When you think of Irish cliffs and must-see tourist sites, the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare automatically spring to mind.
But today, I’m going to take you on a tour of County Cork’s lesser known, but just as spectacular cliffs at Mizen Head, Ireland’s most south westerly point.
I love to take you off the well beaten Irish tourist trail, to discover Ireland’s hidden treasures. If you plan to visit Ireland in search of bracing ocean scented air, then the Mizen is the place for you.
The wonderful thing about this magnificent County Cork outpost on the Wild Atlantic Way, is that it is far less busy than the more northerly Ring of Kerry or Cliffs of Moher.
And so, brace yourself for a photographic tour of dizzying proportions.
In today’s post I share some photos I took on a wild and blustery spring day.
Here’s a quick video tour you might enjoy if you like armchair travels….
Join me as we peer over some of Ireland’s rocky precipices and enjoy the churning Atlantic ocean.
The old Mizen Head Signal Station has been transformed into an award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Centre.
This rocky outpost is in a spectacular location high atop the cliffs and the swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. A path down 99 steps leads to a footbridge crossing the churning waters below.
Tread quickly across this bridge, if like me, you don’t have a head for heights.
I handed my camera over to my husband to take this shot looking directly below the bridge.
But once my kids started shouting they could see a seal battling the waters below, I overcame my fears to take a look.
Apparently seals and their pups are often seen swimming in the Atlantic swells within this gorge. Mizen Head is a perfect vantage point to scan the waters for whales and dolphins. Only seals spotted on our visit.
Here’s a view of the rocky shoreline from the bridge. The layers of rock are formed by Devonian era slate. The many shaded gray striations are simply spectacular.
This is a majestic landscape with breathtaking scenery equal to any found in Ireland.
Out in the distance the Fastnet Rock can be spotted.
A 19th century lighthouse sits atop this rocky outcrop known as the Teardrop of Ireland. For many leaving Ireland’s shores as emigrants, the Fastnet Rock was the very last little sliver of Ireland they beheld.
Building this safety beacon so far off shore is a credit to 19th century engineering skills.
The old signal station now houses an informative museum with exhibits showing what life was like for those who worked here many years ago.
Here you can learn about the vast array of wildlife to be found in the seas and surrounding cliffs, together with the history of the Fastnet Rock, Marconi and radio communication.
This majestic seascape, with its many breath-taking views has to be seen to be believed.
My family visited on a wet and blustery day, with storm clouds hovering on the horizon. Despite hail showers, and mist laden gales, we found the experience to be completely exhilarating.
Mizen Head is Ireland’s southerly land’s end. I highly recommend a visit, especially if you wish to experience the power of the Atlantic ocean, without the excessive crowds found in other corners of Ireland.
For anyone interested in visiting, here are two great websites for planning a trip –
Wishing you all happy trails in Ireland.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and Blessings)
Irish American Mom
If you enjoyed this installment, then here are some other ramblings you might enjoy ….