At the western tip of County Clare, where the calm waters of the Shannon Estuary turn into the powerful waves of the Atlantic, you’ll find Loop Head Peninsula. Travel along Loop Head Drive to the western end of the peninsula to see its famous lighthouse, which sits on land dotted with colourful wild flowers. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse and take in splendid views that stretch from County Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher.
At the very end of the peninsula there is also a relic from WWII: large white letters spelling É-I-R-E, which let pilots know they were entering neutral airspace. This area is a wildlife haven too, with thousands of seabirds making their nests on the rock ledges and an estimated 160 bottlenose dolphins living in the mouth of the Shannon River. If you’d like to see these majestic animals up close, you can take a boat trip from Carrigaholt, or follow the road from Kilrush to Aylevarro Point to see them playing just offshore.