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15 Best Things to do in Westport (With Map)

15 Best Things to do in Westport (With Map)

Although there are plenty of things to do in Westport, many never explore the town beyond Croagh Patrick.

And, while the Croagh Patrick hike is a fine way to spend a morning, Westport is far from a one-horse-town!

Named ‘the best place to live in Ireland’ back in 2012, this vibrant town on the Mayo coast has built on that recognition ever since.

Below, you’ll discover what to do in Westport at any time of the year, from zip-lining and unique attractions to scenic strolls and more. Cheers!

The best things to do in Westport

 

The lively little town of Westport is home to a handful of the best things to do in Mayo. It’s also a stone’s throw from many of the county’s top attractions.

In the first section of this guide, you’ll discover what to do in Westport. In the second section, you’ll find things to do near Westport (within reasonable driving distance).

1. Grab a coffee and try this self-guided walking tour

Westport Town

Photos via Shutterstock

Westport is a lovely little town to saunter around, but you need a route to follow to take in the town’s main sights.

I’ve mapped out this route you can follow that takes in many of the main landmarks in Westport town.

It’s around 1.3km in length, takes 20 minutes or so and it’ll give you a good lay-of-the-land. Here’s where it takes you:

  • Stop 1 (coffee): Head for This Must Be The Place
  • Stop 1 (The Clock): Built in 1947, it’s Ireland’s only art-deco municipal clock! It’s also nicknamed ‘The Four Faced Liar’ as it often gives the wrong time
  • Stop 2 (The Octagon): Westport’s most famous landmark was built between 1843 and 1845. St. Patrick’s stands at the top of the column
  • Stop 3 (Doris Brothers’ Bridge): The beautiful stone bridge you see in most photos of the town
  • Stop 4 (The Mall): Walk along the river and around past St. Mary’s Church
  • Stop 5 (Bridge St): Home to many-a-colourful building
 

2. Cycle the Great Western Greenway

If you’re wondering what to do in Westport that’ll get the heart pumping while treating you to some incredible scenery, the Great Western Greenway should tickle your fancy.

The route follows part of the old Midlands Great Western Railway route that closed in 1937.

It is now a 43km cycle trail that meanders its way through Mayo from Westport to Achill, via Newport and Mulranny.

Free from the sound of droning traffic and containing only a few gentle inclines for any inexperienced cyclists, it’s a perfect slice of escapism (and exercise!).

 

3. Conquer Croagh Patrick

climbing croagh patrick

Photos via Shutterstock

The majestic, pyramid-like figure of Croagh Patrick looms over Westport and no trip here would be complete without climbing Ireland’s ‘Holy Mountain’.

At a height of 2510 ft above sea-level, this is no simple stroll though so don’t take it lightly.

It should take around 2-2.5 hours to climb to the summit but the views of Clew Bay when you reach the top are worth the effort.

On a pilgrimage or not, the climb is arguably one of the best things to do in Westport, and it’s well worth dedicating a day to.

 

4. Enjoy live music at Matt Molloy’s

Matt Molloys

Photos via Matt Molloys on FB

Matt Molloy’s has earned a place as one of the most famous pubs in Ireland for good reason.

The pub is owned by the man himself who gained fame via The Chieftains, which he joined in 1979.

You’ll find live music at Matt’s 7 nights a week (you might even catch the man himself joining in one of the sessions).

Kicking back with live music at Matt’s is one of the more popular things to do in Westport amongst visiting tourists, which means it can be VERY tough to nab a seat. Try and get in early.

 

5. Or visit one of the town’s traditional pubs

There are some mighty traditional pubs in Westport that you’ll find it hard not to fall for!

In my opinion, the best of the bunch is Toby’s – it’s much quieter than some of the others in the town and they do a great pint of Guinness.

Moran’s on Bridge Street is more like an Irish pub museum that a busy town bar while the Porterhouse is a great spot for live tunes.

When the weather’s good, there are few places like the seats outside Blouser’s to watch the world go by.

 

6. Head for a stroll around Westport House and Grounds

Westport House

Photos via Shutterstock

Almost 300 years-old, the beautiful Westport House is one of Ireland’s finest heritage attractions and just one visit will tell you why.

As well as the 30 ornate rooms on show and the six permanent exhibitions, it’s the stunning parkland setting that really sets it apart.

Its riverside location sits amid manicured gardens and offers incredible views overlooking Clew Bay and up towards Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s Holy Mountain.

If you’re wondering what to do in Westport when it’s raining, Westport House is a handy option. The gardens here are also a fine place for a ramble.

