The Cliffs of Heck

Ireland has some immensely spectacular scenery, without question. The problem is, everybody knows it. Trying to see the popular sights during the summer months means elbowing your way through hordes of tourists to get a proper view.

The Cliffs of Moher is one of the most famous spots on the island. The bluffs are over 200 metres high and stretch for 8 miles against the Atlantic Coast. Upon first sight, we stood motionless with mouths agape, and emphatically uttered only one, single syllable:

 

Wow.

 

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

And then some tall sweaty guy with a mullet walked in front of us and broke our gaze.  Of course.

I can’t say that tourists are ruining everything, because hey, we are two of them. But waiting several minutes for the path to clear in order to snap a few photos is not my idea of a perfect travel experience.

But alas, we did it anyways. The place is popular for a reason – our reaction at first sight is definitely not unique – and so we waited patiently for our chance.  Even the path over the fence into do-not-go-here territory was well trodden.

 

O’Briens Castle, and just a few of the gazillion tourists, in the distance.

Tourists line the Cliffs of Moher


Pete “safely” going to the edge of the cliffs in the do-not-go-here territory (he is a wee bit scared of heights).

Looking Out

 

My foot over the edge of the cliff.  This picture freaks Pete out every time he looks at it.

Over the Edge

 

We ultimately did enjoy our time there, but came away nonplussed with the size of the crowds. It was impossible to have that perfect, peaceful moment of connecting with the beauty of nature with so many people around.

We were missing something. We craved that moment. And so, a little further down the road, we made another stop on the coast, and claimed it as our own.

 

I give you…The Cliffs of Heck!

 

The Burren aka Cliffs of Heck

 

Okay, so maybe they don’t have the dramatic heights of the Cliffs of Moher, but we didn’t care, for an hour they were completely ours to explore and enjoy with no one else in sight (and no mullets to distract our view).

 

That is just what we needed. 

 

Waves Crash

 

66 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • August 24 2011

    That looks lovely there! It’s tricky when you really want to visit a place that gets crowded. Smart move to go down the road a bit! I love the foot shot, btw…. :)
    Lisa @chickybus recently posted..Curse of the Eclipse…or Survivor, San Blas? Episode 1

    • August 24 2011

      It was lovely! But, so, so crowded. Thank goodness for our own cliffs, which even gave us a fancy waterworks show! :)

  • August 24 2011

    Haha, I completely understand where you are coming from. My husband and I are currently in the Black Forest and one sunny afternoon we went to a nearby small village that is supposed to have a great view…only to find hordes of other tourists (both German and International) doing the same thing! It was a bit surprising, seeing the droves of people come to hike up a hill and see the view. I enjoy your Cliffs of Heck!
    Danalynn C recently posted..7 Things I Learned at a German Helpx

    • August 24 2011

      Thanks! Perhaps you can find your own…”Forest of Danalynn”!

  • August 24 2011

    This is one of the visions of Ireland I’ve always had. In must’ve been so beautiful, especially on a summer day. And though its not of the The Cliffs of Moher, I do like the last photo best of Pete commanding the ocean :)

    • August 29 2011

      I love that picture too! Although it did require a few different tries, as the ocean just wasn’t co-operating. :)

  • August 24 2011

    omg lady, you’re foot! I’m with Pete.

    I took photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday, I can relate. Luckily, I’m pretty tall, and when I stood up on my toes I was able to take pictures and see things without any heads in my view, haha.
    Faith recently posted..Location Independent-Digital Nomad: What the Heck Do You Do for Money?

  • August 24 2011

    Awesome post and wonderful photos. I’ve never been to Ireland and that place looks absolutely great. I guess you’ve been really lucky to get such a sunny day! :-)
    Simon recently posted..A Rush of Adrenaline… Skydiving in the World Largest Wind Tunnel

    • August 24 2011

      We’ve had our share of crappy rainy days, but then also been pretty blessed on others! The wind was horrible that day but we didn’t care – we had blue skies and sun!

  • August 24 2011

    Aaaahhh!!! Get your foot back on the ground!
    It’s very beautiful, yet it doesn’t look all that crowded from the pictures. I’m guessing the places I can see in the pictures aren’t the places you want to be to get a great picture?
    I’ll place the Cliffs of Heck on my “must see” list now, although perhaps a little lower down than the Cliffs of Moher.
    Steve recently posted..The Time I Was In An Earthquake…Kind Of….I Think….

    • August 24 2011

      Haha – I wasn’t actually *that* close to the cliffs…it’s alllll in how I took the shot! It’s fun to freak Pete out with it! We didn’t take too many pictures of all the tourists, trying to turn our camera in other ways!

      I can’t tell you where to go to see The Cliffs of Heck – it is THAT exclusive. And, I don’t remember. :)

  • August 24 2011

    OMG, Picture of Pete is EPIC! SO loving this.
    Katrina recently posted..Elements of Air: Rose of Tralee “SkyFest” Airshow

    • August 24 2011

      Thanks! I love that pic too!

