Ailladie is an area on the coast of The Burren in County Clare, Ireland, which is one of Ireland's most highly regarded rock-climbing locations. It is also a popular location for beach-angling competitions, and, with its cliffs and view of Aran, is a popular photography stop for tourist coaches travelling through west Clare. It is situated between the villages of Fanore to the north, and Doolin to the south.
The crag is a sea-cliff, about half of which sits above a big rock platform known to climbers as the Dancing Ledges and is therefore always accessible; the other half is accessible by boulder-hopping at low tide, or by abseil, sometimes using hanging belays.
The rock is limestone, of good clean quality. Its texture varies from smooth, in the few small areas recently exposed by rockfall, to a sharp popcorn texture which provides excellent friction. Most climbs follow steep finger-crack lines, and protection is usually good. The current guidebook, published in 2008, lists about 170 climbs, nearly all single-pitch, with grades up to E7 6c. Most climbs are in the medium-to-high grades; there is little quality climbing below VS grade.
The climbing potential of this cliff was discovered in 1972, when it was visited by a group of Dublin climbers. Word of its quality quickly spread, and development began in earnest. Since then, Ailladie has remained at the cutting edge of Irish climbing, while also being perennially popular with medium-grade climbers.
Visiting climbers usually either camp in the fields above the crag, or stay at one of the many hostels in the surrounding villages. There are several inland crags suitable for climbing, especially in the easier grades, within walking or short driving distance of Ailladie; however, these do not have the quality or popularity of Ailladie.
- Peter Owens, Climbs in the Burren and Aran Islands (Mountaineering Ireland, 2008) ISBN 0-902940-21-X
- Irish Climbing On-line - Ailladie routes database