The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. As beautiful as they are, they have a reputation for being dangerous and not child-friendly. So, can you visit the Cliffs of Moher with kids?
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Everyone needs to make their own decisions about the safety of their children, but we had a very fun and safe visit to the Cliffs of Moher with our kids.
The Cliffs of Moher with Kids
Initially, we were worried about the reputation the Cliffs of Moher have for being unsafe for kids. We believe in taking well-thought out, reasonable risks with our children, so we decided to investigate it further.
Our first action was to check the Cliffs of Moher website to see what their stance was, and it said, “The designated viewing areas are completely safe.” The designated viewing areas are a small area clustered around the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center.
There are short, paved pathways which go up and down the edge of the Cliffs of Moher which provide outstanding views of this natural wonder. Even if this is all you are comfortable doing, it’s worth coming just to see the cliffs – they are majestic.
If you follow our family adventures, you know we love to hike with our kids when we travel, so you know we were going to at least check to see if it was safe to hike outside of the designated viewing areas along the Cliffs of Moher with kids.
We have taken our kids (aged 4 & 6) on many hikes with dangerous drop-offs in the past when we were confident they were calm and ready to listen to our instructions. We have no issues turning back when we don’t feel it’s a safe situation; it’s always better to live to hike another day.
We were pleasantly surprised at how safe the non-designated viewing areas were, or at least the areas we explored were. We left the designated viewing area and walked south towards Hags Head.
You could see evidence of an old gravel trail which runs dangerously close to the edge of the cliff, but it’s now blocked off. The hiking trail that is currently in use is well back from the cliff face and is lined with a wall of rock slabs about 4 feet high, preventing kids from getting too close to the edge of the cliff.
The views of the Cliffs of Moher are excellent for the adults, but one downside of the rock slabs is that the kids can’t see any views without being picked up.
There are some sections of the trail which do not have the wall of rock slabs, but in these areas the trail was so far from the cliff face, that we felt it was safe to proceed (keeping a close eye on the kids).
The weather was not the best on the day we visited and the wind was blowing inland so hard that at one point (well away from the edge), it blew our 6-year old right off her feet.
So, when the line of rock slabs ended after 1 mile (1.5km), and the trail moved closer to the cliff face, we decided to turn back due to safety concerns. Without the safety rocks, we weren’t comfortable taking the risk beyond this point.
You’ll have to make your own decisions on how far you are willing to go, but no matter your choice, it’s clear that you can have a very good visit to the Cliffs of Moher with kids.
How to get to the Cliffs of Moher
Given their remote location, most visitors to the Cliffs of Moher arrive as part of an organized tour. You can join a tour from every major center in Ireland, including Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. You can book a family-friendly Cliffs of Moher tour from all of these cities on GetYourGuide. com.
We went the do-it-yourself route. We had just finished a week-long self-guided cycle trip through Connemara, so we rented a car at the Shannon Airport, which is the closest airport to the Cliffs of Moher. It’s still do-able to visit the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin, Cork or Limerick, you’ll just need to be on the road a little earlier.
Note, that unless you buy the rental cars extra insurance, most Irish rental car companies will hold a €5,000 security deposit on your credit card. We find that RentalCars.com does a good job outlining these conditions in plain English – simply click on the blue box that says “Important information about your rental”.
Where to Stay Near Cliffs of Moher
We wanted to see several parts of the Cliffs of Moher, so we decided to stay one night and split our visit over two days. We rented a three-bedroom house on Airbnb just outside Miltown Malbay, about a half-hour drive from the Cliffs of Moher.
If you like the idea of separate bedrooms, laundry facilitates and your own kitchen, you can browse the available Cliffs of Moher Airbnb rentals. If you are new to Airbnb, you can sign up with our link and get a $35USD credit towards your first stay.
If you are looking for a family-friendly Cliffs of Moher hotel, you’ll find a good selection on Booking.com.
Family-Friendly Cliffs of Moher Tours