Loop head

This stunning Irish trail has just received a major international award

The Loop Head Peninsula in Co Clare has taken home a prize at the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

shutterstock_69606595 Loop Head lighthouse in Co Clare Shutterstock / (Richard Semik) Shutterstock / (Richard Semik) / (Richard Semik)

AN IRISH LANDMARK has been receiving major praise at an international tourism awards ceremony in London.

The Loop Head Peninsula in Co Clare has been named as the winner in the Culture and Heritage category at the World Responsible Tourism Awards being held today in London.

The heritage trail along the route was set up in November of last year and has drawn in visitors to a number of local attractions since then.

It runs for 60km along the west coast and takes in a number of local landmarks, including the Loop Head Lighthouse, the West Clare Railway, the Church of the Little Ark, Kilkee Victorian Town and the Bridges of Ross.

The awards 

The World Responsible Tourism Awards have now been held for 12 years and aim to celebrate areas that are both “inspiring and enduring”.

The process for choosing the winners sees nominations submitted by the public, with judging then carried out by a panel of experts.

Speaking about the win, councillor James Breen, the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said that it had, “strengthened the overall heritage tourism produce on offer in Co Clare.”

The naming of the Trail as one of the principal winners in this international award scheme demonstrates how a simple concept that harnesses existing infrastructure and attractions to promote a local area can and does pay dividends from a tourism and heritage perspective.

World Cultural Winner Cillian Murphy (left), chairman of Loop Head Tourism, also Fiona Monaghan (Wild Atlantic Way) and Brian Coakley (ActiveME) Valerie O'Sullivan Valerie O'Sullivan

Support for the route 

The success of the trail at the award show in London follows on from its attendance at the Irish Responsible Tourism awards earlier this year.

The areas selected as part of the route were chosen on criteria that included maritime history; folklore and traditions; flora and fauna; and built, military and religious heritage.

The trail has been supported by a number of national and local bodies, including the Clare Local Development Company, Clare County Council, Failte Ireland, The Heritage Council of Ireland, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

You can find out more about the trail here.

Read: The votes are in, and Ireland has chosen its best train station

Also: Farmers throw spanner in the works of coast-to-coast cycle route plans

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