A MAJOR step forward in promoting North Clare as a top destination for walking tourism was made on Thursday with the announcement that a much-sought-after walking route connecting Liscannor and Doolin will go ahead.
Contract for the restoration of the walking track were signed in Doolin last week with work on the route likely to get underway early in the new year.
Walking tourism has been heralded by many as the possible saviour of the tourism industry in Clare.
In 2009, walking tourism passed out both golﬁng and surﬁng to become the activity which attract most tourists to County Clare.
Both walking and cycling have seen a renaissance for holiday-makers in recent years and it is hoped that the restoration of the 12.7 kilometres route between Doolin and Liscannor will help to put Clare on the global map for walking tourists.
The path has been earmarked for experienced walkers and will take walkers along the iconic Cliffs of Moher from Doolin to Hags Head, and then on minor roads into the village of Liscannor. The project has been made possible as a result of 39 private landowners who have pledged to support project.
“The upgrading of this coastal path will offer a unique perspective on coastal walking along an area of land that is world renowned,” said Eimer McCarthy of Clare Local Development Company (CLDC).
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the agencies involved and especially to thank the landowners for their time and support until now, and in the coming months, during the upgrading works.”
Seventy ﬁve per cent of the funding for the initiative is being provided by Fáilte Ireland under the National Development Plan 2007 to 2013 with the balance being funded by Clare County Council and Shannon Development.
Clare Local Development Company secured the involvement of local landowners in the project, which is being supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The successful contractor for the project is County Wexford-based Metro Building Contractors, while Burren Way Ltd will manage the walk when it is completed in April 2012.
“We have been challenged to make the Burren Way a world-class walking route and following other signiﬁcant developments on the route in recent years the addition of the Clare Coastal Walk will go a long way towards achieving our goal,” said Gerard Kennedy, Chairman of Burren Way.