19 Of The Best Things To Do In Westport (And Nearby)

things to do in westport ireland
Photo left: Frank Bach. Right: JASM Photography

Looking for things to do in Westport? You’ve landed in the right place!

Ready for some colour? Westport’s got bags of the stuff. Oh, and it’s got a ton of character, history, outdoor adventures and fine places for a pint too.

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

Whether you’re visiting in the depths of winter or the height of summer, here’s 11 of the best things to do in Westport:

Our favourite things to do in Westport

What to do in westport
Photo via Anna Efremova

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. Cycle the Great Western Greenway

Great Western Greenway mayo
Photos via Shutterstock

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

Following part of the old Midlands Great Western Railway route that closed in 1937, it’s now become a 43km cycle trail that meanders its way through Mayo from Westport to Achill, via Newport and several other towns and villages.

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!).

2. Climb Croagh Patrick

climbing croagh patrick
Photos via Shutterstock

Got your hiking boots ready? The epic 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 two hours to climb to the summit but the views when you reach the top are epic.

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. Here’s a full guide to the Croagh Patrick hike to follow.

3. Grab a post-adventure pint at Matt Molloy’s

one of the best pubs in westport
Photo via Google Maps

There’s an endless number of pubs in Westport. From tourist favourites, like Matt Molloy’s, to often-missed spots, like Toby’s, there’s a pub to tickle every fancy.

If you visit during ‘normal’ times, 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 tough to nab a seat. Try and get in early.

4. Try your hand at watersports

kayaking
Photo by Rock and Wasp (Shutterstock)

They’re a dab hand at the old adventure game in Westport and if you like getting out of your comfort zone then watersports are solid option.

The Blueway is a network of water trails where you’ll have the opportunity to experience a range of water-based activities.

Zip up your wetsuit and choose from snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and the action-packed ‘coasteering’. More info here.

5. Head for a stroll around Westport House & Grounds

westport house and gardens
Photo by Colin Majury (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.

6. Make your belly happy at An Port Mór Restaurant

an port more restaurant
Photos via An Port Mor on Facebook

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.

You’ll find plenty of other great places to eat in the town in our Westport Food Guide (from casual eats to fine dining).

Other popular things to do in Westport (and nearby)

Tourmakeady woods
Photo by Remizov (Shutterstock)

Now that we have our favourite places to visit in Westport out of the way, it’s time to see what else there is to do in the town and nearby.

Below, you’ll find everything from the Westport Adventure Park and some gorgeous beaches, to a waterfall and more.

1. Visit Westport Adventure Park

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 assault courses, paintballing, zorb wars and the new game Splatball – similar to paintball but with less impact from lower velocity guns.

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.

Related read: Check out our guide to 15 of the best hotels in Westport (or see our guide to self catering in Westport)

2. Tourmakeady Waterfall (30-minute drive)

tourmakeady waterfall walk
Photo by Remizov (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 – a very hidden gem.

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.

4. Visit one of the many mighty beaches at Mulranny (35-minute drive)

mulranny strand
Westport Ireland Points of Interest: Photo by Aloneontheroad (Shutterstock)

Another of Mayo’s hidden treasures, Mulranny’s tranquil beaches offer striking panoramic views over scenic Clew Bay.

A 35-minute drive from Westport, there’s plenty of activities to get stuck into once you arrive, including hiking, fishing and golf.

But really Mulranny is all about the beaches and gorgeous landscape around them. A fine place to see some of the best beaches in Mayo.

Related read: Check out our guide to 11 of the best B&Bs in Westport (or have a nosey at our Westport Airbnb guide)

5. Visit Pirate Adventure Park (one of the best things to do in Westport with kids)

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.

Things to do near Westport

Achill
Photo by Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH (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. Islands galore

achill island
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

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.

2. Hidden gems

the lost valley in mayo
Photos via the Lost Valley

If you fancy stepping a little off-the-beaten-path, you’re in luck – there’s some brilliant hidden gems a near the town.

The Lost Valley (55-minute drive) is arguably one of the most unique places in Ireland. Doolough Valley (40-minute drive) will treat you to endless wild, unspoiled scenery.

And the incredible Silver Strand Beach in Louisburgh is up there with the best beaches in Ireland. Other nearby attractions include:

What to do in Westport: What have we missed?

I’ve no doubt that there’s probably plenty of other great things to do in Westport that we’ve unintentionally excluded from the guide above.

If you have a recommendation, let me know in the comments section below and we’ll check it out! Cheers!

FAQs about the best things to do in Westport Ireland

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what to do in Westport when it rains to what there is to see nearby.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best things to do in Westport, Ireland?

I’d argue that the best things to do in Westport are 1, to climb Croagh Patrick, 2, sample the pubs and restaurant scene and 3, to cycle the Greenway from Westport to Achill.

What is there to do in Westport when it’s raining?

If you’re looking for things to see in Westport on a rainy day, you can visit Westport House or head off on one of the coastal drives mentioned above.

Are there many things to do near Westport?

Yes, you can climb Croagh Patrick, visit Tourmakeady Waterfall, explore the Doolough Valley, visit Achill and much, much more.

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