Eire is one in all my favourite nations to journey in – and it has little to do with the truth that I’ve Irish ancestry, and every little thing to do with the pleasant folks, lovely landscapes, and charming cities all through the nation.
One in all my favourite Irish cities is Westport. The small city is lovely, with a picture-perfect Georgian metropolis heart that you just will not need to go away.
And, regardless of Westport’s small dimension (it is dwelling to lower than 6500 folks), there’s really quite a bit to do right here whether or not you are concerned with historical past, the outside, or some good outdated Irish craic.
The place is Westport, Eire?
Westport, as its identify would recommend, 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 recognized for?
Westport itself is thought 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 occasions.
Westport can be recognized for being a superb 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 value visiting?
Sure, I undoubtedly 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 succeed in and full of distinctive issues to do. Learn on to study all about them!
Notice: I most not too long ago visited Westport as a part of a paid partnership with Globus Journeys. I did a brand new Alternative Touring journey with them known as Inexperienced with Envy: Eire By Design, which was quite a lot of 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 while 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 often called 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 citadel close to the top of Clew Bay, and a village grew up round it. It is identify was Cathair na Mart, which is Westport’s Irish identify as we speak.
The O’Malley clan’s unique citadel was burned down in 1583, and the land finally handed (by marriage) to the Browne household. Within the 1730s, John Browne constructed the present Westport Home atop the ruins of the outdated O’Malley citadel.
Westport Home as we speak is privately owned by the Hughes household, and is an attraction value visiting.
It is not removed from the middle of present-day Westport (you possibly can stroll if you would like), and you may take a tour of the home to study all about its historical past. You’ll be able to even see the unique dungeons, which have been seemingly utilized by the Pirate Queen herself.
In the event you do not need to tour the house (or if you happen to’re visiting outdoors of opening hours), you possibly can nonetheless discover the woodland trails and gardens of the Westport Property without spending a dime!
Westport Property can be dwelling to the Pirate Journey Park, which is a small kid-focused theme park with rides and sights.
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 may actually see this while you exit and discover.
The city straddles the Carrowbeg River, which has a tree-lined financial institution on both 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 plenty of of them meet in a sq. known as The Octagon.
There are brightly-colored buildings and many outlets, pubs, and cafes to discover. Undoubtedly permit a while to only wander right here.
3. Hearken to stay music in an Irish pub
Talking of pubs, Westport boasts some nice ones!
Galway stands out as the “cultural capital” of Eire and recognized for its stay music, however Westport can be a great place if you wish to take heed to conventional tunes in a comfortable pub.
Some native favourite spots for stay music embody 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 may hear in Westport is the down-home, conventional Irish variety the place you may 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 place to begin 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 the cities of Newport and Mulranny because it skirts round Clew Bay.
The Greenway is the primary of its variety in Eire, and affords up nice views of every little thing from Clew Bay to Croagh Patrick and the Nephin Beg Mountains. The Greenway follows an outdated transformed rail line, which means it is a mild journey with out many inclines.
There are a pair corporations in Westport that can lease you a motorbike, set you up with maps and advised stops, and allow you to discover the Greenway at your leisure for a day. (Eire Wild Escapes affords each common bike rent, in addition to electrical bike rent plus assist planning your route.)
5. Cruise Clew Bay
Clew Bay is an always-present characteristic simply outdoors of Westport, and taking a cruise to see its highlights is value 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 once owned by John Lennon, and extra. Alongside the best way you may additionally hear tales about Croagh Patrick and Grace O’Malley; it is an effective way to spend 90 minutes! (E-book this cruise right here.)
6. Take a baking class
Lastly, a very distinctive factor you are able to do in Westport is to take a hands-on cooking class the place you may study to make conventional Irish soda bread and scones from scratch.
The expertise is beautiful and intimate, and provides you a glimpse into Eire’s meals traditions. Afterwards, after all, you may get to style your creations alongside a pleasant cup of tea!
This expertise is known as “The Irish Soda Bread Manner,” and you may ebook it right here.
Issues to do close to Westport
Like I discussed earlier, Westport is completely located to discover western Eire, so listed here are a pair different issues inside a brief drive that you may additionally 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 alleged 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 presupposed to be the spot from which St. Patrick drove all of the snakes (and demons) out of Eire.
In the present day, there is a small church on the high of the Holy Mountain, and other people nonetheless make pilgrimages there. The most well-liked day to climb The Reek is the final Sunday of July, or “Reek Sunday,” however folks climb it year-round.
You after all do not should be on pilgrimage to climb Croagh Patrick; anybody is free to climb it, and you may anticipate the mildly strenuous hike to take at the very least 3-4 hours. (Make sure to costume correctly for ANY sort of climate if you happen to’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 vital to go to!)
Achill Island is dwelling to tall sea cliffs, peat bogs, and a few of Eire’s greatest seashores. The Wild Atlantic Manner passes by this island, and touring on is slender seaside roads sure does really feel fairly wild!
The highest issues to do on Achill Island embody taking the Atlantic Drive across the southern a part of the island for epic coastal views (must-stop spots embody Cloughmore and the White Cliffs of Ashleam), mountaineering to see the Croaghaun cliffs (the best sea cliffs in Eire at 2,257 ft), and visiting among the blue flag seashores on the island like Keel Seaside and Keem Strand.
What I like probably the most about Achill Island is that it hasn’t actually been found by most vacationers to Eire but; after I was there, the roads have been principally 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 would advocate embody:
- Westport Plaza Lodge – That is the top-rated Westport lodge on TripAdvisor, and is the place I stayed on my most up-to-date journey. It has giant rooms, a spa, and a superb on-site restaurant. (E-book a room right here)
- The Wyatt Lodge – This charming boutique lodge is situated on the Octagon in Westport, making it an amazing base for exploring the city! (E-book a room right here)
- Westport Coast Lodge – If you wish to keep someplace with a view in Westport, then the Coast Lodge is ideal. It is situated at Westport Harbour, and a few rooms overlook Clew Bay. (E-book a room right here)
- Woodside Lodge – Desire a B&B expertise as an alternative of staying in a lodge? Then I can extremely advocate this family-run mattress and breakfast situated simply outdoors town heart. That is the place I stayed on my first go to to Westport! (E-book a room right here)
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Who’s able to plan a visit to Westport?