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Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre Opened Today

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre Opened Today

Feb 8th, 2007, 07:32 AM
  #1  
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Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre Opened Today

I posted a few pictures of the new Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre which opened today. They are at http://irishfireside.wordpress.com/.

Enjoy,
Corey
yesiree100 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Thanks, Corey. We were there last spring while they were building it. Very interesting to see what it looks like.
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Thank you, Corey, I like it. Blends right in.
chatham is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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I'm more concerned with what appeared to be an amphitheater type setup to view the cliffs rather than what used to be very natural. I'll be checking it out in a couple of weeks. At least they havn't put in a McDonalds.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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I have been watching it being built and it looks fab from the outside. Like a hobbit house. It will certainly be better than the old one. Excited to visit it soon.
minto is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Well I remember when there was nothing there but cliffs. No restaurant, no tourist center, no toilets, no paying for parking, nothing but nature. I also remember when I could drive right up to Blarney Castle and park right in front of it. The good old days. Sigh. There are still some places like that but they are getting fewer and fewer.
IrishEyes is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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What about the Poulnabrone dolmen in Co. Clare? It's completely untouched, with cows right beside it.

I know the interpretative were controversial, but they do give the ordinary person an understanding of the context and history of these magnificent sites.
minto is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Poulnabrone Dolmen is now roped off from tourists. You can't walk right up and touch it anymore. When one person in my party went under the rope someone came running across the Burren to scold them.
IrishEyes is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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I think the "ordinary person" should read up on everything before setting foot on the plane. Too many tourists insist on being spoon-fed today. Reviewing the guidebooks the night before of what you will be seeing the next day will enhance any sightseeing adventures. But I suppose a lot of people today are too lazy to do that.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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There's talk of a carpark being added at Poulnabrone too.

Things they are-a-changin'
yesiree100 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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Lough Gur and Knocknakilla come to mind, Park on the side of the road pass through theturn gate and walk up through the cowfield (Lough Gur) or the sheep herd (knocknakilla)to see the stone circle and / or the stone rings and standing stones... being ever mindful not to slip, trip fall or step in the detrious...
Never seen another soul, in either place, besides me and mine. I'm sure it won't stay that way forever, but at least I can say that I remember it when ..
Bob
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Feb 9th, 2007, 03:17 AM
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Ropes hardly count and you realy aren't supposed to climb under them anyway!
minto is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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There are dozens of opportunities all over Ireland to walk right up to megalithic sights and wander around them. The entire Beara Peninsual for one. At Carrowkeel you can climb into the passage tombs and there won't be a tour bus for miles. Drombeg Stone circle is an unassumming yet very special place. I could go on for days.

I have no issue with the visitor center as it's across the road and probably a nice thing to have. I'm sure the viewing area at the Cliffs was necessary, but I'll miss walking out on the ledge at sunset with the photographers.

I'll report back with my insignificant opinion after I visit in a couple of weeks.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Has anyone heard, or discovered for themselves yet, if they are prohibiting walking on the ledge?

One of the podcasts (#8) at IrishFireside had an interview from last year with Katherine Webster, director of the Visitor Center. She mentioned crowd management and that there would be Rangers who would be acting in a "safety" role, explaining why it isn't safe to go to the edge. However, nothing was said about prohibiting it...

There was also a mention of guided tours of the cliff edge by the Rangers in the off-season, to encourage tourism in that time.

Anyhow, I understand a bit why they are doing this - I just hope they haven't botched it. (And am glad I had the chance to walk on the edge at least once)

jefe is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 05:55 AM
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I think the days of going to the cliff edge are gone. After talking to Katherine, I got the feeling that the rangers will not allow visitors to cross the barricades anymore.

I think we all knew the day would eventually arrive. Fortunately, there are still plenty of cliffs throughout Ireland that have no barricades and very few tourists (Achill Island, Carrick Island and Malin Head come to mind). The Cliffs of Moher are great for getting that iconic view, but discovering some of the others offers a great sense of adventure (with no tour buses in the nearby carpark).

I'm looking forward to hearing Bill's report on the changes at the Cliffs.
yesiree100 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Here's an official reply on this matter directly from Katherine Webster of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

"Within the designated viewing area - about 250 metres of cliff edge pathways and viewing platforms adjacent to the new visitor centre - we discourage visitors strongly from going out the cliff edge. Cliffs of Moher Rangers are on patrol and advise visitors of the dangers of approaching the edge of what is a constantly eroding cliff edge and is also a fragile protected habitat for flora and fauna. This was being damaged by the quantity of
visitor traffic to the edge both from a habitat and erosion perspective. For their own sake and for the sake of the environment we ask them not to
cross the walls.

'The walk along the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin to Hags Head is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland if not the world. On a day when the weather
is suitable (not too windy or wet and slippy) and for groups that have appropriate footgear and hiking wear this is a fantastic experience.

'Unfortunately access at either end (both Hags Head and Doolin) is difficult as it inevitably requires crossing private property and different landowners
take different views on this practice. However, from the visitor centre pathways it is possible to cross a stile onto the unpatrolled cliff side in both directions. We do not stop people doing so although we advise them strongly not to do so in poor weather conditions and to take care in every
situation.

