring it. It is also worth visiting the High Crosses in the old church just off the square.

Lemenagh Castle:

This castle contains a 15th centaury residential tower and a 17th centaury fortified house.

Caherconnell Stone Fort:

This large and perfect fort 140-145 feet in external diameter dates back to 400 to 1200 ad.

Ailwee caves:

These caves form part of a cave system created by the action of melt waters from a prehistoric ice age on the limestone below the burren. There is also cheese making , a farm shop and a birds of prey centre.

Burren Perfumery:

A little off the beaten track, the Burren Perfumery founded 35 years ago at the centre of a quiet valley in the heart of the Burren is a must visit.

Eagles Rock:

Slieve Carron Nature Reserve (or Eagle’s Rock as it is known to locals) is state-managed land located in the heart of the north Burren. It has a diversity of habitats including species-rich grassland, limestone pavements, heathland, mature hazel woodland and grazing pastures. This makes it an ideal spot to reflect on the diversity and abundancy of flora and fauna, and well as a great landscape to help us understand why the landscape management is necessary Aside from its ecological learning value, Slieve Carron NR is also the host to a fulacht fiadh, a holy well, the site of a hermitage cave and oratory.

Corcomroe Abbey:

corcomroe abbey

Corcomroe Abbey ruin sits in the center of a lush valley where a monastic community was able to thrive in the twelfth century. The abbey was most likely founded and financed by Donal Mór O'Brien, and it went strong for over 400 years - all the way up until the dissolution of the monasteries.

The Abbey sits just off one of the main roads that wind around the Burren. It's easy to explore and has a strong sense of solitude. It must have been a magnificent place, but all that is left are stone walls and remnants of art clinging to the ruins, the raised arm of a bishop, the bold face of a saint, the curls on the head a warrior, detailed carvings on a column.

The fishbone pattern on the ribs that support the vaulted roof over the sanctuary, the effigy of a Chieftain king, carved faces and flowers resembling bluebells atop the large columns are amazing. Corcomroe is a place to walk through slowly... to stop and notice the details.




Megalithic Heritage:

The Burren has one of the richest concentrations of ancient sites in Ireland. Hillforts, ring forts (or “raths” of which there nearly 500) , a few souterrains and standing stones, but mostly tombs – the few neolithic portal tombs (Poulnabrone) and court tombs (Teergonean), but upwards of 70 of the early Bronze Age wedge tombs (Cappaghkennedy, Poulaphuca, Gleninsheen). There are also scores of holy wells (St. Brigid’s neat the Cliffs of Moher) nearly all dedicated to the curing of one ailment or another.

Poulnabrone Portal Dolmen:

burren dolmon

This 6000 year old Dolmen is one of the most famous and most photographed Irish dolmens. Poulnabrone translates into Irish as 'The hole of the sorrow’s.

The dolmen was excavated in 1986, among the discoveries were the uncrematd remains of 16-22 adults and 6 children and one newborn baby. It appears the bodies had been burried elsewhere before being placed in the the Dolmon. The dolmon would then have been covered in stones.

It's just one of the many historic monuments dotted throughout this area.

Sea View House in Doolin is on the edge of the Burren and is an ideal base to explore this amazing landscape.








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Sea View House Doolin, Fisherstreet, Doolin, Co Clare,   Ireland   Tel: 087 2679617    Tel US/Canada: 011 353 87 2679617 .      Find us on Google+
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