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Ballyvaughan Wood Loop Walk

Hiking trail · Clare
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Macs Adventure Ltd Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Follow the pink arrow "Wood Loop"
    / Follow the pink arrow "Wood Loop"
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Follow the way with the wall to your right
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Inside Aillwee Cave
    Photo: AbenteuerWege Reisen GmbH
  • / Burren to your right-hand side
    Photo: AbenteuerWege Reisen GmbH
m 300 200 100 10 8 6 4 2 km

This circuit walk through the woods of Ballyvaughan brings you to the mystic Aillwee Cave.

10.4 km
2:30 h
68 m
78 m

Depart from Ballyvaughan and into the nearby countryside. You will walk through little woods and along some fields. The highlight of this walk is a visit to the Aillwee Cave, which is one of the oldest caves in Ireland. You have also the opportunity to visit a Bird of Prey Centre and to have a cheese tasting in a store with local products. 

Author’s recommendation

The recommendation is to visit the Aillwee Cave on this walk. Close to the cave there is also a Bird Prey Center and a little shop with regional products. You can try and buy some cheese here. Outside of the shop are some places to rest. Maybe you have time to enjoy the cheese or other local products here.

Highest point
77 m
Lowest point
8 m
Best time of year

Safety information

If it has been wet, please be very careful as there are rocks which become slippy in the rain.

Tips, hints and links

In Ballyvaughan there is supermarket next to the tourist information where you can get drinks and food for you walk.

Point of interest:


Ailwee Cave


One of the oldest caves in Ireland


Let the staff at AILLWEE welcome you to the dramatic underworld of this area. Expert guides will accompany and inform you during your leisurely tour. The tour consists of a 30 minute stroll through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor!

Take warm clothes with you. It is really cold inside of the cave. Be sure to check opening and closing times




Fountain of Ballyvaughan (21 m)
53.115875, -9.149661
53°06'57.1"N 9°08'58.8"W
29U 489983 5885171


Visitor Centre of Ballyvaughan

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - You are at the T-junction again, where you finished your walk yesterday. The fountain is to your right-hand side and the Hyland's Burren Bar to your left-hand side. TURN RIGHT and follow the way that you came in yesterday.

0.20 km - Go STRAIGHT ON and follow the street over the bridge.

0.25 km - Behind the bridge TURN LEFT and follow the tarmac road.

0.60 km - The street turns into a gravel path. There is a sports field to your left-hand side. Follow the path and TURN RIGHT after 120m. There is a Burren Way - Waymarker that shows you the way through the grass. The track curves slightly left.

1.00 km - Step over a stonewall and keep on following the track through the grass. There is another stonewall to cross after 100 m and you enter in a small forest. Follow the single trail STRAIGHT ON.

1.20 km - TURN SLIGHTLY RIGHT when you see a red arrow on the ground. Keep your eyes open and follow the red arrows that are painted on the floor. You will also see white strings on the bushes as waymarkers. After 100m you will enter in a forest with a single trail again.

1.40 km - You walk along a field that is to your left-hand side. Go STRAIGHT ON.

1.60 km - Step over the little stone wall and TURN LEFT once you are over it. Follow the purple arrow and "Wood Loop" Waymarker. You walk on a tarmac road now.

2.30 km - TURN LEFT at T-junction and follow the road sign to Galway and Ballyvaughan. After 50m TURN RIGHT into L10281 and follow the purple arrow.

3.00 km - TURN RIGHT and follow the purple waymarker for the wood loop on the gravel path. Go STRAIGHT ON and stay on the track. Ignore the off-coming roads.

3.40 km - You see 3 metal gates infront of you. Take the one in the middle and go through it. Immediately after the gate TURN LEFT and follow the trail through the wood.

3.70 km - Step over the wall. TURN RIGHT to follow the waymarker and keep going along the stonewall that is to your right-hand side.

3.80 km - You reach a field. TURN LEFT to follow the path through the grass. The field is to your left-hand side.

4.00 km - Step over a stone wall that is to your right-hand side. TURN LEFT after the wall and BEAR LEFT.

4.10 km - You leave the wood again. TURN LEFT and follow the purple waymarker. There is another field to your right-hand side.

4.30 km - Step over the wall in front of you and TURN LEFT on the tarmac street.

4.60 km - To your right-hand side is the entrance to Aillwee Cave. There are 6 Flags at the entrance. TURN RIGHT and follow the street up hill.

4.90 km - There is a bird prey center to your left-hand side. To your right-hand side is a footpath uphill to reach the cave. TURN RIGHT and take the footpath.

5.20 km - When you leave the cave TURN RIGHT and follow the tarmac road downhill. The road zig zags down.

5.80 km - There is the bird prey center to your right-hand side again. On your left-hand side you can find a little store with regional products and a cheese tasting. Go STRAIGHT ON and follow the street downhill.

6.10 km -  TURN RIGHT to follow the wood loop.

6.40 km - The path turns into gravel. Keep on following the track STRAIGHT ON.

8.00 km - TURN LEFT at the T-junction and go through the metal gate. 500m on you have to go through another gate.

8.80 km - Follow the way that curves right STRAIGHT ON

9.20 km - You reach another T-junction. TURN LEFT and follow the purple arrow.

9.80 km - TURN LEFT at the T-junction. You are walking on a busy main road now. Be careful with the passing cars.

10.40 km - The visitor centre of Ballyvaughan is to your right-hand side. Congratulations, you finished yourlast walk on the Best of Burren Way!


all notes on protected areas


53.115875, -9.149661
53°06'57.1"N 9°08'58.8"W
29U 489983 5885171
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


You should take a warm jacket with you if you want to visit the cave, it is really cold inside. Depending the weather conditions please take sun cream, sun hat or rain clothes with you. You don't need walking boots for this walk but comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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Ann Kilkuskie
May 31, 2019 · Community
We walked the later part of the loop out and back rather than retrace our steps through the woods.
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Photos from others

10.4 km
2:30 h
68 m
78 m
Loop Scenic Geological highlights


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