Doolin, nestled on the rugged west coast of Ireland, is renowned for its stunning cliffs, vibrant traditional music scene, and breathtaking coastal scenery. However, even in this picturesque town, rainy days can occasionally make an appearance, especially in the winter months. But don’t worry, Doolin has plenty to offer even when the heavens open up. In this article, we’ll explore some fantastic activities and attractions to enjoy on a rainy day in Doolin.
Discover 10 things to do off the beaten track on Clare’s Wild Atlantic Way and the Burren while staying in Doolin on a rainy day.
1. Visit the Doolin Cave
Doolin’s Cave is a natural wonder that will leave you in awe and the perfect activity for a rainy day. This underground cave is home to the Great Stalactite, one of the largest free-hanging stalactites in the world. A guided tour will take you through the cave’s fascinating formations, revealing the geological history of the area. The cave remains a constant 10°C (50°F), making it a cosy and dry refuge from the rain.
The cave’s visitor center is located a short 10 min drive from our Lodges which allows you to enjoy this natural beauty without the hassle of going too far. There is a coffee shop located at the Advanced booking is advised. More information can be found here.
2. Discover Irish History at the Burren Centre
The Burren, a unique limestone landscape surrounding Doolin, is rich in history and natural beauty. When the rain keeps you indoors, head to the Burren Centre in Kilfenora. This interactive visitor center offers an in-depth look at the geological, historical, and archaeological aspects of the region with its ‘A Walk-Through Time’ experience. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the Burren’s mystique and significance in Irish culture. While hiking the Burren is a top activity for a dry day, you can explore the fascinating landscape from the comfort of your car on a rainy day. More information is available here.
3. Unlock your scents at the Burren Perfumery
The Burren Perfumery is a family company that runs on a small scale and aims to be better than the best of the large brands in the quality of our products. Enjoy a free audiovisual presentation on the flora and fauna of the Burren when visiting and see how this family-run business produces perfume, skincare and candles with local resources. A tea room aside allows you to relax and enjoy a mouth-watering selection of organic cakes, scones and pies, homemade soups with freshly baked bread, and selections of local cheeses and salads all made with organic vegetables. More information can be found here.
4. Embrace your sweet tooth at Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory
A must for all chocolate lovers and those who enjoy a sweet delight. Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory is a small but internationally recognised chocolate manufacturer. Since opening doors in 2014, they’ve been making waves on the Irish and international chocolate scene and received numerous awards and honours from the prestigious Academy of Chocolate and the Great Taste Awards and have featured in Ireland’s top 10 food attractions.
You can take a guided tour, go hands-on at a chocolate workshop, or simply browse through the shop and have a glimpse at the production. Make sure to take the time to enjoy local and organic cakes, coffee and of course chocolates in their cafe. More information here.
5. Explore fine art and more at the Russell Art Gallery
The Russell Art Gallery, located in the heart of Doolin, offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of local artists. This charming gallery showcases a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and crafts. Spend a rainy afternoon perusing the exhibitions and perhaps even picking up a beautiful piece of fine Irish art to take home as a memento of your trip. Find out more.
6. Sample Whiskey at the Burren Distillers
The Burren Distillers, located just a short drive from the town, is a hidden gem for whiskey enthusiasts. Here, you can take a guided tour to learn about the distillation process and the history of Irish whiskey-making. The best part? You’ll get to sample some of their finest creations, which will undoubtedly add warmth to your rainy day. Book a tour.
We advise readers to be drink-aware and never drive and drink. Consider booking a private driver that will safely bring you to and from the Distillery at any time. Thank you!
7. Enjoy traditional Irish music and history at the Doolin Music House
Doolin Music House is a unique event that takes place three nights a week from April to October. Christy Barry and his partner, Shiela, invite you into their home for an evening of music. Christy discusses the history of traditional Irish music and plays great tunes with his friend, James Devitt. Shiela and Christy create an intimate atmosphere and guests can take part, sharing stories and even singing. Booking by prior arrangement only- tune in for more information.
8. Experience Seaweed foraging with Wild Kitchen
Embrace the rain, and get out and about while taking a unique journey with a seaweed foraging experience. Doolin’s coastal location provides an abundance of nutrient-rich seaweed species. Guided tours with Wild Kitchen will teach you about the different types of seaweed and their culinary and medicinal uses. You might even get to taste some delicious seaweed-based dishes. For more information and bookings click here.
9. Shuck local Oysters at Flaggy Shore
The Flaggy Shore Oyster Experience is a fun, interactive, educational and tasty 90-minute journey into the world of oysters in the heart of the Burren.
You will learn about the area’s rich history of oyster bays, the life cycle of an oyster, seaweeds and sea creatures of the Flaggy Shore, which are celebrated in poems and songs. The experienced guide will introduce you to the art of oyster shucking before it’s time to enjoy the delicious Flaggy Shore Oysters. Book your experience here.
10. Learn how to cook local Irish dishes at a private cooking class
All of our Lodges have fully equipped kitchens and give you the option to cook or bake delicious meals. Learn how to prepare one of our family recipes or an Irish Classic as a chef joins you in your kitchen for a private cooking class. A fun and delicious way to spend a rainy day while gaining valuable cooking skills to impress your friends and family back home. Contact us for more information, we are happy to assist you with the booking of a private cooking class or share our secrets to the perfect home-cooked meal with fresh local and homegrown ingredients.
Extra Tip: Get a private holistic massage and relax at your Lodge
Holidays are made to relax and our Lodges provide you with all the facilities to comfortably enjoy a day at home. For those seeking ultimate relaxation and pampering, we can arrange private holistic massages. Rainy days are the perfect excuse to indulge in a rejuvenating massage. The soothing ambience and skilled therapists will help you unwind and forget about the gloomy weather outside. Read more about our Holistic Massage offers here.
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Doolin’s charm extends far beyond its sunny days, and rainy weather can offer a unique opportunity to explore the town’s and surrounding diverse attractions. From underground wonders to cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, and artistic endeavours, there’s no shortage of things to do in Doolin when the raindrops fall. Don’t let the weather dampen your spirits – embrace the rain and make the most of your visit to our enchanting village and its magnificent surroundings.