Top Picks in and around Wonderful Westport.

Westport is a bustling traditional Irish town that welcomes thousands of tourists all year round. This town and the surrounding areas have good public transport connections making it easy to visit the region.

Here are just some of the great things to do:

Westport.

Westport has so much for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of my top picks:

  • Westport House is a wonderful vast historic house with plenty to keep everyone busy.
  • Local walking and cycle routes.
  • Great Western Greenway
  • Clew Bay Bike trail
  • Tourmakeady waterfall.
  • Croagh Patrick
  • Wild Nephin National Park

Westport House activities

Westport House, which is right in the town, has plenty of activities to offer every visitor from their Pirate Adventure Park, camping and caravanning, and the wonderful historic house. Don’t forget to check out the great new activities for 2022.

Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House.

This is essential for all children.

Here are some of the rides:

  • Pirate Queen Swinging Ship.
  • Pirates Plunge Flume Ride.
  • Cannonball Run slide.

Other great activities include:

  • Mini Zip Line
  • Famous Swan Pedalo Boats.
  • Indoor play area includes the Pirates den and Tiny Town.

Great new activities for 2022 at Westport House include:

  • Den building in the woods.
  • New Climbing Wall.
  • Beautiful Bell tents are available to hire.
  • Seed potting to help the little ones learn about nature and growing plants.
  • New Road Train Tour, a 30-minute looped tour of the estate.

Remember to look out for the new food on offer.

Westport House, the historic home of the Browne family.

This privately run house, which is loved by the local community, stands on 430 acres and has welcomed over 5 million visitors.

Take plenty of time to visit the many historic rooms in the house:

  • The Long Gallery with stunning family portraits.
  • The Chinese room with hand-painted wallpaper based on the story of the Willow Pattern.
  • The Basement Kitchen with windows located high up to prevent the staff from seeing how the other half lived. Local deer and game were prepared here in the basement kitchen and cooked on the historic cast-iron range.

If you would like to enjoy a walk or even cycle around the area, here are some ideas to get you outdoors.

Clew Bay

Westport House Loop walk.

This walk takes place on the grounds of Westport House.

You can also enjoy the beautiful parklands which were designed by “Capability” Brown who was known for his uncluttered garden style.

Details of the walk:

  • There are 3 possible starting points: Westport House, Hotel Westport Bridge or the Quay entrance.
  • This is an easy walk on the flat or you can take a slightly more challenging path through the woods.
  • Distance: 3.5km.
  • Time allowed:1 hour.

Trail surface:  Flat walking path with some uneven surfaces.

Longer walk available in Westport.

Old Railway Loop.

This lovely walk takes you along a tree-lined 2.5km walking and cycling trail.

It follows part of the old Midland Great Western Railway which dates back to 1875.

Walk details:

  • Starting point: Bridge at the top of High street, Westport.
  • Distance: about 5km.
  • Time allowed: 2 hours.
  • This is an easy walk but High Street is steep.

Trail surface: Flat walking path with some uneven surfaces.

For all the above walks, here is the link for the full details.

Great Western Greenway.

The Great Western Greenway follows the route of the 1937 Westport to Achill railway for most of the route.  It goes from Westport to Achill Island.

Here are the details:

  • It is the longest off-road cycling experience in the country.
  • 44km in length.
  • It takes in the town of Newport, a picturesque town on Clew Bay, and the seaside village of Mulranny.
  • This can be walked or cycled in stages.
  • You should allow 8-9 hours of walking and 3-4 hours of cycling.

Here is the link for full details on the Great Western Greenway.

The Great Western Greenway

Clew Bay Bike Trail.

This is a circular route that incorporates the Great Western greenway.

There is an excellent website that gives you all the information on this route along with information on all the areas that you will pass through. It is well worth checking out in advance.

The site even offers you a sample itinerary with an estimate of the time to get to each place.

The website gives all the details including the two ferry companies which are very useful.

Tourmakeady Waterfall.

The loop begins in the village goes through the wood and includes the fabulous waterfall. In the Irish language, Tourmakeady means “the bleach field of the Keady family”. However, neither the flax nor the Keadys are here today. This waterfall is a hidden gem and is located about a 30-minute drive from Westport.

Here is some information about this location:

  • Loop Trail starts from the village and goes through the wood giving you the opportunity to see to a lovely waterfall.
  • It is dog friendly.

This Discover Ireland link gives walking directions to reach the waterfall

https://www.discoverireland.ie/mayo/tourmakeady-loop

Croagh Patrick Co. Mayo

Croagh Patrick.

This famous mountain, just 15 minutes outside Westport, is also known as “The Reek” and reaches over 750 meters. On the last Sunday of July each year, which is known as “Reek Sunday”, thousands of people climb this mountain, some hardy folks even climb in their bare feet. Remember that it is a challenging climb and you need to be well prepared.

Before you set out you will need:

  • Hiking boots or strong footwear.
  • Layered clothing, with rain gear, to cope with the swiftly changing weather.
  • A climbing stick for the more difficult parts of the climb.
  • Plenty of water.
  • Sun hat.
  • Check the weather forecast before you set out.
  • Finally, remember to charge your phone.

The climbing surface is quite testing and strenuous in places. It is steep and uneven with loose scree which is loose stones on a slope or a hill. Remember to take extra care near the top of the mountain and you should allow about 3 ½ hours for the day’s climb.

Car Parking.

You can start from the village of Murrisk where there is car parking.

Here is a link for further details.

Scenic View of Mountains in Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, Co Mayo

Autumn aerial view over Wild Nephin Wilderness Area to the Nephin Beg Mountains. Ballycroy National Park, County Mayo, Ireland.

Wild Nephin National Park.

A short drive, 45 minutes, northwest of Westport is the Wild Nephin National Park which covers over 15,000 hectares and consists of boggy and mountainous terrain. In the past, this land was used for fishing, shooting, and hillwalking.

The Claggan Mountain Boardwalk is designed for all users including wheelchair users.

Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre is very welcoming in wild Mayo.

Nightime in the park-the Dark Sky.

This is Ireland’s first Dark Sky Park where you can see over 4,500 stars along with planets in our solar system and the Milky Way.

Here is the link for further information on the park.

Ordnance Survey Mapping of the area.

We have three Ordnance Survey Adventure Maps, 1:25,000 scale, for this area:

Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick, and Clare Island Adventure map and this is the link.

South Mayo Adventure map and here is the link.

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way map and this is the link.

Have a wonderful time in Westport and let us know your top places to visit around Ireland.

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