My early morning stroll was serene. The one sounds had been birdsong and the Carrowbeg River because it handed via the village heart, skimming plant-covered stone partitions and dashing down weirs on the best way to Clew Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Later, I relaxed with tea and a scone in a village tea store. The conversations had been heat and pleasant. Everybody made eye contact and mentioned, “Hiya,” or “How are you?” It was straightforward to see why Westport received the title of Finest Place to Dwell in Eire.

Westport, a village in County Mayo, sits on Clew Bay. Croagh Patrick, Eire’s Holy Mountain, is an everchanging backdrop. The primary village was settled within the 1700s. Set at a crossroads, Westport grew to become a market city that thrives at this time.

Westport is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot on the Wild Atlantic Method. It has nature, historical past, artwork, music, folklore, conventional meals, and beautiful libations. It’s straightforward to immerse within the native lifestyle.

Listed below are the explanations I fell in love with this charming village.

Westport House - Westport Ireland
Westport Home
(Picture Credit score: Kevin Scanlon)

1. Westport Home

In 1780, Westport Home was the middle of Westport Village. However an enterprising lord had the city moved to a dryer space away from the wetlands and ocean tide. Consequently, Westport grew to become the primary deliberate group in Ireland, with Westport Home as its crowning jewel.

Westport Home historical past is charming. From a Sixteenth-century girl pirate’s fortress, via 292 years of deeds, titles, additions, and restoration, Westport Home is essentially the most enchanting constructing in Westport. Within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, life within the “Massive Home” (its native nickname) was very similar to the grand English costume dramas. That includes artwork, music, and indulgent meals, gentry of the time partied and performed within the nice home and 400 acres of woodlands, gardens, and waterfront. An invite to Westport Home was a star on one’s social calendar that elevated your standing immediately.

A home tour will set the stage in your go to to Westport, illuminating the fascinating those who have known as it house. Guided excursions are led by a educated docent. After the group-guided tour, you’ll have time to wander the dungeons and examine the downstairs kitchen and larder. E book tickets to Westport House on their web site.

Additionally loved on the grounds are swan boats, picnic areas, disc golf, meals concessions, the Pirate Playground, and plenty of extra actions. Plan on spending many of the day on the property. The wonder is unmatchable, and the actions are all family-friendly.

The Lavender Shop - Westport Ireland
Lavender Store
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

2. Stroll In The Village

The small village of fewer than 7,000 residents is right for strolling. I counsel a stroll starting on the Octagon within the city heart. From there, head northeast on James Road. Cross the river and wander down the treelined North and South Malls returning to James Road and your start line.

Alongside the best way, you’ll discover tons to discover. Fascinating outlets, cafes, eating places, conventional pubs, stone bridges, historic buildings, monuments, church buildings, parks, horse-drawn carriage excursions, cycle leases, and extra can be found. You possibly can simply spend the day meandering via the village and having a protracted leisurely lunch. Use this map (PDF) to plan your stroll.

Weekly walks in the summertime will be joined within the village. Walks may also be organized by appointment. Use the Heritage Heart’s Historical Walks web page for schedules and itineraries.

3. Go to A Pub Or Two

As with all Irish villages, the pub is the middle of group life. Welcoming to all, pubs are the place to drop in for a pint of ale, a fast chunk to eat, some trad (conventional Irish music), or an opportunity to talk with locals and listen to the newest craic (krak), or enjoyable, leisure, gossip.

With over 50 pubs within the space, you’ll be spoiled for selection. I like to recommend a pub crawl beginning on the Octagon down Store Road, heading left on Bridge Road, left on South Mall, left on James Road, and again to the Octagon. Here’s a list of pubs within the space. Many have trad every night time and a few supply early periods on Sundays.

Climbing Croagh Patrick - Westport Ireland
Climbing Croagh Patrick
(Picture Credit score: Kevin Scanlon)

4. Climb The Mighty Croagh Patrick

Eire’s Holy Mountain is the rationale many people come to Westport. With a 2,507-foot summit, “the reek” just isn’t Eire’s highest mountain. Nevertheless, it’s the most climbed. Many climbers are on a religious journey; others search a bodily problem. I admit that I didn’t climb Croagh Patrick, however my companion and fellow journey photographer, Kevin Scanlon, made the summit.

On the high of the mountain is a small chapel devoted to Saint Patrick, who is alleged to have fasted on the mountaintop for 40 days.

Making it to the highest isn’t important, simply being there’s a pretty expertise. Climbers are pleasant and supportive of each other. There’s a customer heart on the base of the mountain. Throughout the highway, within the village of Murrisk, you’ll discover a restaurant and outlets. The views and picture ops from Croagh Patrick are unmatched.

