Westport has just been designated the best place in Ireland to live in, and that tells you a bit about how proud we are of our town. It has been crowned national “Tidy Towns” champion three times, and has won many other awards both national and international (Entente Florale, Best Kept Town and others). It’s a charming historic town with a bustling personality and photo opportunities around every corner. The seamless blend of traditional and modern is unmatched throughout Ireland.
Lurgan House bed and breakfast is in the townland of Carrownalurgan, just ten minutes walk from Westport (or a couple of minutes drive). The town and the nearby Quay area have a wide range of quality restaurants and cafes to suit all pockets as well as cosy pubs, many of which feature traditional music regularly. We’re always happy to help with suggestions and recommendations.
We are also within easy reach of some of the most popular attractions in the west of Ireland, The Great Western Greenway, The Wild Atlantic Way and Clew Bay, which boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.
Sporty types are well catered for too, with The Great Western Greenway (the old Westport – Achill railway line which is now a cycling and walking trail), 5 swimming pools and gyms. A short drive brings you to sandy beaches for walking, swimming or surfing.
Ballycroy National Park
Lurgan House B&B is the ideal place to base yourself for a few days while you explore the wonderful natural amenities within a short driving distance. How about taking a day to visit Ballycroy National Park, established in November 1998, it is Ireland’s sixth National Park. It comprises of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range.
Every known species of fish existing in Irish waters has been caught in Clew Bay! Boats can be chartered with ease for angling and cruising in one of the best locations in Europe.
For the coarse fishing enthusiasts, there are a myriad of lakes within driving distance of Westport. Mayo boasts some of the best salmon and brown trout in Europe with the River Moy fishery within an hours drive. Both advanced and less experienced fisherman are accommodated with ghillies, boats and fly fishing instruction readily available.
Turlough Park, Castlebar. Here you can immerse yourself in the lives of our rural ancestors from the mid – 19th to the mid – 20th centuries. Lifestyles which were established for several hundred years came to an end well into living memory, and here amidst furniture and fittings, the tools they used to work the land and the clothes and textiles they wore, you can reach out and touch those vanished lives.
Turlough Park is the site of the first de Burgo castle and the impressive High Victorian Gothic style house was built in 1865 by the Fitzgeralds, who farmed the surrounding land. Today the museum offers guided tours, an audio – visual exhibition, lectures, workshops, special events, family days, a museum shop & cafe.
Clare Island is located in Clew Bay just off the west coast of County Mayo, Ireland. The ferry crossing from Roonagh Pier takes 25 minutes and there is every chance that you will be accompanied on your journey by a school of dolphins and or a herd of seals. Famous as the ancestral home of the legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile), she has a population of about 160 people; economic activities include farming, fishing and tourism.
Clare Island’s western cliffs are among the most dramatic in Europe and are home to large numbers of nesting sea birds. Once on Clare Island, there is so much to see and do – the island’s rich history, geological and biological landscape can be explored on foot, bike or by mini bus.
Be sure to take time out to view the Blue Flag Beach, Granuaile’s Castle, the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, the Lighthouse, the Napoleonic Tower and the various Bronze-Age sites. Clare Island plays host to a number of festivals and events including the: 10k, Play , Annual Yacht Race, Junior Céilí, Annual Bonfire Beach Party, Annual Football tournament, Snas ar do Bhlas – Irish weekend, Bard, Regatta, Tall Ship Celebrations, Comhaltas seisiúns, Open Mike Nights, Féile Cheoil, Adventure Race, Film Festival, and Christmas Concert & Market.
For more information log onto Clare Island or Clare Island facebook or phone:
Inishturk Island. Inishturk known for it’s impressive cliffs are an ornithologist’s dream and enthusiasts will be amazed by the number of bird varieties on the island’s cliffs. The flora of Inishturk is also of international importance as The Spotted Rock-Rose (Tuberaria guttata) a rear endangered plant is still to be found here.
The remains of a Ninth Century AD, Dun or Fort overlooks the only natural lagoon on any of the offshore island’s. The little harbor got its name from the Dun it is known as Port An Dun and was used by the Norse men during their raids as Gold was found there.
Portdoon, as a natural lagoon is only accessible by small boats or curraghs as the entrance is quite narrow. It is used for both pleasure and fishing as several local crafts operate from here. Portdoon is the perfect place for swimming and pier jumping at high tide.
