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Plan your Westport Road Trip (Maps + Visitor Info)

Plan your Westport Road Trip (Maps + Visitor Info)

You’ll find Westport Town sitting proudly along Clew Bay in County Mayo, a stone’s throw from Achill Island and a short drive from many of Mayo’s top attractions.

Westport is a historic, Georgian-style town with tree-lined streets, a river running through it (Carrow Beg) and a vibrant pub and restaurant scene. 

Arguably best known for its proximity to Croagh Patrick Mountain, Westport Town is the perfect base to explore the county from.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the town, including maps showing what to do and where to stay. Cheers!

About Westport in County Mayo

The Old Grainstore

Photos via The Old Grainstore on FB

Westport gets its name from a 16th century castle, Cathair na Mart, meaning the “stone fort of the beeves” or the “city of the fairs” owned by the powerful O’Malley family.

The original town was located on the front lawn of Westport House, until it was moved to the present site in the 1780s by the Browne family to make way for the gardens of their estate.


Georgian architecture

The town was specifically designed by William Leeson in a Georgian architectural style.

Westport is quite unique in that it is one of the few planned towns in the country.

Many of the original features still stand today, including the iconic Clock Tower, tree-lined boulevard on the Carrowbeg River and the old stone bridge. 

The charm of Westport

The area around Westport has attracted tourists and visitors for a very long time.

The historic estate Westport House has been open to the public since 1960, which was a pioneering move at the time.


Things to do in Westport and nearby

So, as there are plenty of things to do in Westport in County Mayo, I’ve a guide on places to visit in and around the town here.

However, I’ll give you an overview of the main things to see and do below!

1. Climb Croagh Patrick

climbing croagh patrick

Photos via Shutterstock

Also known as ‘the Reek’, Croagh Patrick is a 764m high mountain just 8km west of Westport Town.

The hike to the top is tough and it tends to take between 3.5 and 4.5 hours, depending on pace.

It was at the summit of ‘the Reek’ that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD.

Over the last 5,000 years, a pilgrimage to its summit has taken place on the last Sunday of July each year.


2. Cycle the Great Western Greenway

The Great Western Greenway is the longest greenway in Ireland, stretching for around 43.5km.

You can start the cycle in Westport Town (there are plenty of places to rent a bike) and the trail will take you out to Newport, Mulranny and on to Achill Island.

Despite its length, this is a relatively easy going cycle that will be doable for those with moderate levels of fitness.

On a fine day, you’ll see the best of each town, admire Clew Bay’s islands from afar and see a side of Mayo that many miss.


3. Visit one of many nearby beaches

There are countless beaches near Westport Town. And the beauty is that many are some of the best beaches Mayo has to offer!

At a 20-minute drive away, the closest is the 2.6km long Bertra Beach, which has a lifeguard service come summer.

However, the ones that tend to delight visitors the most are White Strand (40 minute) and Silver Strand (45 minutes).

Both of these beaches are unspoiled and each is set against the wild and rugged scenery that this corner of Mayo is famous for.


4. Explore Achill Island

achill island ireland

Photos via Shutterstock

If you’re after a great day-trip from Westport Town, take the 40-minute drive out to Achill Island.

Famous for its dramatic sea cliffs and beautiful beaches, including Keem Bay and Dooagh Beach, the island is reached by a bridge at Achill Sound.

There are plenty of things to do in Achill Island and arguably the best way to see them is on a logical route that follows the Atlantic Drive.

Some of the island’s key attractions include Minaun Heights (the viewpoint above) and the Croaghaun cliffs, Ireland’s highest.


5. Visit Westport House

Westport House

Photos via Shutterstock

Perhaps one of the most well-known attractions in Westport in Mayo, Westport House is an old estate on the banks of the Carrowbeg River between the town and the Quay.

It was built back in 1730 by the Browne family, with the house and gardens having been welcoming visitors for over 60 years. 

Visitors can take a tour of the house, visit the adventure park, explore the finely manicured grounds on foot or spend a night at the glampsite.


Where to stay and eat in Westport

Now that you know what to see and do, it’s time to find a place to stay.

You have two options – hotels or B&Bs. You’ll find the best of both below:

Pubs in Westport

There’s an endless number of great pubs in Westport, with plenty offering live music most nights of the week.

The town’s most famous pub is Matt Molloy’s, owned by the flutist from The Chieftans. You’ll find traditional Irish music here every night.

Some of my other go-tos in the town are Toby’s (quieter pub with great Guinness) and Moran’s (very old-school pub but can be busy).


Restaurants in Westport

The Towers Bar & Restaurant

Photos via The Towers on FB

There are endless restaurants in Westport, but not all are equal!

If you fancy a bit of seafood, look no further than the brilliant An Port Mór on Bridge Street.

For a feed with a view, The Towers Bar & Restaurant (pictured above) on Westport Quay is well worth nipping into!


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