Gateway to the Wild Atlantic
"The most beautiful view I ever saw in the world. It forms an event in one's life to have seen that place so beautiful that is it, and so unlike other beauties that I know of. Were such beauties lying on English shores it would be a world's wonder perhaps, if it were on the Mediterranean or Baltic, English travellers would flock to it by hundreds, why not come and see it in Ireland!" William Thackeray 1842
The area of Westport has been inhabited for over 500 years. There are many megalithic monuments dotted around the area as a result. Over 500 hundred years ago the O’Malley clan ruled the shores of clew bay under the control of Grace O’Malley, Irelands famous pirate queen.
During the 17th century the Browne family, direct descendants of the pirate queen, moved to the town. In 1730 the family employed the services of architect Richard Cassels to design Westport House on the site of Grace O’Malley’s fortress. At the time the town of Westport lay on what is know the front lawn of Westport House.
In 1767 the Earl of Altamont John Browne put ahead plans to relocate Westport to its current location. He put an advert in the Dublin journal in March 1767 in search of an architect and as a result hired the services of the famous architect William Leeson to plan the town, making it one of only a few plans towns in Ireland, many of the buildings still retain there original facades.
Westport is a very beautiful town, very cosmopolitan and very tourism orientated, while striving to maintain its original character. It is one of the few planned towns in Ireland. It has many outstanding features, most notably the beautiful tree lined boulevard know as The Mall, running parallel to Carrowbeg River. Croagh Patrick is one of the worlds best known places of pilgrimage and provides a tough ascent for thousands of pilgrims each year, some climbing barefoot, in the memory of Saint Patrick, whom legend tells us, spent forty days and forty nights fasting on the summit more than 1,500 years ago. A small church at the summit of the mountain welcomes you with magnificent views of Clew Bay, with an island for every day in the year, providing inspiration for many walkers and visitors each year.
Land Based Activities
If you want some adventure in your life and you don't want to get wet, there is plenty of choice in Westport. From Horse-riding to Clay Pidgeon Shooting and everything in between, Westport has something for everyone.
Water Based Activities
If you're a thrill seeker and want to explore the Wild Atlantic, Westport is the place for you. You can go Snorkelling, Abseiling or maybe Paddle Boarding at Westport House. Whatever your thrill level we have something for you.
Westport is one of the most fascinating places you will see it has something for everyone. You can see what life was like in the 18th Century at Westport House, take a look at what farming was like 6,000 years ago or maybe just relax on one of our Blue Flag Beaches.
Westport is graced with some of the most quirky and interesting shops you'll see take a stroll through some of the colourful shops to see what they have got for you. Westport offers a mix of big name shops like Carraig Donn to shops providing locally handmade crafts.
Westport is built for family holidays, many of the business' are family owned so they know how to give families a holiday full of wonderful memories. Whether you want to taste of all the adventure Westport has to offer or relax in one of our Leisure Centres Westport has something for every family.
There are many amazing Day Trips you can take in Westport. Fishing in the Wild Atlantic, Climbing our Holy Mountain and Golfing to name but a few.