 

7. Visit Westport Adventure Park

Westport Adventure Park

Photos via Westport Adventure Park on FB

Ever tried to play soccer while encased inside a 1.5m inflatable bubble?

Yes, it’s not a conventional way of playing ‘the beautiful game’ but Westport Adventure Park is all about having fun and getting stuck into lively activities.

There’s also paintballing, zorbing, zip-lining and the new game Splatball – similar to paintball but with less impact.

Only a 15-minute drive from town, it’s a great spot for a stag weekend activity too.

This is a handy place to head if you’re looking for things to do in Westport with a group.

 

8. Make your belly happy at An Port Mór Restaurant

An Port Mór

Photos via An Port Mór on FB

There are some excellent restaurants in Westport that make the perfect night-time destination for a post-adventure bite-to-eat.

One of my favourite spots is the brilliant An Port Mór.

Here you can sample seasonal produce and some very tasty West of Ireland ingredients that’ll tantalise your tastebuds.

Its bright red entrance is unmissable, as is the food, served up by award-winning head chef Frankie Mallon.

He says his style is ‘rustic meets quirky’ and you can be the judge of that by ordering one of his signature creations such as Crab Cakes in a Seaweed Polenta.

 

9. Visit Pirate Adventure Park

If you’re looking for a perfect family day out, then you could do a lot worse than Westport’s award-winning Pirate Adventure Park.

With activities including a mini zip line, a vortex tunnel, an inflatable obstacle course and, of course, a swinging pirate ship, there are loads to keep the little ones entertained for a few hours.

It’s also only a stone’s throw from Westport House if you want to combine the two in one visit.

Need a place to stay? Check out our guide to the best hotels in Westport and the best B&Bs in Westport

Things to do near Westport

Keel Beach

Photos via Shutterstock

OK, so we’ve tackled what to do in Westport, it’s time to take a look at the best places to visit nearby, within reasonable driving distance.

Below, you’ll find everything from Clare Island and Inishturk, to Castlebar, Doolough Valley, some incredible beaches and more.

1. Tourmakeady Waterfall

Tourmakeady Woods

Photos via Shutterstock

If you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of Westport Town, take the 30-minute drive out to Tourmakeady Woods.

It’s here that you can head off on a glorious woodland walk that’ll take up around the incredible Tourmakeady Waterfall.

The walk here is nice and leisurely and it’s a place that tends to be missed by many that visit Westport, so it’s well worth doing.

 

2. Achill, Inishturk and Claire Island

achill island ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ve several gorgeous islands a handy spin from Westport. 

Achill Island (home to the highest sea cliffs in Ireland and Keem Bay) is a short, 40-minute drive away.

The departure point (Roonagh Pier) for both Clare Island and Inishturk Island is also a handy 35-minute drive.

Each of the islands is well worth a visit, although Clare Island and Inishturk are much quieter.

 

3. Bertra Beach

Bertra Beach

Photos courtesy Michael Mc Laughlin via Falte Ireland

Many of the things to do in Westport keep you in and around the town centre.

If you want to escape to the sea, there are plenty of beaches near Westport to head to.

The nearest is Bertra Beach (about 20 minutes away).

Some other worthy contenders are Silver Strand, White Strand and Old Head Beach.

 

4. The Doolough Valley

the doolough valley

Photos via Shutterstock

The drive from Louisburgh to Leenane is one of my favourite things to do near Westport.

It takes you through the Doolough Valley and area with endless wild, unspoiled scenery.

Louisburgh is a handy, 25-minute drive from Westport and it’s from there that adventure begins.

 

5. Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey

Photos via Shutterstock

Ballintubber Abbey is around a 20-minute drive from Westport and it’s here that you’ll discover a story that spans 800 years.

Founded in 1216, Ballintubber Abbey has been a place of continuous worship since its inception.

Arguably the stand-out feature of the abbey is St. Patrick’s well. Ireland’s patron saint founded a church on the same site in 441.

6. The Lost Valley

the lost valley

Photos via the Lost Valley

The Lost Valley (55-minute drive) is one of the more unique things to do around Westport.

The only way to see it is on one of the 3-hour guided tours that are by the Bourke family.

Tamed by the Atlantic, the area around the valley boasts rolling green fields, sandy beaches, craggy coves and lush waterfalls.

 

Discover Mayo beyond Westport

best things to do in mayo Ireland

Now that you’ve tackled the various things to do in Westport, it’s time to explore the rest of the county.

You’ll find the best of this corner of Ireland in our guide on what to do in Mayo, but here are the highlights:

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Maura O’Sullivan

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

You Can walk with the Irish Wolfhounds in Westport 🤗

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