  • Abi
    August 24 2011

    The age-old travel problem…Wanting to be a tourist without other tourists ;) Lovely post.

    • Pete
      August 25 2011

      Thanks Abi, it is the age-old travel problem, we were happy to find our own cliffs :)

  • August 24 2011

    I’m with Pete, the photo of your foot dangling off is scary! The cliffs were not nearly crowded in late December when I was there. The weather was not nearly as nice either. ;-)
    Mark E Tisdale recently posted..You Are Not Your Social Network

    • August 25 2011

      Yes, we lucked out with the weather, albeit was a bit windy!

  • August 24 2011

    Ugh, tourists. Even when I’m a tourist I can’t help but annoy myself a little. I think it just comes with the territory.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..A Canal Ride through Central London

    • August 25 2011

      Oh, we annoy ourselves (and others) all the time too. I held up a whole line of people taking the shot of my foot over the edge… :)

  • Leah
    August 24 2011

    OH MY GOD! My toes, stomach and pretty much my entire body are still tingling over that “foot over cliff” photo, even after finishing reading the post! Jeez you’re crazy!

    • August 25 2011

      Pete palms start to sweat every time we even TALK about the picture! :)

  • Mom
    August 24 2011

    DALENE !!!!!!!!!!!!!! That pic of your foot over the cliff made my stomach churn. Loved the “Heck” cliffs.

    • August 25 2011

      Everybody needs to calm down here – I was about three feet from the edge of the cliff and lifted my foot high so that it LOOKED like I was over the water! Not scary at all!

  • August 25 2011

    I’m a wee bit scared of heights and that photo totally freaked me out too, Dalene! When we were there it was so ridiculously windy that if we got that close we would have been blown off. Seriously. I have to say, the Cliffs of Moher were nice but I wasn’t blown away. The tourists probably had something to do with that. So I’m loving the Cliffs of Heck ;) And that last photo – brilliant!
    Andrea recently posted..Tasting Vienna at the Outdoor Film Festival

    • August 25 2011

      We tried a hike near Bantry today and it was SO windy that we had to turn back before getting to the part where we would walk cliffside. It gets crazy windy here! Fortunately it was only “breezy” when we were at the Cliffs.

  • August 25 2011

    I regret to inform you that those are NOT the Cliffs of Heck. Everyone knows that they are the “Cliffs of Maur.”

    I claimed them 5 years again when I was in Ireland experiencing the very same thing.

    Thank you for the the opportunity to set the record straight.
    Maureen at Vaco-Vitae recently posted..Sometimes, you just need the quiet

    • August 25 2011

      I saw no flag claiming the territory, so you’re out “Maur”. We’ll totally fight you for them. :)

  • Taryn
    August 25 2011

    Great foot shot! I remember lying down on my stomach in the no go zone and sliding out so I just got my camera, head and arms over to take a straight down cliff shot. Didn’t turn out nearly as well as yours :-)

    Here’s hoping the rest of your Emerald Isle journey is mullet-free.

    • August 25 2011

      Thanks Snack Box! That would have been a cool shot to try! Of course I would have had to do it (Pete is such a chicken) :)

  • August 25 2011

    WOW was my first reaction at the Cliffs of Moher, too. Although there were plenty of tourists there on my visit, it wasn’t too bad. What I really remember is the fierce wind that nearly knocked me off my feet. Pretty exciting, actually. Congratulations on finding your own little piece of Ireland. :-)
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Nevada on the Rocks

    • August 26 2011

      Thanks Cathy! The wind can be pretty atrocious here, that’s for sure! We lucked out that day with the weather, at least!

  • August 25 2011

    Pete, that photo also freaks me out! Your pictures are beautiful — even the one with the tourists. ;-)
    Abby recently posted..Do You Recognize This Man?

    • August 26 2011

      Thanks Abby! Pete is now worried that all these comments about freaking people out are going to encourage me to do more daring things – haha!

  • August 26 2011

    you two are hilarious!
    “And then some tall sweaty guy with a mullet walked in front of us and broke our gaze.”
    and then the photo at the end! that was like picture perfect with the spray and his arms like that! haha
    I missed the Cliffs of Moher when I was there! I’ll say it again “I need to go back!” :)
    Cailin recently posted..Top ten tips for attending & surviving La Tomatina Tomato fight

    • August 26 2011

      There are far to many mulleted people around here. :)

  • August 26 2011

    Seriously, the picture with your foot made me feel sick. Are you crazy?
    Natalie recently posted..Ramadan – An Outsiders Experience of the Islamic Month of Fasting

    • August 26 2011

      It was all in the perspective! I was about three feet from the edge and lifted my foot up high enough so that it LOOKED like it was over the water. I’m not crazy! Well, sometimes.

