Is Westport Worth Visiting?

You might be thinking “Is Westport worth visiting?” And what better way to spend your time off over Christmas than exploring the charming town of Westport out west?

Whether you're into delicious food, stunning scenery, gentle strolls, beach walks, or mountain hiking, Westport is a delightful town for you to recharge. So let’s dive into how you can make the most of your Christmas break.


It’s hard to imagine it now but in a few short weeks, you’ll be back to your office, and you’ll be asked, “What did you do over Christmas?” Well, wouldn’t it be great to have something to share.


In 2018, Fáilte Ireland reported over 833,000 visitors to Co. Mayo, with a significant portion of those visiting Westport. Westport lies at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way nestled at the shoreline of Clew Bay. Did you know there are over 300 islands in Clew Bay?


So, what are your options for getting to Westport? You have a couple. You can take the train. The train from Heuston Station will take you about 3h 15m. You can drive. You’ll travel anywhere up to 300km depending on where you’re coming from in Ireland. And you can also fly into Ireland West Airport Knock and make the 50-minute journey by car. The 440 bus can also drop you to Westport from the airport.


Now, what you’ll see in Westport will depend on what your interests are, so we’ve broken our guide down into categories:


If you’re into walks on the beach:


Westport has some of the nicest beaches on the west coast on your doorstep. Bertra Beach is a favourite with locals and you can feel the soft sand under your feet and the sea breeze in your hair. Ideal for a leisurely walk or a jog, it’s a great spot to enjoy the morning light. Do your best to keep off the sand dunes because there are conservation efforts to protect the dunes. If you’re in Westport you have to visit Old Head Beach. Its about 20 minutes by car and you can take the bus too. Be sure to check out the back beach because it’s a hidden gem most people forget about.


If you’re into delicious food:


You’ll be spoiled for food options while you’re in Westport. One of our favourite places to eat lunch is This Must Be the Place. The sausage rolls are delicious. Our Flagship store is right next door. Westport is stunning, but the weather can be wild. You can try on a cosy fleece or waterproof rain jacket to keep you enjoying all that Westport has to offer. For dinner try The Helm for a great choice of Irish and seafood options. And then end your adventure at JJ O’Malley’s, known for its local cuisine and charming atmosphere.


If you’re into gentle strolls:


You’ll love a stroll around Westport Estate and Westport House in the heart of Westport.  Wander through the historical estate, admiring its beautiful gardens and tranquil lakeside. It's a perfect blend of Irish heritage and natural beauty. Grace O'Malley, also known as Granuaile, is historically connected to Westport House through her family lineage. The Browne family, who built and resided in Westport House for over 300 years, are direct descendants of Grace O'Malley. She was a notable figure in Irish history, renowned as a pirate, chieftain, and leader in the 16th century. Another option for a gentle stroll is a walk on the greenway. The greenway is 48km in length and can take you all the way to Achill


If you’re into hiking:


Did you even visit Westport if you didn’t visit Croagh Patrick, a renowned pilgrimage site. Make no mistake, Croagh Patrick is a tough climb. The peak stands at 764m and it’ll probably take you 3-4 hours for the 14km round trip. The hike is demanding but rewards you with breathtaking views over Clew Bay. It's an invigorating start to your day, offering both spiritual and physical fulfillment. Another option for a hike is Sheeffry Hills: These less-traveled paths offer peace and stunning scenery. It’s a chance to reflect and enjoy the quieter side of nature.



If you love stunning scenery:


No trip to Westport is complete without a visit to Doolough Valley. It’s a 30-minute drive by car from Westport. You’ll pass through the welcoming village of Louisburgh, home to the Granuaile Museum. As you come over the hill at Glenkeen Farm, your landscape opens up to a 20,000-year-old glaciated valley.  And its home to the Famine Memorial to pay tribute to everyone who passed away during The Great Hunger in the 1800’s. The drive alone to Doolough will give you spectacular views of Clew Bay and you can see as far as Achill Island and Mulranny on a clear day.


Westport is home to some of the nicest hotels in the country. Check out our friends at Destination Westport for places to stay.


So what do you think? If you want breath-taking scenery, mouth-watering food and a warm west of Ireland welcome, visit Westport.  And if you do visit, be sure to call in to our stores on Shop Street and Bridge Street.

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