The Cliffs of Heck

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photo by Pete Heck

Ireland has some immensely spectacular scenery, without question. The problem is, everybody knows it. Trying to see the popular sights during the summer months means elbowing your way through hordes of tourists to get a proper view.

The Cliffs of Moher is one of the most famous spots on the island. The bluffs are over 200 metres high and stretch for 8 miles against the Atlantic Coast. Upon first sight, we stood motionless with mouths agape, and emphatically uttered only one, single syllable:


The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

And then some tall sweaty guy with a mullet walked in front of us and broke our gaze.  Of course.

I can’t say that tourists are ruining everything, because hey, we are two of them. But waiting several minutes for the path to clear in order to snap a few photos is not my idea of a perfect travel experience.

But alas, we did it anyways. The place is popular for a reason – our reaction at first sight is definitely not unique – and so we waited patiently for our chance.  Even the path over the fence into do-not-go-here territory was well trodden.

O’Briens Castle, and just a few of the gazillion tourists, in the distance.

Tourists line the Cliffs of Moher

Pete “safely” going to the edge of the cliffs in the do-not-go-here territory (he is a wee bit scared of heights).

Looking Out

My foot over the edge of the cliff.  This picture freaks Pete out every time he looks at it.

Over the Edge

We ultimately did enjoy our time there, but came away nonplussed with the size of the crowds. It was impossible to have that perfect, peaceful moment of connecting with the beauty of nature with so many people around.

We were missing something. We craved that moment. And so, a little further down the road, we made another stop on the coast, and claimed it as our own.

I give you…The Cliffs of Heck!


The Burren aka Cliffs of Heck

Okay, so maybe they don’t have the dramatic heights of the Cliffs of Moher, but we didn’t care, for an hour they were completely ours to explore and enjoy with no one else in sight (and no mullets to distract our view).

That is just what we needed. 

Waves Crash

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  1. Haha, I completely understand where you are coming from. My husband and I are currently in the Black Forest and one sunny afternoon we went to a nearby small village that is supposed to have a great view…only to find hordes of other tourists (both German and International) doing the same thing! It was a bit surprising, seeing the droves of people come to hike up a hill and see the view. I enjoy your Cliffs of Heck!

  2. Awesome post and wonderful photos. I’ve never been to Ireland and that place looks absolutely great. I guess you’ve been really lucky to get such a sunny day! 🙂

    1. We’ve had our share of crappy rainy days, but then also been pretty blessed on others! The wind was horrible that day but we didn’t care – we had blue skies and sun!

  3. Aaaahhh!!! Get your foot back on the ground!
    It’s very beautiful, yet it doesn’t look all that crowded from the pictures. I’m guessing the places I can see in the pictures aren’t the places you want to be to get a great picture?
    I’ll place the Cliffs of Heck on my “must see” list now, although perhaps a little lower down than the Cliffs of Moher.

    1. Haha – I wasn’t actually *that* close to the cliffs…it’s alllll in how I took the shot! It’s fun to freak Pete out with it! We didn’t take too many pictures of all the tourists, trying to turn our camera in other ways!

      I can’t tell you where to go to see The Cliffs of Heck – it is THAT exclusive. And, I don’t remember. 🙂

  4. I’m with Pete, the photo of your foot dangling off is scary! The cliffs were not nearly crowded in late December when I was there. The weather was not nearly as nice either. 😉

  5. OH MY GOD! My toes, stomach and pretty much my entire body are still tingling over that “foot over cliff” photo, even after finishing reading the post! Jeez you’re crazy!

  6. This is one of the visions of Ireland I’ve always had. In must’ve been so beautiful, especially on a summer day. And though its not of the The Cliffs of Moher, I do like the last photo best of Pete commanding the ocean 🙂

  7. omg lady, you’re foot! I’m with Pete.

    I took photos of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday, I can relate. Luckily, I’m pretty tall, and when I stood up on my toes I was able to take pictures and see things without any heads in my view, haha.

