Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave – Visit Horcrux Cave in Ireland (2024)! 

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Hey witches and wizards, did you know that you can visit the Horcrux Cave from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Ireland?

That’s right, they did film parts of Harry Potter in Ireland and the entrance to Tom Riddle’s Cave can be found on the world-famous Cliffs of Moher.

Although you can’t step inside, you can get a spectacular view of the entrance from the cliff tops in County Clare. 

It’s the perfect day trip for Potterheads. Here is a complete guide for the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave and how to visit in Ireland. 

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave Ireland 1

What is the Harry Potter Cave?

The Harry Potter Cave is also known as Tom Riddle’s Cave and contains one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. 

In the story, Tom Riddle visited this cave as a child when he was staying in Wool’s Orphanage and he used it to hide Salazar Slytherin’s Locket. 

Regulus Black then visited the cave with Kreacher in 1979 and he stole the locket. It was then again stolen from the Black family home.

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave

Knowing that the Horcruxes were the only way to stop Voldemort, Dumbledore visits the cave with Harry hoping to find it.

They enter the cave with a blood sacrifice and find the locket at great difficulty with Dumbledore nearly dying and Harry nearly drowning after fighting the Inferi.

They escape only by a hair. But, in the end, the Horcrux turns out to be a fake and there is a cryptic note left behind. 

An eerie sight met their eyes: they were standing on the edge of a great black lake, so vast that Harry could not make out the distant banks, in a cavern so high that the ceiling, too, was out of sight.

A misty greenish light shone far away in what looked like the middle of the lake; it was reflected in the completely still water below.

The greenish glow and the light from the two wands were the only things that broke the otherwise velvety blackness, though their rays did not penetrate as far as Harry would have expected.

The darkness was somehow denser than normal darkness.” – Description of the Harry Potter Cave in the Half-Blood Prince. 

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave Horcrux

Where did they film the Horcrux Cave in Harry Potter?

Although Tom Riddle’s Cave is meant to be by the English seaside. The filming location in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was actually the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. 

They filmed the entrance of the cliffs in County Clare but used a little bit of CGI magic to add Harry and Dumbledore standing on a rock in the ocean.

It’s good to note that it was only the cave entrance filmed at the Cliffs of Moher. The cave interiors were filmed using a set.  

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter

Watch the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Scene!

Lemon Rock Harry Potter connection

So, as you can see from the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter scene, Harry and Dumbledore are standing on a stack in front of the Horcrux Cave. 

But, if you look at photos of the Cliffs of Moher, you can easily see that that rock doesn’t exist.

Although there are protruding rocks seen around the cliffs, the rock they used for the Half-Blood Prince is actually Lemon Rock from an island near the Skelligs.

It was added to the scene in front of the cliffs with a bit of CGI magic in post-production. 

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) also didn’t stand on Lemon Rock to film the scene for safety reasons. 

They filmed their conversation in a set most likely with a green screen and then were added in afterwards. 

That’s the sorcery of the movies and it’s amazing how they can make it look so real! 

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

How to see the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave 

Regardless of Lemon Rock not being there, Potterheads will be delighted that you can actually visit the filming location for the Horcrux Cave. Well, you can see the cave entrance anyway. 

There are countless viewpoints of Tom Riddle’s Cave from the Cliffs of Moher attraction which is on the west coast of Ireland.

In the tourist season, there are even boat trips that will sail around the bottom of the cliffs. So, you get a closer look at the entrance of the Horcrux Cave!

If you’re on an Ireland road trip this is one of the best stops in the country and you will need at least a full day in the area.

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Horcrux Cave

Book a Cliffs of Moher Tour

If you’re not driving, you may wish to book a day trip to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Harry Potter Cave. 

Here are some recommended options;

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Cliffs of Moher ticket prices and opening times

You do have to pay to visit the Cliffs of Moher and I would recommend booking tickets in advance online.

Tickets have different prices throughout the day. Morning is the cheapest at 7 euro for an adult, the afternoon slots are 10 euro and an evening visit is 8 euro. All tickets include parking.

