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.
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.
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
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.
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.