Visitors of all ages and from all over the world are annually drawn to this charming town which combines a unique blend of old and new, reminders of a bygone era mingling easily with the bustling town of today.
It is an ideal base for a holiday in the West with it's central position on the Mayo coast and location in an area of outstanding beauty. The Westport region also boasts a wide range of leisure pursuits.
Westport - Ireland's Tidiest Town 2001, 2006 and 2008; Regional Award Winner 2010; Winner Ireland's Tidiest Large Town 2012
Westport House and its adjoining Adventure Park combine to create the most stunning combination of culture, fun and aventure for all the family.
Westport, (Irish: Cathair na Mart), is a town in County Mayo, awarded the coveted title of Ireland's Tidiest Town in 2001, 2006 and 2008. One of the few planned towns in Ireland, Westport was designed in the 18th Century by James Wyatt, commissioned by Lord Sligo of the stately Westport House, as a place for his workers and tenants to live. Today Westport is one of Ireland’s major tourist destinations. Located at the south-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, the town has many picturesque features, most notably its tree-lined, flower decorated, boulevard known as The Mall with several stone bridges over the Carrowbeg river.
The famous mountain Croagh Patrick, one of Europe's best known places of Pilgrimage, presents a striking backdrop to the town. This mountain, 10 km west of the town, provides a tough ascent for thousands of pilgrims each year, many of whom climb barefoot in memory of St. Patrick, who spent forty days and forty nights fasting on the summit more than 1,500 years ago. There is a small church at the summit of the mountain and climbers can enjoy magnificent views of Clew Bay, with its enchanting islands - reputedly one for every day of the week.
The heritage town of Westport offers a magnificent blend of traditional and cosmopolitan, from the cosiest corner of an old-style pub with traditional music sessions, to state-of-the-art modern shops, hotels and conference facilities - all within walking distance of each other. Westport is a welcoming tourist town from the stately Georgian buildings along the Carrowbeg River to the cheerful miscellany of friendly faces, smiling children and perhaps even a busker or two on the busy but leisurely streets of the town.
Westport has a variety of beautiful, safe sandy beaches all within short driving distance on the North and South shores of Clew Bay and in the direction of Louisburgh and beyond. Many of the beaches are EC Blue Flag winners including Bertra, near Murrisk, Old Head and Carramore in Louisburgh. Some of the best beaches are relatively uncrowded and make for an excellent day out for families of all ages.
An excellent 18 hole Championship Golf Course is located just off the Newport Road, approximately one mile outside the town centre. This fabulous golf course, considered to be one of the best in Ireland, guarantees excellent golf and scenic splendour. There is also a 9-hole scenic course in Kilmeena (9km away) and a Par 3 pitch and putt is available at Westport House in summer time.
Sea angling and fresh water angling are major attractions for the visitor to Westport. The sea angling grounds of Clew Bay are amongst the best in Europe, while the inshore waters of the bay offer excellent shallow water angling. Boats can be chartered for angling, cruising or exploring some of Clew Bay's reputed 365 islands. Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout can be found in most rivers around Westport so the fresh water angler is also well catered for. There is free fishing for children on the Carrowbeg River which flows through the town.
Westport is a popular centre for sailing and yachting with residential sailing courses on offer at Glenans Sailing Centre. Rosmoney, Westport is the base for Mayo Sailing Club and there are slipways at Rosmoney, Westport Quay and Old Head suitable for launching dinghies and trailer-sailers.
Horse riding and pony trekking are on offer all year round with riding facilities and tuition available in local equitation centres. Swimming pools & leisure centres, cycling, forest walks, guided walks, shopping, country markets and crafts are amongst the huge range of activities in and around Westport. Clay pigeon shooting, paintballing, hill walking, scuba diving and adventure sports also feature in the vast choice of things to do for the visitor or holidaymaker in the town. Contact, The Westport Tourist Office The Mall Westport. Telephone: ++ 353 (0) 98 25711.
The Clew Bay Heritage Centre, located at the Harbour is an excellent source of information on local history and genealogy. Visit this Centre for a a glimpse of times past or to check out their extensive computer database, based on church records, cemetery records, census returns, local newspapers and street directories.
Westport town and the Quay area have a wide range of excellent restaurants catering for all tastes and prices, many of which specialise in seafood.
The town plays host to many festivals and events throughout the year: Westport Horse & Pony Show (May/June), Westport Folk & Blue Grass Festival, Westport Sea Angling Festival, (both June), Westport Music Festival, Gaelforce West Adventure Festival (both Aug), Westport Horse Fair (Sept), Westport Arts Festival (Oct).
Contemporary art and crafts are alive and well, with art galleries such as the Custom House Studio at The Quay, the Andrew Stone Gallery on Bridge Street or the Clew Bay Hotel Gallery, all open year round. A number of craft shops in the town have work by local artists on display also.