My family and I visited county Mayo from Dublin in February 2019.
This was a part of the 5-day road trip from Dublin covering mainly Mayo, Galway and Clare counties.
Road map- Day 1:
Places covered on Day 1:
1) Termonbarry Lock
2) Strokestown Park House
3) Downpatrick Head
4) Céide Fields
1) Termonbarry Lock (This is in Roscommon County)
Happened to see that the re-opening of Tarmonbarry Lock on the Shannon Navigation was done in Apr 2015. This lock is still operational. This is really an Engineering marvel.
You can spend around 30 minutes in this location, as it is quite near to the main road.
There is a lot of parking space available.
2) Strokestown Park House / National Famine Museum (This is in Roscommon County)
Strokestown Park is a unique historic property in the west of Ireland and is the home of the first landlord to be assassinated during the height of the Great Famine of Ireland the 1840s.
If you are a history lover, this place can be in your itinerary. The museum contains some of the best records from the time of the Famine.
Please note that there is a ticket charge involved to get into the National Famine Museum (around 10 Euros/person).
There is a Woodland Walk which is free of charge and open 7 days a week from 10.30am-3.30pm. This would be interesting for kids. (You don’t have to buy any tickets to use this walkway)
There is a lot of parking space available. Website: http://www.strokestownpark.ie
3) Downpatrick Head
This place should be in your itinerary, if you are going to this part of Ireland.
It’s a place of absolute coastal beauty. It is one of the Signature Points on the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo.
From the parking area, there is a nice walk. A little bit upwards, but easy to make.
The name Downpatrick is derived from a time when St Patrick himself founded a church here. You can still see the ruins of the church building, a stone cross and holy well here today. This was once a popular destination for pilgrims, who came here each year on the last Sunday of July, known as ‘Garland Sunday’. Today that tradition lives on, and mass is still celebrated at Downpatrick Head on that same day.
There is also a holy well and a memorial to 25 Irishmen who fled from British Redcoats during a 1795 uprising. They hid in the caves at Downpatrick Head, but couldn’t get back out before the tide came in and flooded the cavern. They all perished.
There is a Lookout Post here, one of many around the coast of Ireland dating from about 1939. At these lookout posts in 1942-43, ground markers were etched out spelling EIRE and with a number – this one is 64 – to alert aircraft to the fact that they were now over neutral Ireland.
Be a little careful when you go near the edge of the cliffs. Unlike Cliffs of Moher, we don’t have enough protection (steel fence) at the edges.
4) Ceide Fields:
While you visit Down Patrick, please make sure to take the short drive out to visit the Céide Fields. The Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world, over five and a half millennia old. It is a unique Neolithic landscape of world importance, which has changed our perception of our Stone Age ancestors. You can also visit the Céide Fields Visitor Centre, which has exhibitions, audio-visual shows and so on.
Open Easter to October 29th
Daily 10am – 6pm June to Sept
Daily 10am – 5pm Other months
Available for bookings in winter months.
Group / Senior: euro3.00
Group / Senior: euro3.00
After Ceide fields, we went back to the homestay.
Road map- Day 2:
Second day, we started a little early as we had to cover a lot of attractions on the same day.
Places covered on Day 2:
Roonagh Pier @ Wild Atlantic Bay
Doolough valley / famine valley
Connemara National park
1) Achill Island:
Achill Island is on Ireland’s West Coast in Mayo County. It is on Wild Atlantic Way – a 2500 KM long trail that goes along the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland.
This is a place that you should cover when you are in Mayo.
Achill Island is the largest of all islands off the coast of Ireland. Achill is accessible by the Michael Davitt Bridge, built in 2008 on the site of the original bridge which was constructed in 1887.
It makes a fantastic day trip from Westport, as it’s only one hour away.
Inhabited for over five thousand years, the Irish language is still spoken on the island
You can see hundreds of sheeps in this region. The sheeps along with the background gives you the best postcard pictures in your camera.
The 2 other places (I couldn’t go to these places) which are around 15-30 Minutes are:
Keel beach (White sand beach)
2) Croagh Patrick:
Croagh Patrick is a Holy Mountain which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo. Croagh Patrick is 8km from Westport town and its peak can be seen soaring above the surrounding countryside. Spectacular views of the Clew Bay coastline and the south Mayo countryside can be seen from the mountain. This is one of the highest peaks in the Western part of Ireland. Please note that in case if you are not planning to climb the mountain, there might not be anything special for you at this place. There is lot of parking space(paid), available here.
3) Roonagh Pier:
We have not visited this place but heard that this is a nice place.
4) Doolough valley:
This is a magical landscape of lakes and mountains.
It is a high-quality driving route in a spectacular setting on the R335 between Delphi and Louisburgh in Co. Mayo.
There is also a Famine Memorial in this region. This is a stone memorial, in the form of a simple stone cross which was erected in memory of the victims of the famine in this area.
Unfortunately, it was slightly raining when we passed through this area. However, this is one of the journeys that I would never forget.
The last 4 destinations that we visited was Connemara national Park, Kylemore Abbey, Aasleagh Falls, Sionnanach and Clifden. I would like to cover those destinations in my blog related to ‘County Galway’.
After seeing Clifden, we went back to our home stay.
In this entire 5 days road trip, Grandma’s Products helped us to have some homely Dinner.