Doolin, once a quiet fishing village tucked away on the north-west coast of Clare, has become a veritable mecca for fans of traditional music from all over the world and has established for itself an international reputation unequalled anywhere on this island. It might be said that Doolin is to Irish traditional music what New Orleans is to traditional jazz. Stretching from the sea to Doolin cave the village lies on teh very edge of the Burren, one of the largest and most accessible Karst regions in the world. It's the only place on the planet that Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants grow side-by-side. It's ancient, awe-inspiring stone structures hold secrets from the past that may never be unravelled.
Clare is quite possibly the most musical county in Ireland and Doolin is the most musical village in Clare. There are more musicians to the square mile here than anywhere in the world. Walk down the street and you must likely meet a local who has a family member performing in Riverdance. The pubs in Doolin are known the length and breadth of Ireland and across the world. They have become synonymous with traditional Irish music. Gus O'Connor's Pub is just a two minute walk from Sea View House and has live music most nights of the year. There is something special about the local Irish music, which sets Doolin apart.
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.
The Doolin Folk Festival takes places every June and the Russell Memorial Weekend in February is held in remembrance of Micho Russell, the world-famous traditional musician.
The spectacular coastal walking trail linking the village of Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher and on to Hags Head and Liscannor starts right outside Sea View House. The full trail from Doolin to Liscannor is 18 km long but the section from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher is 8km long and takes about 2 hrs each way. Download the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk - Map
Local farmer Pat Sweeney has decided to share his local knowledge with visitors to Doolin by offering Guided Walks along the new path to the Cliffs of Moher. The path brings you up close with the natural habitats of the sea birds nesting along the rugged coastline where the Cliffs of Moher meet the Atlantic ocean. There are an estimated 30,000 birds living on the cliffs, representing more than 20 different species.
A day trip to one of the three stunning Aran Islands is a must. They are an off shore extension of the Burren and are one of the last out-posts of Gaelic civilisation where Irish is still the native language of their inhabitants. Ferries run daily from Doolin harbour, with the crossing taking 30 minutes. Get a 10% discount on all ferry tickets here.
Inis Oirr (Inishere) or "island of the east" is the smallest and most beautiful, with so much to offer. It has all the amenities larger Inishmore but without the hoards of visitors. It is set in glistening crystal clear blue atlantic waters and boasts an amazing beach, rare plants and flowers and a wealth of breath taking scenery. Experience the traditional way of life practised by an Irish speaking community of around 300 as you lose yourself on one of the many narrow laneways that divide small flower filled stone walled fields. The ruins of a 15th century O’Brien tower house built inside an earlier stone fort can be seen from anywhere on the island.
Inis Oirr has so much to offer yet it's possible to explore it on foot but you can also rent bicycles or horse-and-carriage right at the harbour. To eat we recommend Tigh Ned's pub. It has retained its old character and has a great beer garden just 15 metres from edge of Galway Bay.
The stalactite at Doolin Cave was found in a 40m long chamber, one of the largest chambers in County Clare. Measuring 7.3 metres (23 feet) in length, it is recognised as being the longest stalactite in the Northern hemisphere. Tours of the cave are available at the Doolin Cave visitors centre and take approximately one hour. Located just 2km north of Sea View House, Doolin Cave is becoming one of the most important eco-tourist attractions in Ireland.
Doolin cave also have a 1 km looped walk Farmland Nature Trail, which is FREE to all cave visitors. The nature trail gives visitors an insight to the Burren with information panels along the trail.
You will be sure to eat well during your stay in Doolin. We are lucky enough to have some wonderful pubs, cafes and restaurants all within a short walk of our Lodges.
Anthonys Restaurant is right next door and is an excellent choice. Anthonys draws its inspiration from the Burren – its local farmers and growers of fresh produce.
The Ivy Cottage is a 2 minute walk from Sea View House and set by the river in beautiful surroundings. Best known for their chowder and freshly sourced fish and hand cut chips.
Gus O'Connor's Pub, an easy 3 minute walk down to Fisherstreet, this is one of Doolin's four pubs. Food is served daily and features seafood and interesting specials.
Oar Restaurant is a little further from our door, being a 15 minute walk (or 3 minute drive) but worth it for an authentic fine dining experience with a rustic twist using the finest local produce. Relax, chat and enjoy.
Our Blog Post Dining in and Dining out in Doolin has more details on all your dining options.