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Newport In Mayo: Things To Do, Pubs, Food + Hotels

Newport In Mayo: Things To Do, Pubs, Food + Hotels

Newport in Mayo makes the perfect base to explore everywhere from Achill and Westport to the North Mayo Coast.

Smaller and more quaint than neighbouring Westport, it has a nice selection of pubs and restaurants and it makes a great starting point for the Great Western Greenway.

In the guide below, you’ll discover everything from things to do in Newport in Mayo to where to eat, sleep and drink.

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Newport

Newport Mayo

Photos via Shutterstock


Although a visit to Newport in Mayo is nice and straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

The scenic heritage town of Newport is situated on the shores of Clew Bay in County Mayo. It’s a 10-minute drive from Westport and a 20-minute drive from Mulranny and Castlebar.

2. Small town vibes

Newport has retained its friendly community feel, and with a population of just over 600 it’s easy to understand why.

3. A fine base for exploring

Newport is well positioned for walking and cycling both the Great Western Greenway and the Wild Atlantic Way. This historic coastal town is easy to reach and it’s close to most of Mayo’s top attractions.


About Newport

Newport Town

Photo by Gareth McCormack/ via Failte Ireland

The town of Newport in Mayo is packed with history and, interesting enough, the oldest part of the area, Burrishoole Abbey, was founded in 1469 by Richard de Burgo.

Linen industry

Known historically as Ballyveaghan, Newport was established in 1719 by the Medlycott family.

They built the quay and their land agent, Captain Pratt, introduced linen manufacturing to the area.

Many Quakers re-located from Ulster but later emigrated when the industry declined.

A second blow came as the port was superseded by Westport, 12km south.



The O’Donel family took over the Medlycott estate and built Newport House, now a luxury hotel overlooking the harbour.

They donated land for the convent in 1884. During the build, various coins and buttons were discovered bearing the inscription “Pratt”.

The convent opened in 1887 and started the St Joseph’s Convent School. Girls learnt lacemaking skills and started a local industry which lasted until WW2.

Royal connections

Princess Grace of Monaco visited with her husband, Prince Rainier, in 1961.

She later bought the cottage (ancestral home of Grace’s grandfather) known as the Kelly Homestead, now derelict.


Things to do in Newport and nearby

There’s a handful of things to do in Newport and there are endless things to do nearby, which make the town a great base for a weekend away.

Below, you’ll find everything from walks and cycles to some of the best places to visit in Mayo, many of which are a stone’s throw from Newport Town.

1. The Greenway

The 42km Great Western Greenway heads south from Newport to Westport (12km south) and north/west to the island of Achill, about 30km away.

This traffic-free route is ideal for walking and cycling (bike rentals available in Newport).

It’s a fairly flat route following the former Westport to Achill Railway which closed in 1937.

This trail passes though pretty Mulranny (good for refreshments!) with dramatic views of mountains and Clew Bay before reaching Achill.


3. Walks galore

The Heritage Trail

Photo via Shutterstock

There are plenty of walks in the area, long and short, including the Harbour Walk along Melcombe Road to tranquil Melcombe Bay.

Follow Quay Road to Princess Grace Park on Quay Loop, which starts and ends on Main Street.

There’s another called the Abbey Walk which visits 15th century Burrishoole Abbey.

The Newport Heritage Trail incorporates several shorter trails and loops listed above.

It provides a scenic way to explore the town and see the main highlights. Starting from the playground on the south side of the river, cross the bridge and turn left into Quay Road.


4. Achill Island (27-minute drive)

achill island ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

Follow the N59/R319 for 30km along the north shores of Clew Bay to Achill Island.

It’s the largest of the Irish Isles, located on Mayo’s west coast, reached via the Michael Davitt Bridge.

A rural retreat, the island is a strong Irish-speaking community with breathtaking scenery, beaches (like Keem Bay) and villages.

Steeped in 5,000 years of history with megalithic tombs, the island is a hiker’s paradise with cliffs and spectacular views. Discover more in our guide to the best things to do in Achill.


5. Westport Town (15-minute drive)

Westport Town

Photos via Shutterstock

Head south 12km to Westport, a lively Georgian town on the shores of Clew Bay.

