Backed by the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick, Westport overlooks an island-dotted inlet on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. It boasts a fascinating pirate history that’s showcased in its heritage houses and family-friendly attractions, while it’s also the starting point of the Great Western Greenway.
Things to do in Westport
Make a pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick where St. Patrick faster for 40 days and 40 nights more than 1,500 years ago. It’s topped by a small chapel and boasts sweeping panoramas of the 365 sunken drumlin islands across Clew Bay; one for every day of the year.
Immerse yourself in the town’s enticing history at Westport House, considered one of the most beautiful houses in Ireland. Wander through rooms decorated with period furnishings and original artworks while learning about the life and times of Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connacht who once ruled the estate.
Adjacent to the heritage house is the Pirate Adventure Park where kids can let loose on the bouncy castle, go-kart track and swan pedalo boats. Pirate-themed attractions, such as the Pirate Queen Swinging Ship and Pirates Plunge Flume Ride, acknowledge the estate’s history, together with a soft play area for toddlers called the Pirates Den.
Rent a bike and explore the 42-kilometre-long Great Western Greenway that extends from Westport to Achill along the shores of Clew Bay. It’s the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland and passes through magnificent countryside and the charismatic towns of Newport and Mulranny.
Getting around Westport
Westport is a 3.5-hour train ride from Dublin or around one hour’s drive from Knock International Airport. You can easily explore Westport on foot, but having your own vehicle is best for accessing the surrounding sights.