Hello Everyone or shall I say Dia Dhaoibh!
It was only ten days ago that I embarked on a journey to Westport, Ireland. Often, when one thinks of Ireland, the cities Dublin or Galway take precedence, leaving towns like Westport in shadow. However, after a week in Westport – a particularly beautiful Irish town nestled in the corner of an Atlantic Ocean inlet known as Clew Bay – I think it is about time that it emerges into the light.
One of the reasons that I am writing a guide to Westport is because of a revelation that I was struck with days before going abroad. This revelation was that in contrast to larger towns or cities, towns like Westport did not have much information on what to do, where to eat, sleep or shop. I am sure many are aware that typing ‘A Guide to Dublin’ into a search engine will result in a multitude of ‘guides’; however, when doing the same for Westport, the result a mere few. It was precisely this that propelled me to write this guide as beautiful, lesser known towns like Westport deserve it and frankly, this is the guide that I would have appreciated before going to the town.
I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I enjoyed going on this trip. I also hope that this guide drives you to explore this beautiful part of Ireland!
Where do I Stay?
Holiday Homes/Apartments: If you prefer staying in holiday homes/apartments – particularly advised if traveling as a family or group, also advised if holidaying for longer periods – then I would advise staying in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in Westport: Rosbeg. It is particularly scenic place: a bay that overlooks the famous mountain, Croag Patrick. It is also a short walk into the quay which homes a number of restaurants, cafes and shops. Perhaps the best feature about it, however, is that it is only a moment walk away from the best pub in Westport, The Sheebeen.
Rosbeg and nearby surrounding areas have a number of holiday homes/apartments available.
To see some of the homes and apartments available in Westport CLICK HERE
Bed and Breakfasts: The most popular accommodation in Westport is undoubtedly bed and breakfasts. B&B’s can be found in the suggested location of Rosbeg. If desired, however, B&B’s can be found closer or in town. This type of holiday accommodation is suggested for a weekend away or for those who like a good breakfast in!
I would advise staying at The Helm in Westport Quay. It is a beautiful location, close to the shops and cafes of the quay and is close to the suggested location, Rosbeg. The Helm is also a pub and hosts fishing excursions. Henceforth, this B&B is suggested for those who like the best of both worlds (the scenic views as well as the shops) as well as the fishing addicts!
For a further list of B&B’s in Westport CLICK HERE
Hotels: Finally, hotels are also available in Westport. Hotels are advised particularly for those who prefer extras such as in-room service, a spa and gym.
To see hotels available in Westport, CLICK HERE
Where do I Eat?
SUGGESTED PUB – The Sheebeen: This pub is simply put, more than a pub. This is, hands down, the best pub in Westport – not to mention where the best Guinness is served. The menu offers something for everyone: white wine, garlic and cream mussels… vegetarian linguine with wild mushrooms… traditional fresh cod and chips. Simply put, a trip to Westport will be incomplete unless you visit The Sheebeen.
SUGGESTED CAFE – The Creel: A wonderfully decorated, quaint cafe located in the quay. One of the best lattes I have ever had and overall serving quality coffee. I recommend trying the Nutella Hot Chocolate too! Offers the yummiest homemade cakes as well as quiches. It also serves daily specials such as pies. A must visit!
SUGGESTED ICE CREAM – McGreevy’s: Ice-cream is extremely popular in Ireland (ironic considering it is cold) and the best ice cream, more specifically the best flake 99 in Ireland (according to the Irish Times) is served in Westport itself. I had to try it for myself and it really was the best flake 99 in Ireland!
For those of you who cannot resist a shop anywhere…
For Designer Duds – Liberties: Even small towns boast big designer brands! A visually pleasing shop – well done to the visual merchandisers! Liberties offers a carefully curated collection of designer clothing, accessories and furniture, including pieces from Irish designers such a Orla Kiely and international designers such as By Malene Birger.
For Boutique Clothing – The Mall Boutique: One of the best things about small towns is one-of-a-kind boutiques. The Mall offers fashion conscious clothes at fair prices. This boutique is perfect for those who wish to treat themselves to something unique on their holiday!
For Those Who Forgot Raincoats! – Portwest: If you are like me and convinced yourself that it would be actually be warm in Ireland then this shop is for you! It is a great outdoors shop – warm jackets, raincoats and more – offering amazing prices and discounts, perfect for those who forgot their raincoat or simply looking to buy a new one!
I might be a fashion blogger but that does not mean I cannot get my hands dirty! Westport is known as the best place in Ireland to do some fishing… see my recommendations below for the best fishing spots and charters!
For Sea-Fishing Charters – Fishing Westport: This is equally suitable for those who are newbies to sea fishing and want the sea fishing experience or if you are a pro! While I have always loved fishing – growing up in Zambia – I am admittedly a sea-fishing newbie. This, however, did not seem to be a problem as number of fish were caught, including mackerels, sharks and rays! A cute addition to this service is a dog – known as Poppy – that wears a lifejacket and keenly watches the sea for seals! Fishing Westport offers a number of different excursions, including half day, full day and overnight fishing. Highly recommended for everyone, especially those fishermen and fisherwomen!
For Lake Fishing – Lough Mask: A thirty minute drive from Westport and honestly one of the most picturesque places on earth! Perfect for fishing with to-die-for views and no-fuss fishing: simply drive your car to a free spot on the lake and put in your line! A number of fish can be caught here including trout, pike, perch and more.
For River Fishing: A number of rivers run through Westport area; however, some places and locations on the river require a license or prior permission. I would suggest fishing in town (as this requires no license) but fish size and scope is limited. I would recommend sea and lake fishing above river fishing.
Further Things to Do…
Croag Patrick Climb: Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions (being too windy) I could not climb the famous mountain. The mountain is 764 metres tall; however, it is an activity that is highly recommended and apparently not too hard to climb. Estimates are an hour and a half up and a faster descent.
Achill Island’s Atlantic Drive: The island itself does not have much to do – except for some water sport – however the drive is undoubtedly beautiful. Drive to extremely high heights, see the sheep balancing on the cliffs and stop to take some gorgeous photos – but do not look down!
Connemara Drive: A gorgeous drive – I personally preferred it to the Achill Island Atlantic Drive – through the district of Connemara. Recommended to drive through Connemara to Galway from Westport. Picture dazzlingly high mountains, cliffs and streams – very fairytale-esque.
Ride a Bike with Clew Bay Bike Hire: I am personally not a big bike rider myself but the views are so beautiful in Westport and surrounding areas that it is one of the most popular activities. There are designated bike routes and roads throughout the whole journey so no need to worry for those wary about riding on roads. Clew Bay Bike Hire also offer activities such as kayaking for those who are interested in water related activities.
Evidently, there is a lot to do in Westport, Ireland – whether you love food, fashion, fishing, cycling, walking or sightseeing, there is something for you.
It is always special to visit places like Westport that are truly traditional and almost untouched – it is no wonder it has won awards time and time again. Most important than its awards though, it has won hearts.
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