Family fun in the great outdoors
Westport is a superb base for families to enjoy the great outdoors. Within easy reach of the town you’ll find a wealth of beautiful blue flag beaches, loop walks, The Great Western Greenway, horse riding centres and loads of places to visit. In the town itself there are a wide range of things to do, from the Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House, to the Westport Skate Park and a number of playgrounds. Westport offers everything you need for wonderful outdoor family fun!
Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
If you’re looking for a variety of things to do to excite the whole family, look no further! A visit to Westport House delivers the ultimate family day out and the Pirate Adventure Park is ideally suited to children under 12 years old. For you, the 18th century historic house with over 30 rooms open to the public, 4 exhibitions, guided tours telling the story of the family & the house as well as the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, Tea Rooms and much more.
Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park includes rides such as the Cannonball Run Slide, Pirates Swinging Ship and Pirates Plunge Log Flume Ride; Novelty Swan Pedaloe Boats on the lake; Bouncy Castles; Real-life Dungeons in Westport House – now decorated in a Grace O’Malley Maritime-theme to depict her sea-faring lifestyle; the Grace O’Malley Tour of Westport House; the Pirates Playground by Gracy’s Bar & Cafe; The Pirates Den indoor soft play area and much more.
The Great Western Greenway
The Great Western Greenway along the old railway track from Westport to Achill is probably the best-known of the recent initiatives by the community. It’s a 42km walking and cycling trail that’s almost entirely off-road and is perfect for families. You can hire bikes (or bring your own) to follow the track to Newport, Mulranny, or all the way to Achill.
The Westport Greenway
The Westport Greenway is a beautiful tree-lined 2.5km straight-line walking and cycling trail which links the town centre and the Quay. It follows the route of the old railway line which was used to transports goods to and from the ships at the Quay to the town’s railway station and beyond. It offers users traffic-free cycling and walking, as well as impressive views of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay.
Beaches in Mayo
Mayo’s hundreds of pristine beaches are some of the best in the country, if not the world. Of all the things to do in Mayo, a visit to a Blue Flag beach or a Green Coast beach is one of the best options for a family outing. Blue Flag beaches meet 32 strict criteria for water quality, management, safety and environmental education, while Green Coast awards are based on natural beauty and excellent water quality, without the focus on built infrastructure in the Blue Flag standard.
The beaches nearest to Westport are Bertra, Old Head, Carrowmore and Carrownisky.
Westport Skate Park
Westport’s new state-of-the-art skate park and games area is right beside the Westport Greenway, at the junction of Louisburgh and Leenane roads. In addition to the purpose-built skateboarding and rollerblading area, this facility has an astro turf pitch which can be used for basketball, soccer, volleyball, camogie, hurling, gaelic football and rugby and a brand-new playground, making this a perfect place for family fun.
Westport has an abundance of outdoor playgrounds for kids of all ages, all with easy access on foot or in the car.
The Pirates Playground is a free facility beside Gracy’s Bar & Café in the Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park, and has a slide, climbing frames and rockers to entertain. Nearby, you’ll find the Pirates Den indoor soft play area, pitch & putt, table tennis and of course, the Pirate Adventure Park.
The Children’s Playground at the Leisure Centre is right in the centre of town, just off James Street. It is enthusiastically used by children of all ages providing climbing frames, swings, rockers, slides and a pretty adjacent green area.
The Bogfield Playground on Golf Course Road is Westport’s newest playground and has swings, slides and rockers as well as a zipwire, climbing frames, games and puzzles.
Horse riding near Westport
Westport offers a superb horse riding experience in the unspoilt countryside of the West of Ireland. The go!trekking! centre has an abundance of rides to choose from; exhilarating beach treks, splashing through the shallows of the Atlantic ocean, meandering treks through the heather-clad foothills of Croagh Patrick or perhaps fast paced woodland canters.
Ballycroy National Park
Ireland’s sixth National Park comprises of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountains terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. The modern Visitor Centre has an interactive exhibition on the habitats, local culture and history of Ballycroy National Park and the surrounding area. It also has a Tea Room serving soup, sandwiches and light lunches. Outside, a short nature trail with pond, interpretation panels and viewing points are worth the stroll along the well-made paths.