Clew Bay Heritage Center and Bell
Westport Fireplace Station Bell
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

5. Heritage Heart And Archaeological Path

Probably the most stunning factor I realized about in Westport was the Archaeological Path. I found it after I went to the Clew Bay Heritage Center in Westport Quay. The heritage heart is situated within the quay (harbor/marina). The small stone constructing is full of artifacts that present the lifestyle in Westport from the Sixteenth century to current day. It’s fascinating, particularly the dimensions mannequin of the city.

In case you are trying to find ancestry from Mayo, fill out a kind on the heart. A neighborhood genealogist will seek for you and counsel locations you would possibly discover info.

Starting on the heritage heart is the Clew Bay Archaeological Trail in County Mayo. Man has lived within the space for over 6,000 years. On the path, you may see hundreds of years of heritage in 1 day. From neolithic rock artwork to the deliberate city of Westport, the path is enchanting. Along with the historic artifacts, you will notice among the most stunning surroundings in all of Eire.

Early morning swimmer in Clew Bay.
“Swim within the chilly Clew Bay any time of yr. It’s protected from boat visitors and has stairs and handrails that can assist you into the water.”
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

6. Pedal, Paddle, Hike, And Swim

Biking In Westport

Westport and Clew Bay have been granted Eire’s first “Biking Pleasant Locations” by the European Biking Federation. Biking is likely one of the finest methods to see the realm. Bike paths and bike racks are in every single place.

The Great Western Greenway attracts cyclists worldwide to its 27 miles of paved path for wheels and ft. You’ll cross via nation and waterside landscapes, all the time free from autos. Discover different biking routes with Westport Tourism’s guide.

Kayaking In Westport

Kayaking in Clew Bay or out to sea may be very standard. There’s a location for all talents to paddle the bay searching for wildlife. Outfitters will be discovered within the Westport Quay. One of the standard is the Adventure Islands Center.

Mountaineering In Westport

Strolling for all talents and schedules is in every single place within the Westport space. Walks quick and lengthy throughout the countryside or village will be discovered on this Westport Walks Guide.

Swimming In Clew Bay, Westport

Swim within the chilly Clew Bay any time of yr. It’s protected from boat visitors and has stairs and handrails that can assist you into the water. Go to Westport Quay in direction of the Heritage Heart. Cross the middle and comply with the highway because it ends in a parking lot. Proceed via the automobile park across the soccer discipline to search out stairs, picnic tables, and many swimmers.

Calamari and chips at Westport Quay Ireland.
“I attempted the fried calamari particular one night. It was cooked completely and accompanied by chips and an arugula salad.”
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

7. Seafood In The Quay

Clew Bay is legendary for its bountiful seafood. Scales or shells, you’re more likely to discover it seasonally in eateries, fish mongers, and meals outlets. Along with the haul from the Atlantic, aqua-farming is a giant enterprise within the area. Lobsters, oysters, mussels, and salmon are sustainably farmed within the bay’s nutrient-rich waters.

The jetty has quite a few eateries, outlets, boat excursions, a museum, nature trails, and a park for teenagers. You’ll discover seafood served in each restaurant year-round. Two locations we totally loved fish and the ambiance are:

The Helm Seafood

The Helm Bar and Restaurant, situated within the Westport Quay, is a contemporary pub with a robust emphasis on native meals. The ambiance is family-friendly, heat, and welcoming. I attempted the fried calamari particular one night. It was cooked completely and accompanied by chips and an arugula salad. These crisp golden rings with the tender creamy calamari have been in my desires.

The Towers Seafood

My second suggestion is The Towers. The restaurant and bar are standard with locals and guests. The menu modifications day by day and contains seasonal fish. Parts are beneficiant and completely ready. There’s indoor and outside seating. Exterior, a playground is situated subsequent to The Towers beer backyard. You possibly can control the youngsters whereas having fun with a pint.

Hotel Westport outdoor dining garden. Westport Ireland
Resort Westport outside eating backyard
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

8. Resort Westport

Hotel Westport is the proper place to remain whereas visiting Westport. Situated on the 400-acre Westport Home property, you’re ideally located in strolling distance of the village or the marina. You possibly can chill out on the indoor pool, stroll the grounds, or indulge your self on the spa. The family-friendly, four-star lodging has a conventional vibe with all the trendy facilities. Rooms can be found for solo vacationers, households, and people searching for an expensive getaway. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Libations can be found within the bar and lounge.

Ballyhaunis Ireland train station
Ballyhaunis Eire practice station
(Picture Credit score: Mary Charlebois)

Getting There

Our journey to Westport was from Donegal City, simply over 100 miles. We went to Ballyhaunis by bus, then onto Westport by practice. There’s a practice service from Galway and Dublin. From Shannon, you’ll go by bus.

A automobile will be useful in case you plan to go away Westport City. If not, it’s a small, very walkable space, and public transit is dependable and cheap.

Professional Tip: I desire to not drive in Eire. The left-hand automobiles and roads make me nervous. I like to go away the driving to another person. It’s one of the best ways to see the countryside and chill out.

For extra info on Westport, go to Destination Westport.

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