Known as Mayo’s premier tourist destination, Westport’s main attraction is Westport House.

This lovely town is enhanced by the dramatic mountain landscape including lofty Croagh Patrick. Several stone bridges cross the Carrow Beg (river).

With over 6,000 residents, it’s 10 times bigger than Newport with plenty of shops, pubs, cafés and a high quality of life. See our guide to the best things to do in Westport for more.


6. Croagh Patrick (22-minute drive)

climbing croagh patrick

Photos via Shutterstock

Nicknamed the “Reek”, Croagh Patrick stands 8km from Newport. The Irish name Cruach Phádraig means “(Saint) Patrick’s Stack”.

It’s Mayo’s fourth highest peak and is a significant place of pilgrimage.

Every year it is climbed in honour of Ireland’s patron saint on Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July.

The mountain can be reached along the 30km pilgrim trail from Ballintubber Abbey, probably laid around 350AD. A 5th century chapel marks the summit.


7. Ballycroy National Park (29-minute drive)


Photos via Shutterstock

Ballycroy National Park is 32km northwest of Newport on the N59.

Part of the Owenduff/Nephin Mountains, it includes a vast expanse of peatland (over 117km2) and is a Special Protection Area.

The Owenduff River drains the bog system and is teeming with sea trout and salmon.

The park is also a breeding site for rare birds including whooper swans, corncrakes and peregrine falcons. In summer, the Visitor Centre is open in Ballycroy village.


Newport accommodation

Hotel Newport

Photos via Hotel Newport on FB

There’s some brilliant accommodation in Newport, from hotels and B&Bs to guesthouses and unique places to stay.

Note: if you book a hotel through one of the links below wemay make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.

1. Brannens of Newport

Smart and comfortable, Brannens of Newport is a comfortable B&B with modern ensuite bedrooms. Breakfast is served each morning featuring quality local produce.

Check prices + see more photos here

2. Riverside House Newport

Riverside House Newport is in a stunning riverside location just a short stroll from the historic Seven Arches Bridge. This guest house is in a 200-year-old Georgian property with lawned gardens on the banks of the Black Oak River.

Check prices + see more photos here

3. Hotel Newport

Located right in the centre of the town, this is a place that I’ve stayed in on many occasions. It tends to be good value, the service is warm and friendly and it makes a very comfortable base to explore from.

Check prices + see more photos here



Places to eat in Newport

Kelly’s Kitchen

Photos via Kelly’s Kitchen on IG

There’s some good places to eat in Newport, with a mix of casual cafes and more formal restaurants on offer.

1. Kelly’s Kitchen

Kelly’s Kitchen at the top of Main Street has a bright and welcoming ambience. There’s an award-winning Irish breakfast along with sambos, light bites and more hearty options, too (see above).

2. Blue Bicycle Tea Rooms

Opened in 2011, the family-run Blue Bicycle Tearoom is in the historic DeBille House near the church in Newport. It’s a short hop from the Great Western Greenway and provides indoor and outdoor dining in the Victorian Garden.

3. Nevin’s Newfield Inn

Nevin’s Newfield Inn is a traditional Irish pub located a 10-minute spin from the town that’s known for its hearty food, fine ales and friendly service. Leather-backed stools line the bar while the roaring open fire keeps everyone warm and cosy on cool evenings.


Pubs in Newport Town

Brannen's Bar

Photos via Brannen’s on FB

There’s a surprising number of pubs in Newport Town, many of which could go toe-to-toe with some of the better-known pubs in Westport.

Here are some suggestions for you:

1. The Grainne Uaile

The colourful facade of the Gráinne Uaile epitomises the energy and vibrancy of this award-winning pub.

Overlooking Clew Bay, the pub takes its name from Ireland’s infamous Pirate Queen, Gráinne Uaile herself.

2. Brannen’s

One of my favourite memories from Newport is from a rainy winters night spent in Brannen’s of Newport on Main Street many years ago.

The owner (can’t for the life of me remember his name) was warm, welcoming and happy to chat and the Guinness was top-notch.

5. Walsh’s Bridge Inn

Located on Main Street, Walsh’s Bridge Inn is one of the few pubs in the town that does food (tends to be good value!).


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