Ireland Guide

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County Mayo

Mayo - far Mayo - might have been a byword for remoteness and declining population in times past. But now it is thriving, with the recent six year Census showed a population increase of 5.3% (to 118,000). However, Mayo is so spacious that it still seems totally uncrowded. And they are a people who enjoy the present as much as savouring the past. No more so than at Westport on Clew Bay, near the famed Holy Mountain of Croagh Patrick. Westport is a neatly planned town which responds to loving care, a frequent winner of Gold Medals in the annual Tidy Towns awards in Ireland, and the Entente Florale in France.

Five kilometres east of Mayo’s bustling county town of Castlebar, the Museum of Country Life is at Turlough Park House. The first fully-fledged department of the National Museum to be located anywhere outside Dublin, it celebrates Irish country life as lived between 1850 and 1960 in an intriguing display of artefacts which were in regular everyday use, yet now seem almost exotic.

As often, indeed, does Mayo itself - for Mayo is magnificent. All Ireland's counties have their devotees, but enthusiasts for Mayo have a devotion which is pure passion. In their heart of hearts, they feel that this austerely majestic Atlantic-battered territory is somehow more truly Irish than anywhere else. And who could argue with them after experiencing the glories of scenery, sea and sky which this western rampart of Ireland puts on ever-changing display, particularly over Achill Island.

Yet among Mayo's many splendid mountain ranges we find substantial pockets of fertile land, through which there tumble fish-filled streams and rivers. And in the west of the county, the rolling hills of the drumlin country, which run in a virtually continuous band right across Ireland from Strangford Lough, meet the sea again in the island studded wonder of Clew Bay.

Along Mayo's rugged north coast, turf cutting at Ceide Fields near Ballycastle has revealed the oldest intact field and farm system in existence, preserved through being covered in blanket bog 5,000 years ago. An award-winning interpretive centre has been created at the site, and even the most jaded visitor will find fascination and inspiration in the clear view which it provides into Ireland's distant past. A few miles eastward, the charming village of Ballycastle is home to the internationally-respected Ballinglen Arts Foundation, creative home-from-home for artists worldwide.

Nearby, the lively town of Ballina is where the salmon-rich River Moy meets the sea in the broad sweep of Killala Bay. It takes a leap of the imagination to appreciate that the sheltered Moy Valley is in the same county as the spectacularly rugged cliffs of Achill Island. But leaps of the imagination is what Mayo inspires. 
 


Local Attractions and Information

Ballina Street Festival/Arts Week (July) 096 70905

Ballina Tourism Information 096 70848

Ballycastle Ballinglen Arts Foundation 096 43184/43366

Castlebar Linenhall Arts Centre 094 9023733

Castlebar Tourism Information 094 9021207

Castlebar Turlough House (see entry under Turlough) 094 9031589

Ceide Fields Interpretive Centre 096 43325

Clare Island Ferries 098 27685

Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre 094 9256756

Inishkea Island Tours Belmullet 097 85741

Inishturk Island Ferries 098 45520/45541

Killasser(Swinford)Traditional Farm Heritage Centre 094 9252505

Kiltimagh Glore Mill Follain Arts Centre 094 82184

Knock Interational Airport 094 9367222

Moy Valley Holidays 096 70905

Turlough Turlough Park House. Museum of Country Life. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 2pm to 5pm, closed Mondays 094 9031589

Westport Clew Bay Archaeological Trail 087 2935207

Westport Westport House & Children's Zoo 098 25430/27766

Westport Tourism Information 098 25711

Gardens

Ashford Castle - Cong County Mayo Ireland
Ashford Castle Hotel & Gardens
Cong, Co. Mayo
Ireland’s grandest castle hotel, with a history going back to the early 13th century, Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres of parkland, and anyone who loves beautiful surroundings will be thrilled to stay here - or even simply call in for a m ...
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Golf

Ballinrobe Golf Club - Ballinrobe County Mayo Ireland
Ballinrobe Golf Club
Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo
Course Type: Parkland
The Championship Parkland Golf Course at Ballinrobe Golf Club is considered by some, including Padraig Harrington, to be one of the finest in Ireland. Cloonacastle Estate, which dates back to 1238, became the new home for Ballinrobe Golf Club ...
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Self Catering

Bayview Apartment - Self Catering in Cong County Mayo Ireland
Bayview Apartment
Cong, Co. Mayo
Beautifully situated on the shores of Lough Corrib in the grounds of Ashford Castle, this brand new 2 bedroom apartment sleeps up to 7 people and would be equally suitable for a family holiday or a romantic getaway. It’s only 10 minutes ...
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What's On

There is no featured What's On in this county

Tourist Attractions

Ballycroy National Park - Ballycroy County Mayo Ireland
Ballycroy National Park
Ballycroy, Co. Mayo
Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s sixth National Park and 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 and co ...
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Wedding Venues

Wedding
Stella Maris Country House Hotel
Ballycastle, Co. Mayo
Built in 1853 as a coast guard regional headquarters, this fine property on the edge of the wonderfully away-from-it-all village of Ballycastle was later acquired by the Sisters of Mercy, who named it Stella Maris. It now makes a very special sma ...
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Local Recommendations

Hospitality

Special Offers

  • Special Offers at The Ice House, Ballina

    The Ice House Hotel is a cool riverside hotel in Ballina County Mayo with a funky mix of traditional and bold contemporary styles and enjoys stunning views and has has launched a signature Wild Atlantic Way Experience special offer
  • Talbot Hotel Belmullet - Special Offers

    Situated in the heart of one of Ireland’s furthest flung towns, and one almost surrounded by the sea, this friendly place has long been popular and has several special offers to tempt you away mid-week or at the weekends

Self Catering

Farmers Markets

Tourist Attractions

Golf Courses

Gardens

Town Information

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