You could say that the ferry from Roonagh Quay to Clare Island departs from dock 9 ¾. It is actually a small pier, quite unassuming, but from which you reach an amazing place, so much so that the 25-minute trip that separates the mainland from Clare Island seems too short, a destination so beautiful merits a long and arduous journey like in the novels. Clare Island is the largest of the 365 islands that make up the archipelago of Clew Bay - one for each day of the year according to the legend.
The ancient amphitheatres were built in the form of an incomplete circle, the opening of which was occupied by the stage, the centre of attention and connection point between the two ends of the tiers. Clew Bay inspires this exact same feeling: the city surrounding it, in place of the amphitheatre, holding hands, all eyes turning toward the ocean that winds between the many islands of the basin (365 in fact, just like the days in the year according to legend), as if in a common connection.
The Clew Bay Garden Trail offers not only a much coveted insider’s view of select gardens, but a chance to bring your questions, thoughts and ideas to the gardeners themselves as well as sharing knowledge and enthusiasm with other visitors.
The Greenway is the 42 km stretch of path which was formerly the Victorian train track of the Midlands Great Western Railway which has become a recreational phenomenon.The 42 km route is broken up into three journeys: Westport to Newport (11 km); Newport to Mulranny (18 km); and Mulranny to Achill (13 km).
Clew Bay, (Cuan Mó) is the large bay in south Mayo punctuated by Achill Island to the north and towns like Mulranny, Newport, Westport, Murrisk, Lecanvey and Louisburgh, with Clare Island like a giant humpback whale, guarding the bay from the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean.
Iconic mountain offers both bracing challenge and outstanding coastal views for believers and unbelievers alike.
The Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail is a 61-kilometre trail with its starting point in the town of Balla to the end point in the village of Murrisk at the base of Mayo’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick. The trail was originally walked from west to east as a pilgrim route. It is mainly at low level but increases to over 300 metres upon reaching the base of Croagh Patrick.
For an easy stroll, while observing life in a rock pool, the beach at Old Head provides a lot of
interest and has a satisfying cliff walk and the best woodland habitat around, with excellent
Mulranny was named Ireland’s Best Small Tourism Town in 2013 and lives up to its name. As a scenic village situated on Wild Atlantic Way coastal route, it overlooks the expanse of Clew Bay with all its islands, including the western sleeping giant Clare Island. In 2011, Mulranny won an EDEN Award for being a European Destination of Excellence.
Murrisk is a small village nestled at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s pilgrimage mountain. Located some 8km from Westport, the village looks out over Clew Bay and its myriad drumlin islands. Legend has it there is an island for every day of the year.
Founded in the 1400’s by Pope Callistus for the Augustinians, the abbey is perched on the gently lapping shore and its ruins and maintained graveyard make for a contemplative and interesting hour or two.
The National Famine Memorial comprises a bronze sculpture of a ship out of which skeletons seem to float upwards, becoming the very sails which propel the ‘Coffin Ship’ which artist John Behan called it to symbolise all the lost lives of the Irish who sailed to America to escape the great famine of 1847.
Mayo’s historical currents meet in intriguing ways in the coastal parish of Burrishoole in Southwest Mayo.Somewhat eclipsed by the latter day and artificially created town of Newport (formerly Newport-Pratt) the suppressed habitation of Burrishoole lives on in the hearts and cultural memories of many in this corner of Mayo.
A lovely small town, Newport (Baile Ui Fhiachain) is nestled on the mouth of the Black Oak River on the north-east shores of Clew Bay in the Barony of Burrishoole, some 11 km from Westport on the road to Achill and 18 km from Castlebar.
A heritage town, Westport is architecturally pleasing to walk around, notable buildings include Westport House, designed by German architect Richard Cassels, the Holy Trinity Church and the former Bank of Ireland building on the mall, one of the first branches to be established outside of Dublin. The town is a great base from which to explore South Mayo.
Westport House was built by the Browne family in the 18th Century and the family own and run the property to this day. As the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Sligo, the house has great historical significance. In 1960, Denis, 10th Marquess of Sligo, opened the house and its lush grounds to tourists and since the passing of the 11th Marquess of Sligo in July 2014, the house has passed to his five granddaughters.
The term was coined in 2011 by Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, but the route was always there.
The Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) spans from Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head in
Donegal to its most southerly, Mizen Head in Cork, taking in Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway,
Clare, and Kerry along the way. 2,500 kilometres of stunning coastline, staggering cliffs,
windswept lighthouses, Blue Flag beaches and national parks make this a special route.