Destination – Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
From the shores of Clew Bay to the top of Croagh Patrick, the picturesque 250-year-old heritage town of Westport in County Mayo is a destination that should be on your list.
image courtesy of destinationwestport.com
It has so much to offer from mountain walks to Michelin accredited restaurants. It offers family friendly activities to keep the little one’s, and not so little one’s happy, but is also a destination ideal for that special ‘grown-up’ getaway.
10 Family Friendly Things to Do in Westport
With my own family, and yours in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ’10 Family Friendly Things to Do’ when staying or visiting Westport. The list is in no particular order, and it should suit all tastes. I’ve included links for reference, but please check if booking is required, and confirm opening times to save disappointment.
Visit Westport House & the Pirate Adventure Park
Built on the ruins of one of Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley’s many castles and standing in all its glory thanks to the Browne family, her direct descendents, Westport House is one of Ireland’s top historical and family attractions. It offers visitors the chance to tour a beautiful ancestral home and play in its gardens steeped in history.
The award-winning Pirate Adventure Park which plays homage to the notorious Pirate Queen has been named Ireland’s ‘Best Family Visitor Attraction’ and not without reason. Here you’ll find everything at the park, from a ‘Pirate Queen Swing Ship’ to ‘Real-life Dungeons’. For more info including opening times visit westporthouse.ie
Ride the Westport Train
The Westport Train Tour begins its journey at its station on the grounds of Westport House. The tour is 50 minutes long and takes in the grounds of Westport House Estate, Westport Quay and the heritage town of Westport. It’s an ideal way of getting to know your surroundings, and as the train is fully enclosed it is suitable for all the family. For more info visit westporthouse.ie
Cycle The Great Western Greenway
image source: greenway.ie
The Great Western Greenway is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. It stretches 42km and follows the route of the Westport to Achill Railway which closed in 1937.
The Greenway off-road cycle and walking trails to consider are the:
- ‘Achill to Mulranny’ route which is 13km.
- ‘Mulranny to Newport’ route which is 18km
- ‘Newport to Westport’ route which is 11km
The Great Western Greenway takes in beautiful and historical landscape and encourages families to get out and get active. If cycling isn’t your thing you can walk it. If cycling is your thing but you haven’t got your own wheels there are a number of places to rent bikes from along the way. For more info visit: greenway.ie
Sunbathe on one of the many Blue Flag Beaches
image source: blueflagireland.org
Hundreds of beautiful beaches stretch the length of Mayo County, and a number of them classed as Blue Flag beaches are found close to Westport. When a beach is awarded a Blue Flag it means that not only is it recognised worldwide but its an ideal location for family excursions as it meets a specific set of criteria. This criteria includes water quality, environmental education as well as safety and beach management.
Some beaches are perfect for watersports, others for fishing. Most have toilets on site, many are wheelchair accessible. Lifeguards can be found on duty during the summer season at a number of beaches too.
Destination Westport gives a great review of some of the beaches available on their website and for more Blue Flag information you can visit blueflagireland.org
Ferry across Clew Bay and visit the Islands