The signal tower was built between 1805 & 1806 during the Neopleonic wars. There were 82 towers built along the western seaboard finishing on Malin Head. Inishturk was no 57.
Achill Island in County Mayo is the largest of the Irish isles and has a population of 2,594. It is attached to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge, which was first completed here in 1887. The island is dotted with small villages and magnificent sandy blue flag beaches. One of the great attractions of the island is the deserted village situated on the slopes of Slievemore Mountain. With over 70 abandoned homesteads, it is a haunting reminder of hard times.
Its old-world character has attracted many famous writers down the years including the German Nobel Prize winner Heinrick Boll. Painters such as Paul Henry, Derek Hill, Charles Lamb and the American Robert Henri have all been inspired by Achill’s unusual and dramatic land and seascapes. The Dánlann Yawl Art Gallery in Tóin ré Gaoth offers a range of painting experiences and courses.
The Achill Yawl has a long tradition of being the working fisherman’s boat. In recent years the annual The Yawl Races has led to a renewal of the ancient traditions of this wooden sailing craft. The Yawl can be seen during the summer months on the seas around Achill. For more info: achilltourism.com
The Tóchar Valley is a beautiful area of rural communities stretching from Balla to Murrisk. Croagh Patrick has drawn pilgrims in their droves since pre-Christian times. It still has a magnetic attraction and many of the faithful continue to climb barefoot, especially on Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July. A small church at the summit marks where Saint Patrick spent 40 days in contemplation and prayer. This is the ultimate destination of the Tóchar Phádraig.
The Tóchar Valley is a beautiful area of rural communities stretching from Balla to Murrisk
Steeped in antiquity the unspoiled countryside is liberally sprinkled with churches, Celtic artefacts and historical sites. The Tóchar Phádraig pilgrim route, which links these townlands and villages for a distance of 55 km, follows a section of the ancient chariot road of the Kings of Connaught which ran from Tulsk in Roscommon to Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain.
Walking & Cycling
Mayo is the ideal walking destination, offering most types of walks including mountain and hill walks, coastal and island walks, and rural and urban walks. The variety of walks on offer may combine to offer an unrivalled and unforgettable experience for walking tourists. Here at Lurgan House, we can offer you the perfect base for your walking holiday. Start the day off with a hearty breakfast, we can provide you with a packed lunch on request and should you experience a little bit of Irish rain we can dry your clothes in the evening for you while you relax in front of the fire or sample-some of the fine music offered by our award-winning pubs.
Lurgan House is situated two Min’s walk from the newly opened Greenway. Westport Greenway extends from Westport Quay to Altamont Street – a distance of 2.5km. The Greenway follows the line of the old Westport Quay railway which closed in the late 1970s. The Greenway offers gentle gradients, panoramic views of Croagh Patrick and is linked to all adjacent residential areas.
If taking your own bike with you is not an option Westport has a number of places where you can rent a bike suitable to your needs and any gear you may require.
Bike Hire Operators
Mr Sean Sammon, James St, Westport, 098-25471
Clew Bay Bike Hire Ltd, Distillery Rd, Westport. 085-7030177
Circuit Cycles, Westport, 083-3468203
And of course, Westport now has an outdoor skatepark, basketball facility and astroturf pitch adjacent to the Greenway and within a stone’s throw of Lurgan House B&B.
If you want something more challenging, Westport can provide that too! you can walk the National Coastal Trail consisting of the designated walking/cycling Greenway and designated cycle /walkway lanes which will take you from Westport to Westport Quay and onwards to Murrisk and Croagh Patrick. The trail at a Glance: Linear Trail Distance 9.2 km
The World Class Great Western Greenway (Westport – Achill island ) is 40km traffic free cycling and walking facility which primarily
follows the line of the famous Newport / Mulranny Railway, which closed in 1937.
This route has gentle hills and some of the most beautiful scenery in the west of Ireland. The route forms part of the National Cycle Network and it is the longest off-road cycling experience in the Country.
Mayo’s only stately home is surrounded by acres of idyllic parklands. During the summer months this is an ideal centre for a day visit for the family. There are flume rides, a childrens zoo, train rides, pitch and putt and much more.
Other Activities include clay pigeon shooting, horse-riding, tennis, squash and cycling. Visit the website here.