Eire is one in every of my favourite nations to journey in – and it has little to do with the truth that I’ve Irish ancestry, and all the pieces to do with the pleasant individuals, lovely landscapes, and charming cities all through the nation.
One in all my favourite Irish cities is Westport. The small city is cute, with a picture-perfect Georgian metropolis heart that you just will not need to depart.
And, regardless of Westport’s small dimension (it is house to lower than 6500 individuals), there’s really lots to do right here whether or not you are excited about historical past, the outside, or some good outdated Irish craic.
The place is Westport, Eire?
Westport, as its identify would counsel, is situated on the west coast of Eire. It is constructed on the river Carrowbeg, which empties into the Atlantic in Clew Bay in County Mayo.
Westport is roughly midway between Galway and Sligo, making it a superb base for exploring the western a part of Eire.
What’s Westport identified for?
Westport itself is understood for its charming metropolis heart with Georgian structure, stone bridges, and tree-lined riverfront streets. Westport is a delegated heritage city, and has received “Tidiest City” accolades a number of instances.
Westport can also be identified for being a great base for climbing the close by Croagh Patrick, biking the Nice Western Greenway, or visiting one of many a number of blue flag seashores on Clew Bay.
Is Westport, Eire price visiting?
Sure, I positively assume it’s! (And I am not simply saying that as a result of my very own Irish household comes from County Mayo…) Westport is a pleasant little city that is straightforward to achieve and filled with distinctive issues to do. Learn on to study all about them!
Be aware: I most not too long ago visited Westport as a part of a paid partnership with Globus Journeys. I did a brand new Selection Touring journey with them known as Green with Envy: Ireland By Design, which was numerous enjoyable! I beforehand visited Westport on my on on an Eire street journey.
Prime issues to do in Westport, Eire
Listed here are all of the belongings you will not need to miss once you go to Westport, Eire:
1. Go to Westport Home
The historical past of Westport actually begins at Westport Home.
Centuries in the past, this space was referred to as Umaill, and was dominated by the Ó Máille clan (of which the well-known “Pirate Queen” Grace O’Malley was part of). The Ó Máille clan constructed a fortress close to the pinnacle of Clew Bay, and a village grew up round it. It is identify was Cathair na Mart, which is Westport’s Irish identify right this moment.
The O’Malley clan’s authentic fortress was burned down in 1583, and the land ultimately handed (by means of marriage) to the Browne household. Within the 1730s, John Browne constructed the present Westport Home atop the ruins of the outdated O’Malley fortress.
Westport Home right this moment is privately owned by the Hughes household, and is an attraction price visiting.
It isn’t removed from the middle of present-day Westport (you’ll be able to stroll if you would like), and you’ll take a tour of the house to study all about its historical past. You may even see the unique dungeons, which have been probably utilized by the Pirate Queen herself.
If you happen to do not need to tour the house (or in case you’re visiting exterior of opening hours), you’ll be able to nonetheless discover the woodland trails and gardens of the Westport Property without cost!
Westport Property can also be house to the Pirate Journey Park, which is a small kid-focused theme park with rides and points of interest.
2. Discover Westport city
Previous to John Browne creating Westport Home, the city of Cathair na Mart was really located on the home’s entrance garden. Browne determined to maneuver the entire city a few mile inland, and employed architect William Leeson to plan out the brand new city of Westport.
Westport is exclusive in that it is a deliberate city, and you’ll definitely see this once you exit and discover.
The city straddles the Carrowbeg River, which has a tree-lined financial institution on all sides (the North Mall and South Mall), that are related by charming arched stone bridges. South of the river are streets with names like Bridge Avenue, Store Avenue, Quay Avenue, and many others., and lots of of them meet in a sq. known as The Octagon.
There are brightly-colored buildings and plenty of outlets, pubs, and cafes to discover. Undoubtedly enable a while to only wander right here.
3. Take heed to stay music in an Irish pub
Talking of pubs, Westport boasts some nice ones!
Galway often is the “cultural capital” of Eire and identified for its stay music, however Westport can also be a great spot if you wish to take heed to conventional tunes in a comfortable pub.
Some native favourite spots for stay music embrace Matt Molloy’s (owned by Matt Molloy himself, who’s a part of the Irish people band the Chieftains), Porterhouse simply subsequent door, and JJ O’Malleys pub.
The music you will hear in Westport is the down-home, conventional Irish form the place you will squeeze right into a small pub and sway with strangers to the Irish tunes with a pint in-hand. It is a must-have Eire expertise!
4. Bike the Nice Western Greenway
Westport is the start line of the Nice Western Greenway, a 26 mile-long (44 kilometers) rail path designed for biking and strolling. The path connects Westport to Achill Island, passing by means of the cities of Newport and Mulranny because it skirts round Clew Bay.
