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).
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.
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.
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.