They are very strict with those times too. If you pay for a cheap morning visit and decide to show up in the afternoon they will make you pay again. 

It’s good to note that you’re really only paying for the car park as the Cliffs of Moher are technically open 24 hours a day. They can’t close the coast.

So, even when the visitor centre shuts you can still explore the site. There just won’t be any facilities. 

It is possible to visit the Cliffs of Moher for free by walking from the village of Doolin and other parking areas. But, it’s not recommended as the track is unsafe. 

I just found it so much easier to pay for the convenient parking.

Cliffs of Moher Ireland

What is the best time to visit the Cliffs of Moher?

The Cliffs of Moher sees over 1 million people visit every year and most of these are in the summer.

I would head here in the off-season of Spring or Autumn for a more peaceful visit. But, check the weather before you go.

The best time of day to visit the Cliffs of Moher would be in the later afternoon/evening as most of the coach groups and tourists have gone home by then.

You’ll find that morning ticket prices are cheaper than mid-day and afternoon. It’s because the lighting is awful at this time. 

The sun rises behind the cliffs and so the peninsula is mostly in shadow until the sun hits the front of the cliffs in the afternoon.

I decided to visit in the evening and stuck around until sunset. It was so magical to see the sky change colour and the Harry Potter Cave turn a lovely pink. 

Cliffs of Moher at Sunset

The best viewpoint of the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave 

The best viewpoint to see the Horcrux Cave would be from O’Brien’s Tower. 

This is the castle folly that you can visit on the clifftop. It marks the highest point of the cliffs at 188 metres above sea level.

There is a huge viewpoint area that provides a perfect view of the entrance to Tom Riddle’s Cave below. 

If you can, I would also head up to the top of the tower as well. You get some incredible views of the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter scene from the gaps in the crenelation. 

On a clear day, you can also see Loop Head, Twelve Bens of Connemara, Galway Bay, and even the Aran Islands. 

Cliffs of Moher O'Brien's Tower
O’Brien’s Tower
Cliffs of Moher view from O'Brien's Tower

Can you go inside the Horcrux Cave?

No, you can’t as it wouldn’t be safe. I know, it’s sad. But, if it makes you feel any better they used a set to film the interiors of the cave for the movies anyway. 

The closest you can get to the cave entrance is by taking one of the many Cliffs of Moher boat trips like the Doolin Ferry that sail by the bottom of the cliffs.

These cruises last for around 45 minutes to an hour and come with an entertaining commentary about the history of cliffs, how they were formed, and facts about the filming locations like Harry Potter. 

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter

What else can you do at the Cliffs of Moher?

Beyond chasing Harry Potter filming locations, there are oodles of activities at the Cliffs of Moher. 

The first thing I would recommend is to visit the Cliffs of Moher Experience which is in the hobbit-esque welcome centre.

You can see countless interactive exhibitions explaining how the cliffs were formed and their history.

There is also a gift shop selling a selection of amazing Irish gifts and a few restaurants and cafés.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre
Cliffs of MOher experience

After, you can head up to the viewpoints like O’Brien’s Tower to see the highest point of the cliffs. There is an audio guide you can listen to on your phone as you explore the panorama.

Then, if you’re feeling up to it, you can take a longer walk over to Hag’s Head. It will take around 1-2 hours for the round trip but the views are out of this world.

As one of the most famous and popular attractions in all of Ireland, you can expect the Cliffs of Moher to be busy throughout the day.

But, the further you walk away from the visitor centre, the fewer people there will be. It’s also worth walking further out on the cliffs for the unique panoramic views you get.