The Greenway is the primary of its form in Eire, and gives up nice views of all the pieces from Clew Bay to Croagh Patrick and the Nephin Beg Mountains. The Greenway follows an outdated transformed rail line, which means it is a light experience with out many inclines.
There are a pair firms in Westport that can hire you a motorcycle, set you up with maps and advised stops, and allow you to discover the Greenway at your leisure for a day. (Eire Wild Escapes gives each regular bike hire, in addition to electric bike hire plus assist planning your route.)
5. Cruise Clew Bay
Clew Bay is an always-present characteristic simply exterior of Westport, and taking a cruise to see its highlights is price placing in your to-do record.
This narrated Clew Bay cruise departs from Westport Harbour within the afternoon, and will get you up near Inishgort Lighthouse, a seal colony, an island that was owned by John Lennon, and extra. Alongside the way in which you will additionally hear tales about Croagh Patrick and Grace O’Malley; it is an effective way to spend 90 minutes! (Book this cruise here.)
6. Take a baking class
Lastly, a extremely distinctive factor you are able to do in Westport is to take a hands-on cooking class the place you will study to make conventional Irish soda bread and scones from scratch.
The expertise is gorgeous and intimate, and provides you a glimpse into Eire’s meals traditions. Afterwards, in fact, you will get to style your creations alongside a pleasant cup of tea!
This expertise is known as “The Irish Soda Bread Approach,” and you’ll book it here.
Issues to do close to Westport
Like I discussed earlier, Westport is completely located to discover western Eire, so listed below are a pair different issues inside a brief drive that you may also get pleasure from when you’re in Westport.
1. Climb Croagh Patrick
Rising roughly 2500 toes (765 meters) above the village of Murrisk in County Mayo, Croagh Patrick or “the Reek” is without doubt one of the most well-known (and holiest) mountains in Eire.
The pyramid-shaped mountain overlooking Clew Bay has been a website of pilgrimage for 1000’s of years, first for pagans, and later for Christians. Croagh Patrick is claimed to be the spot the place Eire’s patron saint, St. Patrick, spent the 40 days of Lent praying and fasting as a part of his effort to transform Eire to Christianity. It is also alleged to be the spot from which St. Patrick drove all of the snakes (and demons) out of Eire.
Right this moment, there is a small church on the high of the Holy Mountain, and folks nonetheless make pilgrimages there. The preferred day to climb The Reek is the final Sunday of July, or “Reek Sunday,” however individuals climb it year-round.
You in fact do not need to be on pilgrimage to climb Croagh Patrick; anybody is free to climb it, and you’ll count on the mildly strenuous hike to take at the least 3-4 hours. (Remember to costume correctly for ANY sort of climate in case you’re going up it.)
2. Drive round Achill Island
One other must-do close to Westport is to go to Achill Island. This island lies roughly 45 minutes away from Westport, and is the biggest offshore island in Eire. (It is related by a bridge, although, so no ferries are mandatory to go to!)
Achill Island is house to tall sea cliffs, peat bogs, and a few of Eire’s greatest seashores. The Wild Atlantic Approach passes by means of this island, and touring on is slim seaside roads sure does really feel fairly wild!
The highest issues to do on Achill Island embrace taking the Atlantic Drive across the southern a part of the island for epic coastal views (must-stop spots embrace Cloughmore and the White Cliffs of Ashleam), climbing to see the Croaghaun cliffs (the very best sea cliffs in Eire at 2,257 ft), and visiting a number of the blue flag seashores on the island like Keel Seaside and Keem Strand.
What I really like probably the most about Achill Island is that it hasn’t actually been found by most vacationers to Eire but; once I was there, the roads have been largely empty!
The place to remain in Westport
Westport is a well-liked city to go to in Eire, which means there are many choices for the place to remain!
Some locations I might suggest embrace:
- Westport Plaza Hotel – That is the top-rated Westport resort on TripAdvisor, and is the place I stayed on my most up-to-date journey. It has massive rooms, a spa, and a great on-site restaurant. (Book a room here)
- The Wyatt Hotel – This charming boutique resort is situated on the Octagon in Westport, making it an ideal base for exploring the city! (Book a room here)
- Westport Coast Hotel – If you wish to keep someplace with a view in Westport, then the Coast Resort is ideal. It is situated at Westport Harbour, and a few rooms overlook Clew Bay. (Book a room here)
- Woodside Lodge – Desire a B&B expertise as an alternative of staying in a resort? Then I can extremely suggest this family-run mattress and breakfast situated simply exterior town heart. That is the place I stayed on my first go to to Westport! (Book a room here)
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Who’s able to plan a visit to Westport?