The Burren

February 19, 2018

The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘bhoireann’ meaning, ‘a stony place’ or ‘a rocky place’, which is a good description for this 350 sq kilometres limestone plateau in North Clare. The rough, intriguing and attractive landscape was formed 320 million years ago under a tropical sea. Later it was shaped by ice and hard weather. The Aran Islands were formerly part of the Burren. They were detached from the region when sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age (circa 10,000 years ago). The term karst is defined as a landscape formed from the chemical dissolution by rainwater of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. Karst is a rare and precious land form. The Burren is home to one of the biggest karst landscapes in Europe.