Moher Tower Hags Head
Hag’s Head

My top tips for visiting the Cliffs of Moher

  • It’s very windy – I can’t explain how windy this place gets. If you have long hair bring a hair tie. Also, make sure to bring layers! Even in summer, there can be a chilly breeze that bites.
  • Midges – there were SO many bugs here in the summer around the cliffs. Bring DEET. 
  • Wear comfy shoes – Even to see the closer panoramic viewpoints, you will do a bit of walking here on the cliffs. Wear comfy shoes.
  • There are buggies – they can assist you up to O’Brien’s Tower to see the viewpoint if you need it.
  • Stick to the paths – many people veer off the main paths and climb over fences and there have been some tragedies in the past. Heed warning signs and stay safe. 
  • Toilets – make sure to use them in the visitor centre as there are no facilities on the cliffs.
  • Visit in the late evening – the morning will be quieter but the lighting can be bad. The afternoons will be very busy. For fewer crowds and nicer photos, I would visit in the evening instead. 
  • Leave no trace – always leave beauty spots as you found them. Don’t litter and treat the land with respect. 
Cliffs of Moher

What else did they film at the Cliffs of Moher?

Of course, Harry Potter isn’t the only movie that was filmed at the Cliffs of Moher.

The most famous would be The Princess Bride (1987) which was one of my favourite movies as a kid! 

These cliffs were used to film the Cliffs of Insanity where Vizzini docks his boat after kidnapping Buttercup with his comrades Fezzik and Inigo Montoya.

The giant Fezzik scales the mountain using only a rope and Captain Roberts chases after them (don’t try this at home). 

Also Ryan’s Daughter, Leap Year, Into the West, Hear My Song, and The Mackintosh Man were all filmed here.

Cliffs of Insanity
The Cliffs of Insanity

Are there any other Ireland Harry Potter filming locations? 

No, unfortunately, they only filmed this one scene of the Horcrux Cave in Ireland. 

But, if you are a Potterhead you may want to visit Trinity College in Dublin. They have their very own Hogwarts Library. 

The Long Room contains the Old Library at the Book of Kells exhibition and this magical room looks like something out of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! 

They didn’t film any of the movies there but many people call this Dublin’s Harry Potter Library and it’s easy to see why. It looks utterly spellbinding. 

Click here to read my guide for the Long Room Library 

The Long Room Trinity College Harry Potter
The Long Room, Trinity College

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter FAQs

  • Were any Harry Potter scenes filmed in Ireland? YES, they filmed the Horcrux Cave scene from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the Cliffs of Moher.
  • Where is the cliff in Half-Blood Prince? Cliffs of Moher near Doolin in Ireland. 
  • Is the Harry Potter Cave real? Yes, well the entrance is definitely real and you can see it at the Cliffs of Moher. 
  • Where is Tom Riddle’s cave? In the books, it’s on the English seaside at the edge of a black lake. But, in the movies, the cave was filmed at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Read more of my Harry Potter travel guides 

I’m a huge Potterhead myself and I have visited nearly every filming location and Harry Potter attraction in the UK.

So, I have lots of Harry Potter travel guides that will transport you to parts of the Wizarding World;

Visit the Deathly Hallows filming location at Malham Cove

Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford

How to visit Hogsmeade Station in real life

How to spend a night in Hagrid’s Hut

How to visit the real Godric’s Hollow in Lavenham

A complete Forbidden Forest Experience review

Harry Potter locations in Lacock

Harry Potter filming locations in Alnwick Castle

Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh

All the Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland

Where to find Harry Potter in York

How to find the Harry Potter Tree at Blenheim Palace

The Shop That Must Not Be Named Review

How to find Dobby’s Grave in Wales

Harry Potter filming locations in Gloucester Cathedral

How to see the Hogwarts Express in Scotland

How to visit Dumbledore’s Grave in Scotland

Visiting Malfoy Manor in Real life! 

Where to find Tom Riddle’s grave in Edinburgh

Harry Potter locations in Exeter along with Gandy Street and the Room of Requirement

Instagram locations at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

How to visit Hagrid’s Hut in Scotland

How to visit the Harry Potter Waterfall in Scotland

Harry Potter filming locations at Durham Cathedral

Read more of my Ireland guides

Visit Dublin’s magical Marsh’s Library

How to visit the Umbrella Street in Dublin 

How to visit Powerscourt Waterfall Ireland

Visit the magical Muckross Abbey ruins & yew tree

How to photograph the Deck of Cards in Cobh

How to visit Ballysaggartmore Towers in Lismore

How to visit Torc Waterfall in Ireland

Save the Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave for later! 

Cliffs of Moher Harry Potter Cave Ireland

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