For visitors to the region, Doonbeg is synonymous with its famous golf club of the same name. Doonbeg Golf Club is one of the few links courses to be developed in recent years, and was designed by two-time British Open champion Greg Norman in 2000. Since the development opened, it has attracted thousands of visitors, not least for the luxury surroundings of the 5-star Doonbeg Lodge.
The village of Doonbeg has its own unique attractions. Dubbed ‘the Long Village’ for its length, its name in Irish is ‘Dún Beag’ meaning ‘small castle or fort’. The remains of the 16th century castle it is named after still exist and Doonbeg Castle and the river going through the village give it a special character. The picturesque village also boasts a range of traditional Irish pubs and well-regarded restaurants, and regularly holds tourist events and festivals. For further information, go to www.doonbeginfo.com
The wider area of West Clare is renowned for its rugged beauty and is unspoilt by tourism. Combining stunning coastal views of the Atlantic with rugged cliffs and vistas of the Shannon Estuary, the Loop Head peninsula is perfect for seeing by car or bicycle or by increasingly popular walking tours. See www.clare.ie for further information of looped walks in the area.
Kilkee is the main tourist resort in the area and has been an attraction for visitors since Victorian times. Activities there are built firmly around the sea, and the town’s horseshoe-shaped beach, tidal pools at the Pollock Holes and cliff walks are famous. Visit www.loophead.ie for further activities.
Kilrush, meanwhile, is the main commercial centre in the region, and has a range of supermarkets and shops and as an official Heritage Town, it has its own charm as a market town, with planned streets and a legacy that stretches back to landlord days. For further information, go to www.kilrush.ie or www.westclare.com
For many, the beauty of West Clare is its open countryside and secluded seaside locations. Loop Head has a mix of picturesque villages, unspoilt countryside and stunning coastal views. The region was recently the winner of the Irish Times’ Best Place to Holiday award for its wonderful mix of local hospitality, activities and natural beaty. For a full range of activities and resources on visiting and enjoying the Loop Head peninsula, go to www.loophead.ie