Loop Head Peninsula Ireland

Arial view of Loop Head Lighthouse

Loop Head Peninsula Drive

Whether you are traveling from Dublin Airport, Galway City, Shannon Airport,Dublin City or any Irish destination we would highly recommend you include a trip to the Loop Head Peninsula when in Ireland, it's a beautiful area and is well worth the trip when visiting Ireland.

Branching off the Wild Atlantic Way route, the Loop head Peninsula route is a 50 miles scenic drive along the West coast in Co Clare, Ireland. Starting from Kilrush and loops back to Kilrush.

As this is a lesser known driving route, one of the benefits is that you are not sharing with a crowd of tourists, allowing you to explore and enjoy what the area has to give.

This article has been broken up into sections, all you have to do it is click the link below to jump to it.

Watch the drone video

Places to see

Kilrush & Scattery Island, not only a starting place for the Loop head drive, it hosts a hidden gem nearby; Scattery Island. If you have time, do take the 20 minutes ferry to Scattery Island and enjoy a guided tour to learn about its history while viewing round towers, and ruins. Those visited highly recommended it – see what they say here.

Kilkee has an art & craft shop that is recommended to visit and stop at Keating’s Bar and Restuarant for a bowl of hearty chowder. See the Kilkee cliffs on Dunlicky Road, west of Kilkee.


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A small fishing village, a lovely spot get some fresh fish from local waters for lunch. Take a stroll to the end of the fishing pier to see the medieval Carrigaholt Castle.

It is also a great place to go dolphin watching, take a 2 and half hours trip with Dolphin Watch who will take you to the Shannon Estuary and the Atlantic ocean to find the dolphins and the local wildlife birds. Some of the crew is marine biologists whom can give you a rich insight of marine mammals and geology. Reading their TripAdvisor reviews will make you want to drive to Loop Head peninsular and book this activity!

Bridges of Ross

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A natural limestone sea arch in Ross bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. As it is an official Wild Atlantic Way signature point, it is recommended to stop by, to get there, you would need to drive and park in the Bridges of Ross car park and walk approx. 10 minutes along the footpath to see the impressive arch. Please note there is only one bridge left, others have eroded and fallen into the sea.

Loop Head

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At the end of the peninsula, the working lighthouse is the main draw of the Loop Head drive. The scenic Loop Head Lighthouse is one of the 157 signature points from the Wild Atlantic Way route.

There is a small museum exhibition for visitors to learn about its’ history and a guided tour inside the lighthouse to the top to enjoy the 360-degree views. On a clear day, you may see the Blasket Islands and the Twelve Pins in Connemara. The entry fee is at a small cost of €5 per adult and €2 per child.

The land surrounding the lighthouse offers great opportunities for a short walk or hike with scenic views, be mindful that there is no fencing on the cliff top edges.

Loop head lighthouse opening times

16th March to 5th November 2017
10am to 6pm
10am to 6pm

Contact: dceoff@clarecoco.ie

Loop Head Walk

Walking and hiking are a popular activity to do on the peninsula, there are official Loop Head walking trails. A 15km self-guided looped walk around Loop head takes you through Kilcredaun Lighthouse to Rinevella and back. See more information on this hiking route.

Loop Head website provides lots of information on the area and Loop Head walk map pdf can be downloaded here.

There is annual loop head walking festivals which usually takes place in April/May, to give an idea of what takes place during the festival, have a look at this page.

Loop Head Peninsula Map

Kilrush, Kilkee, Carrigaholt, Kilbaha, Loop Head, Bridges of Ross, Kilrush

How to do it

You would need a car to do this route, Car Rental Ireland provides car hire service from nine locations in Ireland which you can easily pick up a car and do the Loop head scenic drive.

Loop head is accessed from the N67 Kilrush/Kilkee road;
From Dublin, it is approx. 3.5 hours’ drive (178miles)
From Cork, it is approx. 2.45 hours’ drive (118miles)
From Shannon, it is approx. 55 minutes’ drive (40miles)

From Kilrush to Loop Head is approx. 50 miles.

Book a car with Car Rental Ireland and add Loop head peninsula drive to your itinerary.

Driving Itinerary

Start from Kilrush and head northwest on the N67 coast road, take the 2nd exit at Kilkee roundabout for R488 road towards Carrigaholt village.

From Carrigaholt, turn left for R487 road for Kilbaha and continue South West to Loop Head Lighthouse. On your return from Loop Head, head East taking the left onto L2000 coast road for Bridges of Ross and return to Kilrush via R487 road.

TripAdvisor Reviews

It has been remarked as better than Cliffs of Moher by the reviews on TripAdvisor as it is less touristy.

“great views, great drive, no tour buses!” If you can't get enough of the Irish countryside and sea views, take the drive to Loop Head. While we did not enter the lighthouse grounds, we did walk around the area. The drive out is memorable and beautiful.

“Loop Head drive” We drove to Loop Head, which is further west than the resort Kilkee. The roads are quite narrow, please follow the signposts and don't forget to visit the Lighthouse which affords wonderful views

“Stunning scenery” There are loads of great places along the Wild Atlantic Way but Loop Head is compared to the Cliffs of Moher not such a touristic spot, not many people, no entrance fees ...
... yes it does take quite a drive but we were rewarded with a breathtaking scenery.
The entire Cliff was covered with blossoms in light pink, the sun was shining ... glorious!

“Amazing drive” The drive out to loop head is one of the most amazing drives ever. It's not well travelled so you feel like the whole place belongs to you. Once you get out to the lighthouse you can walk all along the cliffs and completely around the lighthouse. In the past you could go into the visitors centre but now you can't unless you pay the 5 euro admission fee. Heck, they won't even let you use the restroom unless you pay the 5 Euro fee. Despite all that it is still well worth it just to drive down to it. Highly recommend.

Loop Head Accommodation

Hilltop Bed & Breakfast – View website
Glencarrig Bed & Breadfast – View website
Purecamping – View website
The Lighthouse Inn – View website

If you want to keep traveling around Ireland, why not take take your rental car and have a look at our other suggested driving routes. If you have any questions regarding car hire, please take a look at our car rental guide. There is so much beauty around Ireland just waiting for you to capture it on your cameras. Don't forget to send in your pictures and review of any of the trips you've taken, we love getting feedback from our customers.