Kilbaha’s small, picturesque pier was built in the early 19th century to cater for the large numbers of people making their living from fishing, seaweed gathering and piloting the large ships going up the Shannon to Limerick docks. It was also used by cargo vessels bringing supplies to Loop Head lighthouse, four miles west of the village. Around the headland from the pier, and visible as you approach the village from the east, is a castellated turret, built by the Keane family for the Victorian ladies to enjoy the view. The ruins of the Keane home stand nearby on the top of the hill.
Loop Head, is a slender finger of land pointing out to sea from the most westerly point of County Clare, on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Cinched between the ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other, this tiny peninsula would be an island but for a meagre mile of land connecting it to the rest of Clare. But despite its isolation, its people are far from insular, having spent hundreds of years welcoming strangers by water. In 2010, Loop Head became a European Destination of Excellence in aquatic tourism. It’s also right in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, 2,500 kilometres of the finest coastal scenery in Ireland.
Loop Head epitomises what the Wild Atlantic Way is about: panoramic cliff views, abundant local seafood, your choice of aquatic activities, and plenty of quiet beauty spots where you can pause and wonder at this unforgettable part of the world.