  • August 26 2011

    Umm yes, definitely too close to the edge, I know it’s pretty dangerous…
    Angela recently posted..A trip, a photo – Blue from my window

    • August 26 2011

      It was all in the perspective of the shot! Seriously!

  • August 26 2011

    I think I took more pics of the horrible hairstyles at the Cliffs of Moher than the actual cliffs. I actually went to these “Cliffs of Heck” as well :)

    • August 26 2011

      Haha – is there some sort of bad hair festival that we both were at? Ooh, and I hope the Cliffs of Heck treated you well! :)

  • Aafke
    August 26 2011

    Looking forward to the edition “the (wind)mills of Heck” ;-)!

    • August 26 2011

      I hope you have scoped out what will be the Windmills of Heck!

  • August 26 2011

    That picture freaks me out too!!!! Yikes. Lovely photos though.
    Phil recently posted..Putting your African Adventure to Shame: Kilimanjaro by Lionback

    • Pete
      August 27 2011

      I swear every time I look at it my palms sweat. She says she was nowhere near but she was too close for my comfort.

  • August 27 2011

    hahahaha that last photo is hilarious and awesome!! And you are CRAZY for sticking your foot out and snapping that photo. …crazy or with bad ass balancing skills. (obviously you can tell I’m scared of heights, too)
    Erin recently posted..Happy Mother’s Day, 4 More Earthquakes, and Hello Rain!

    • Pete
      August 27 2011

      she says she has bad ass balancing skills, but I know for a fact she doesn’t. She trips walking on flat concrete (I’m gonna get an arm punch for that one). The last photo took a lot of patience and me standing in that pose for a few minutes.

  • August 28 2011

    I would have been right there with you — foot dangling and all! And nice that you find your own little piece of mullet-free heaven!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Lahu Hill Tribe Women, Mae Hong Son, Thailand

    • August 28 2011

      FINALLY, some one that isn’t skewering me for dangling my foot and all. :)

  • August 28 2011

    Wow indeed! But too bad it was so crowded. I love that you found a more secluded spot and claimed it as your own!

    I did not see the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, but I did go over to Inishmore, which also has some really spectacular sea cliffs (that are basically devoid of tourists most of the time)!
    Amanda recently posted..Guest Post: Off-the-Tourist Track Italy

    • August 29 2011

      NOW we keep hearing of other places that are much less crowded – too late! :) But we did manage to see some really cool ones when we were in Co. Kerry as well, with absolutely no one around!

  • August 29 2011

    Beautiful photos. That picture of your foot and the reality of it would definitely freak me out as well – as I am quite afraid of heights. But wow is it amazing scenery!
    Mark Wiens recently posted..Photo Favorite: Macau, through its Window

    • August 29 2011

      Thanks Mark! It is a really cool sight to see, just have to work around all the tourists!

  • August 29 2011

    amazing pictures
    Zablon Mukuba recently posted..Volunteer in Africa

  • August 29 2011

    The lack of mullets is a serious selling point. Now, I’m off to find the Cliffs of Etten!

  • jim
    August 29 2011

    Nice footwear Dalene!
    And I can’t stand mullets either.
    jim recently posted..YouTube Tuesday: Runrig – AN DEALACHADH

    • August 30 2011

      Haha, I know, classy shoes, right? They need a polish. :)

  • August 30 2011

    gorgeous! i might not be able to stand close to the cliff though… too afraid of heights :(
    flipnomad recently posted..Five Tips to Enjoy a Little Luxury Without Busting Your Budget

    • August 30 2011

      Pete’s hands get sweaty when we even TALK about the picture with my foot over…so he gets it!

  • September 1 2011

    Ireland is so gorgeous – glad you’re enjoying it! I love the picture of your foot over the edge, trying to picture what Pete was doing while you took it :) fainting, ignoring you or pleading with you?!
    Globetrottergirls recently posted..Observations from the halfway point on the Great American Road Trip

    • September 2 2011

      Haha, the whole day he kept scolding me for getting too close (like, 3-4 ft is plenty of space…I think so, anyways!) He didn’t like that little stunt one bit…

  • September 2 2011

    Awesome pics! Still a place I’m yet to adventure.
    Marc Passon recently posted..On the Down Low: Photo Essay of Downtown Los Angeles (pub crawl included)

  • September 3 2011

    Thanks for sharing the Cliffs of Less.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Italy–1950′s Style

  • Deb
    September 11 2011

    I’m with Pete, that picture freaks me out too. Too often I have heard of people getting close to the edge of a cliff and ending up at the bottom meeting a fateful end. Glad you weren’t one of those statistics! :-)
    Deb recently posted..Deb’s First Photostory, Mongol Rally Moments

    • September 11 2011

      That’s EXACTLY what he keeps saying to me… :)

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