Day trips and excursions are part of every holiday and Westport has lots within easy driving distance.
Croagh Patrick is, at 764m (2,510 ft), a distinctive mountain in the West of Ireland, and an important site of pilgrimage for the Irish people. It derives its name from the Irish Cruach Ph´draig (Saint Patrick mountain), although it is known locally as the Reek. It is located 8 km (5 miles) from Westport in the County of Mayo in the Republic of Ireland, standing above the villages of Lecanvey and Murrisk. It’s a challenging climb rewarded with a panoramic view over Clew Bay, from Achill right down to Inishboffin. Bring your boots!
Achill Island is less than an hour’s drive away. The rugged landscape has inspired artists for generations, and the safe sandy beaches are great for families (and surfers). Walkers have plenty of choice too, in the mountains and lowlands. Clare Island is a 40 minute ferry ride from Roonagh Pier near Louisburgh, it’s a delightful day trip.
History and heritage are a part of our life. The Clew Bay Heritage Centre is at Westport Quay, it’s a great way to spend an hour browsing. They run regular guided walking tours of the town, popular with locals and visitors alike. The National Museum of Country Life is just outside Castlebar (30 minutes) and is a lively experience bringing to life our rural heritage from the 1950s and before. The grounds and restored Victorian glasshouses are well worth a visit too.
The drive from Westport to Kylemore Abbey through Louisburgh, the Doo Lough Valley and Leenane is probably the most awe inspiring in the country. It takes about ninety minutes – unless you stop off along the way, which is very likely! Don’t forget your camera.
If you need a city injection, Galway (90 minutes) and Sligo (60 minutes) are your choices. Both are well worth a visit; old city centres plus great restaurants, cafés and shops. Galway’s weekend street market is an experience in itself.