Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park | 45 mins
Westport House is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions – and is rightly called the most beautiful house in Ireland.With over 30 rooms on show, visitors can immerse themselves in life as far back as the 16th century when Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Connacht ruled the land and seas around the estate.
Built upon the foundations of one of her many castles which can still be toured in the dungeons today. Pirate Adventure Park is home to a variety of fun activities for the family including water slides, miniature railway, go-karting, boat rides and so many other activities to keep the family entertained throughout the day. As a primarily outdoor attraction, we recommend that you plan appropriately – this may mean sun hats, sun screen, umbrellas and rain gear all on the same day!
Greenway Cycle | 45 mins
Westport to Achill Greenway
All along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500km touring route that runs the length of Ireland’s western coastline, you’ll find cycling routes for every ability. For those seeking a relaxed cycle, Mayo’s Great Western Greenway is perfect.
As it’s the longest off-road route in Ireland, you don’t have to be mindful of too much traffic or road rules. Following an old railway line from the lively town of Westport to the scenic oasis of Achill Island, it’s sheltered from the main road and is just 42km from start to finish – great for cyclists of every ability and age. For those who want an even shorter cycle, it can be broken down into segments like Westport to Newport, Newport to Mulranny or Mulranny to Achill. The full route could easily be completed in one day, however we have broken it down here into two days for a more gentle jaunt and to allow more time to explore off-trail.
Bike rentals in the area will happily collect you and your bike in Achill. Those bringing their own bike can cycle back (if feeling energetic) or simply bring it on the bus that leaves from Ted Lavelle's Bar, which is on the centre of the island.
Croagh Patrick | 60 mins
Best known for its association with Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit in 441AD, Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage destination since pre-Christian times. Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are to be had from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. Follow the steps of Patrick and in doing so meet people from far and near. It is one of the highest peaks in the West of Ireland. It rises 750 metres (2,500 feet) into the sky above County Mayo.
Clew Bay | 60 mins
Clew Bay has, according to tradition, 365 islands, one for every day of the year. It’s probably the most beautiful bay in Ireland, and the views of it from all around Westport are spectacular.
The biggest, Clare Island, guards the entrance to the sheltered bay and is home to 130 people. With its Blue Flag beach and many historical and archaeological sites, Clare is a must-see island for the visitor willing to take a short ferry ride. Most of the others in the bay are are uninhabited, although a few brave souls cling to the age-old tradition of living on a small island all year round.
The islands in Clew Bay are partly drowned drumlins, which are elongated, steep-sided hills, sometimes described as whale-backed, that were formed when glaciers reshaped the landscape in the last ice age. Many of the hills on land around the bay are similar drumlins. The bay is surrounded by some of the best Blue Flag beaches in Ireland perfect for many water sports.
Achill Island | 80 mins
Lashed by the ocean, carved by the wind and swept by the rain, Achill is one of Ireland's most spectacular and beautiful places.
Achill's rugged landscape features dramatic cliffs, soaring mountains, remote lakes and secluded beaches - including no fewer than five Blue Flag beaches. This unique landscape is ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities, from surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving to hillwalking, fishing, golf and many more.
A visit to Achill can be as active, or as relaxed, as you choose. Achill offers over a dozen quality restaurants with fresh Atlantic seafood a speciality - and its pubs and bars provide a traditional Irish welcome. The imprint of past generations is everywhere on Achill, from megalithic tombs to ancient forts, historic churches to deserted villages.
Achill's long history features a rich cast of characters, from the Pirate Queen Granuaille to artists and writers including Paul Henry and Heinrich Boll.
Downpatrick Head, County Mayo | 85 mins
Sitting out in the wild Atlantic Ocean, Downpatrick Head is an area of unrivalled coastal beauty and historical importance. Just a few miles north of Ballycastle village, County Mayo, is the the windswept outcrop of Downpatrick Head. This is the perfect place to park up and stretch your legs with an invigorating coastal walk.
The name Downpatrick is derived from a time when St Patrick himself founded a church here. You can still see the ruins of the church building, a stone cross and holy well here today. This was once a popular pilgrim destination, and today the crowds still gather here on the last Sunday of July – known as Garland Sunday – to hear mass at this sacred site.