'Sadly a visitor fell to her death on the Hags Head path last November in windy and wet conditions when she and a friend got too close to the cliff edge on a blustery day and she was apparantly blown over. "
yesiree100 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 05:27 AM
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I visited the Center while in Ireland last week...very impressive.
I hear some of the members on facilities like this crowding out the actual attraction, but I think they've done a good job of blending it with the local landscape...in fact, it's built into the hillside and covered with grass so you can barely see it when you approach.
Check out the website - www.cliffsofmoher.ie
geraldo1 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Here is my quick view on the improvements.:

You all owe us for this one. Start sending the pints. We arrived and the wind gusts were reported at about 130-140 kph, but there was one very special spot along the cliffs where the sea spray came flying up over the edge and we were literally pushed sideways and had to pull ourselves along the fence for about 15-20 yards. The wind speed had to be close to 100mph. When we first got there, the rain was blowing sideways, but later the sun came out.

The visitor center itself is well done. The parking arrangement is silly. If you are driving, you have to cross the N67 to get to the visitor center. Tour buses get to park on the west side where the visitor center is located. There is still some big ugly temporary building on the east side of the road.

I believe parking was E8.00 but the infrastructure to take the money wasn't in place yet, so we got in free. They may have expected us to pay somewhere, but there was nobody working brave enough to stand out there.

The visitor center is fairly well dug into the side of the hill, approximately where the old building was. There are some slightly less attractive loading dock doors down the way, but it still looks ok. Inside, for E4.00 pp are some interesting displays on the geology, a cool flyover video of Co. Clare, some educational stuff for all ages and a history of the planet in Millions of years (if you believe it is that old). In a separate room is an IMAX wannabe type theater. It's OK and would be cool for kids probably.

The Cliffs themselves now have a nice wide paved path, a section that is somewhat like a small amphitheater but also acts as stairs and a wheelchair accessible route around those. The trail goes up to O'Briens tower and I didn't check to see if it went beyond there.

In the opposite direction, the trail only goes to the first bend in the cliffs. There are a few nice lookout points, but generally, many of the nice views have been restrained a bit. There is large signage in multiple languages barring visitors from jumping the fence and continuing along the cliffs as this is private property. There is also a sign suggesting that you will be attacked by a wild bull if you decide to jump over. Not sure of the validity on that, but even a bull wasn't stupid enough to be out in that weather .... just me. I'm sure people will jump the fence as some of the best views, especially of the stack (Branaunmore), are to be had further along the cliffs. It's disappointing that Shannon Heritage didn't find a way to purchase a little more of that pathway as that it truly one of the more special aspects of the Cliffs experience.

There were no staff present to keep people from climbing over the wall and out onto the ledge, but again, that was probably due to weather. I couldn't see that there would be anything stopping tourists from arriving before or after opening hours (no gates that I could see) but the hours are greatly extended and the visitor center stays open until 9:00 pm in the summer.


Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 01:51 AM
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Has anybody got a recent report on the Cliffs?
Sandylan is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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Hi,

I've just returned from two weeks in County Clare,,, haven't posted on this forum in ages, but I'm still doing research and field work on the Holy Wells..

here's an almost up-to-the-minute report on the Cliffs, per Sandylan's request:
excursion 1 - we drove out from Lahinch on Sunday afternoon (Sept 14th) to pay our respects to St. Bridget, and then to go up the coast. We didn't plan to stop at the cliffs that day, but we did drive up the N67, which as you know goes between the car park and the Visitors Center side.

Approaching the cliffs, we encountered near gridlock as there were cars parked along the N67 on both sides, and crowds of pedestrians, walking in the road, crossing in the walkway and anywhere else they liked.

The car park is gated and to exit you have to swipe your ticket, for which you've paid 8€ at any one of several kiosks -there's one at the car park entrance and two or more on the Visitors Center side. Evidently people will park by the side of the road to avoid this fee. They created a real tangle.

We kept driving that day! but found a different scenario on Tuesday afternoon:
Excursion #2, around 5 or 6 pm Tuesday: The car park and the bus lot were both nearly empty, so we had a mercifully uncrowded visit. The cave-like shops were closed, and we didn't spend much time in the Visitors Center, but it was pretty heartening to see how well it all blended into the landscape. Just think for a minute how bad it could have been.

This was a fine sunny breezy day. Clear air made for great visibility. I for one didn't mind the trade-off, feeling that the limitations created by the stone walls -- they are beautiful flat Liscannor stone panels, worth looking at in themselves -- were not a bad price to pay for being relieved of the heart-in-the-throat feeling I used to get watching children scamper about near the edges with no restraint.

There were numerous hikers, more than I'd ever noticed previously, on the Hags Head path. Maybe there are fewer restraints to the south. We didn't try it.

We did conclude from our experience and observations that the whole project could have been funded on ice-cream sales, there really should be no need for this parking "facilities" charge!

Hope this is helpful,

Barbara


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