1. Cycle the Great Western Greenway. Escape the bustle of urban life on the longest off-road cycling and walking trail in Ireland. Meandering along the old Westport to Achill railway line, which closed in 1937, this 42km almost entirely traffic-free route is ideal for getting out on a bike for a spin and is perfect for a day of family fun. Local bike hire companies also offer shuttle services to and from Newport, Mulranny and Achill, so cycling a partial stretch is also an option.
2. Croagh Patrick and the Clew Bay Beaches: From Bertra to White Strand in one direction and Mulranny to Achill in the other, Clew Bay is spoilt with beautiful beaches. They are yours to explore from just ten minutes’ drive from Westport to a half or full day outing; the choice is yours. Of course, Croagh Patrick is a must-see on your visit to Westport – it stands at 764m (2,507ft) and is best known for its association with Saint Patrick, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit. In its entirety, the route is a 7km long, round-trip but there are viewing points along the route that allow the less active to enjoy stunning views of Clew Bay without the strenuous climb.
3. Visit Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park. There has been a ‘big house’ on this site since the 1500’s, when Grace O Malley, the famous Pirate Queen, built one of her many castles here. The current House – built in 1730 by the same family who still own and operate it today – has an abundance of artefacts, artwork and treasures that will fascinate all culture-vultures! The Pirate Adventure Park – perfectly suited to children under 12 – will leave the kids screaming for more with rides, slides, boats and trains. And the more adventurous can enjoy everything from archery to sorbing!
More information on www.westporthouse.ie
4. Explore the ‘Blueway’. The Blueway is a network of water trails where you can experience a variety of water based activities, in a safe controlled environment. Old Head beach, just 15 minutes drive from westport, is included in this network where you will find a snorkelling trail and a kayaking trail. At Old Head Beach, you can also try coasteering and stand-up paddle boarding. Don’t miss Collanmore Island where you can enjoy a fantastic water park full of water trampolines, runners and slides, as well as offering sailing, SUP, water skiing and many other activities. What’s more, Grace O’Malley’s stomping ground, Clare Island, offers
coasteering, snorkelling, and raft-building.
5. Family Fun at the Pirate Adventure Park. Located on the grounds of Westport House, the Pirate Adventure Park offers a wide range of rides, including the Cannonball Run slide, Pirates Swinging Ship, Pirates Plunge log flume ride (the only one in the country), Swan Pedalo Boats on the lake, indoor soft play and playgrounds, Westport House Express miniature railway and Go Karting.
More information on www.westporthouse.ie
6. Enjoy a Pampering Spa Day. Westport has an impressive selection of Leisure Centres & Spas on offer. Whether it’s splashing around with the kids, an indulgent day out with the girls (with Afternoon Tea thrown in for good measure), or simply enjoying some well-deserved “Me Time”, you’ll have your pick of excellent facilities to choose from.
More information on www.destinationwestport.com
7. Play a Round of Golf. Just five minutes’ drive from the town, Westport Golf Club is one of Ireland’s finest parkland courses. A highly regarded championship venue, the Club is the three-time host of the Irish Amateur Close Championship, and also the Smurfit Irish PGA Championship in recent years. It is set in the scenic splendour of 260 acres of undulating parklands on the shores of Clew Bay with breath-taking views of Croagh Patrick.
More information on www.westportgolfclub.ie
8. Take the Westport Train Tour. The Westport Train Tour is an all-weather sight-seeing tour telling the fascinating story of Westport. It starts at Westport House’ town centre gate, runs through the estate to Westport Quay and then back to Westport town. The train tour – lasting 45 minutes and hitting 46 sights along the way – runs from March to October.
Plan your trip by visiting www.westporttraintour.ie for the schedule and pick up spots!
9. Have a Blast with Westport War Games. Open seven days a week, from 8 ‘til late all year round and less than ten minutes from town. Experience a range of “war games” including paintball, zorb wars, bubble soccer, splatball, an assault course and an airsoft shooting range.
More information on www.westportwargames.ie
10. Get your Adventure on at Westport House Adventure Activity Centre. Westport House’s Adventure Activity centre will test your limit’s and leave you feeling breathless, with an average range of mind-blowing endurance activities including laser combat games, archery tag, zorbing, zip wire, archery and the sky challenge high ropes course. Offering excitement for all the family (aged 8 and upwards) Depending on the time of year activities need to be booked in advance check out.