    1. Everybody needs to calm down here – I was about three feet from the edge of the cliff and lifted my foot high so that it LOOKED like I was over the water! Not scary at all!

  8. I’m a wee bit scared of heights and that photo totally freaked me out too, Dalene! When we were there it was so ridiculously windy that if we got that close we would have been blown off. Seriously. I have to say, the Cliffs of Moher were nice but I wasn’t blown away. The tourists probably had something to do with that. So I’m loving the Cliffs of Heck 😉 And that last photo – brilliant!

    1. We tried a hike near Bantry today and it was SO windy that we had to turn back before getting to the part where we would walk cliffside. It gets crazy windy here! Fortunately it was only “breezy” when we were at the Cliffs.

  9. Great foot shot! I remember lying down on my stomach in the no go zone and sliding out so I just got my camera, head and arms over to take a straight down cliff shot. Didn’t turn out nearly as well as yours 🙂

    Here’s hoping the rest of your Emerald Isle journey is mullet-free.

  10. WOW was my first reaction at the Cliffs of Moher, too. Although there were plenty of tourists there on my visit, it wasn’t too bad. What I really remember is the fierce wind that nearly knocked me off my feet. Pretty exciting, actually. Congratulations on finding your own little piece of Ireland. 🙂

  11. I regret to inform you that those are NOT the Cliffs of Heck. Everyone knows that they are the “Cliffs of Maur.”

    I claimed them 5 years again when I was in Ireland experiencing the very same thing.

    Thank you for the the opportunity to set the record straight.

  12. you two are hilarious!
    “And then some tall sweaty guy with a mullet walked in front of us and broke our gaze.”
    and then the photo at the end! that was like picture perfect with the spray and his arms like that! haha
    I missed the Cliffs of Moher when I was there! I’ll say it again “I need to go back!” 🙂

    1. Thanks Abby! Pete is now worried that all these comments about freaking people out are going to encourage me to do more daring things – haha!

    1. It was all in the perspective! I was about three feet from the edge and lifted my foot up high enough so that it LOOKED like it was over the water. I’m not crazy! Well, sometimes.

  13. I think I took more pics of the horrible hairstyles at the Cliffs of Moher than the actual cliffs. I actually went to these “Cliffs of Heck” as well 🙂

    1. I swear every time I look at it my palms sweat. She says she was nowhere near but she was too close for my comfort.

  14. hahahaha that last photo is hilarious and awesome!! And you are CRAZY for sticking your foot out and snapping that photo. …crazy or with bad ass balancing skills. (obviously you can tell I’m scared of heights, too)

    1. she says she has bad ass balancing skills, but I know for a fact she doesn’t. She trips walking on flat concrete (I’m gonna get an arm punch for that one). The last photo took a lot of patience and me standing in that pose for a few minutes.

  15. Wow indeed! But too bad it was so crowded. I love that you found a more secluded spot and claimed it as your own!

    I did not see the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, but I did go over to Inishmore, which also has some really spectacular sea cliffs (that are basically devoid of tourists most of the time)!

    1. NOW we keep hearing of other places that are much less crowded – too late! 🙂 But we did manage to see some really cool ones when we were in Co. Kerry as well, with absolutely no one around!

  16. Beautiful photos. That picture of your foot and the reality of it would definitely freak me out as well – as I am quite afraid of heights. But wow is it amazing scenery!

  17. Ireland is so gorgeous – glad you’re enjoying it! I love the picture of your foot over the edge, trying to picture what Pete was doing while you took it 🙂 fainting, ignoring you or pleading with you?!

    1. Haha, the whole day he kept scolding me for getting too close (like, 3-4 ft is plenty of space…I think so, anyways!) He didn’t like that little stunt one bit…

  18. I’m with Pete, that picture freaks me out too. Too often I have heard of people getting close to the edge of a cliff and ending up at the bottom meeting a fateful end. Glad you weren’t one of those statistics! 🙂

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