Westport, Co Mayo is a special place, a place which captures all of the magic of the West of Ireland and serves it up with great panache, and more than a little charm. The bustling town centre with its colourful traditional shopfronts, and the tree-lined Carrowbeg River which runs so beautifully through it makes Westport is a popular stopping point for any visit to County Mayo.
Westport (meaning ‘The Stone Fort of Beeve’) is one of just a few “planned” Irish towns. It was commissioned by Lord Sligo in 1780 and designed by his gentleman architect James Wyatt. Those were the days when lords and ladies could change the lives of vast numbers of tenant farmers on a mere whim, and such fancies generally brought only misery and hardship. In Westport however the experiment worked, and success and prosperity were followed over time by growth and enterprise. The history of the development of Westport, from the time it was an O Malley stronghold in the 16th century to the present day, is brought alive in the Heritage Centre, located at Westport Quay.
To this day Westport is a highly successful town, and its “planned” status now draws large numbers tourists and seasonal visitors.
And few of its visitors do not fall prey to its great charms, it’s pretty street scenes, and its wonderful night-life. By day it is simply delightful. The dark waters of the Carrowbeg River appear almost black as you stroll along its tree lined avenues while, all the time, its fashionable shopfronts sparkle and entice. And by night Westport comes alive. Restaurants which went unnoticed in the daytime now throw out a new light, and music wafts out through doorways and windows to fascinate all who pass.
Situated on the shores of Clew Bay in the shadow of Croagh Patrick
, Westport Golf Club is one of the best parkland golf course in the west of Ireland. Set in 260 acres of rolling parkland, Westport has developed a superb course, and a highly regarded championship venue. Indeed, it has hosted the Irish Amateur Close Championship on three occasions and the Smurfit Irish PGA Championship in recent years.
How to get to Westport
By bus, or car. Bus Eireann Routes 440 provides a service from Knock Airport
to Westport. Alternatively follow the N59 scenic route northwards from Connemara
Where to stay in Westport
Westport has huge selection of great places to stay including hotels, hostels, self-catering holiday homes, guesthouses and B&B's.
Book Westport Accommodation
Westport is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Newport and Mulranny if you are travelling north, and Croagh Patrick, and Louisburgh, if you are travelling south.
Things to do in Westport
- Explore Westport House, one of Ireland’s great period homes. Westport House enjoys a superb parkland setting with lake, terraces, wonderful gardens and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Achill Island, Clare Island and Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick. It was built, and indeed is still privately owned, by the Browne family who are direct descendants of the 16th century Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley. A wonderfully absorbing tour which should not be missed.
- Enjoy an afternoon in the Clew Bay Heritage Centre. Situated in one of Westport’s 19th century Quayside buildings, the Clew Bay Heritage Centre, traces the history of the planned town of Westport from pre-Christian times to the present day. Artefacts, documents and photographs connected with the Westport area provide a basis for the presentation of local history, customs and traditions.