Ireland: The Bridges of Ross

County Clare has some wonderful places to visit, including the famous Cliffs of Moher. Last Thursday, my grandfather took me to another wonderful place to visit–the Bridges of Ross.

Bridges of Ross

Once upon a time, the Bridges of Ross were three in number, lovely natural sea arches. Only one still exists today, but it’s stunning.

bridges of ross

The path from the parking lot follows along the fence you can see in the above picture–a farmer has cows in there at times, though they’re not out yet due to grass being slow to come in this year.

As you can see, I really liked the bridge!

bridge

We followed the path along, seeing all sorts of rock formations and cliffs and inlets along the way.

cool rock formations

Amazing striations in the rock.

beach inlet

Rocky beach/inlet. Papa wished he’d brought his fishing rod… It definitely would be a nice place to sit and fish.

other side of bridge

The other side of that beautiful bridge. I can’t believe the water created it–nature is so wonderful and powerful.

rock flats

Eventually we reached a section where the grass became stone slabs that ran all the way down to the ocean. Of course, we headed out across the rock…and found tide pools!

tide pool

Limpets!

limpet

Close up of a limpet’s foot… If you look closely at the top, you can just see a bit of the head and the limpet’s little tentacles.

tide pool

This tide pool was packed with life–baby mussels, limpets, snails, and anemones! Still no crabs in sight, though…

anemone

This one was actually feeding, rather than tucked in like many of the others I saw.

crab

We found this poor little crab tipped on his back and unable to flip himself over. (Or herself, I forgot to check its gender.) Papa got pinched, but we did manage to rescue the crab and move him to a tide pool where he could wait happily for the tide to come in.

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Since the tide was coming in, we started heading back. I found this seat, a few others like it, along the path–I don’t know who installed them, but they have a lovely view… I imagine in non-windy, warm days they’d be great place to read a book or just enjoy nature’s beauty.

water path

At one point along the path, there’s an inlet that comes in, getting skinnier and skinnier until it’s this thin opening that runs under the path…

hole

To this hole. Which is fenced off on all sides, because it’s deep.

hole

Very deep. I’d say a good fifteen feet at least. When the tide’s in, the hole fills partly with water, and Papa says that as the tide’s coming in, he’s seen sea foam in this hole so deep that if he stood at the bottom and I stood on his shoulders, my head might just be above the foam. Unfortunately it was low tide while we were there, so I didn’t see it myself, but I imagine it must be quite a sight!

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Papa says this is a species of heather… I’m not sure but we’ll go for that with now until a botanist tells me otherwise! At any rate, it was one of the few green things growing in patches in the rocky area; definitely a salt-resistant plant of some sort. Papa told me that if you take a small patch of it, spread honey underneath it, and place it on a rock, it will grow. I don’t know how the honey helps (perhaps the sugars feed it?), but pretty cool all the same! We left them in peace, of course. Only thing I walked away with was pictures (over two hundred of them, in fact.)

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This is near the entrance… I loved how this bay is shaped like a bird, or an angel. You can see dark storm clouds gathering–we beat the rain to the car, thankfully!

If you’re ever in County Clare, the Bridges of Ross is a wonderful place to spend a morning or an afternoon. Low tide is the best, as you can wander around looking in tide pools, though I’m sure it’s gorgeous at high tide as well (and if you’re there when the tide’s coming in, you can see if there’s sea foam in the giant hole. Just don’t fall in!)

8 Comments

  1. It’s the cliffs of insanity! It’s like you’re in your own fairytale kingdom! Just don’t get kidnapped! Hmm, Buttercup and Heather are both flower names!

    Sooo, I’m jealous, cause I’ve always wanted to see a tide pool. THEY LOOK SO AWESOME! I’m seriously in love with the ocean, but I don’t get to see it often. And you got to see a tide pool! How cool is that!!

    1. Haha, it’s kind of like that, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’m not nearly as pretty as Buttercup, so I doubt I need to worry about being snatched up for some Prince’s dastardly scheme to steal his kingdom.

      You’ve never seen a tide pool? I’m so sorry! I grew up summering in Prince Edward Island, where we’re about five minutes on foot from a beach, so I’m used to them, but it’s still cool to find them and see what sorts of creatures are living there (or just chilling out until the tide comes back.) I hope you have a chance to find one next time you’re at the ocean!

        1. Haha, yeah! Definitely my preferred style. I certainly wouldn’t let myself get dragged off to the palace to marry some awful prince, lol.

          Yes! I’m so glad you’ve heard of Anne; I grew up with her stories and summering on PEI and just assumed everyone knew about her books, since thy are relatively well-known, but I’ve since run into a lot of people who’d never even heard of them, much less read them. Kind of sad, since Anne is an awesome heroine!

          There is a sort of village called Avonlea that’s a big tourist attraction–the people dress up like characters from the books and have reenactments and such. I’ve been there once–really cool place! Also seen the play once, and visited the house of Green Gables a few times (and, of course, the Haunted Woods.) If you’re ever in PEI and you like those books, I definitely recommend seeing at least one of those, if not all three.

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