Westport, Galway & the Wild Atlantic Way

Westport, Galway & the Wild Atlantic Way

Experience the sights of western Ireland and the wild Atlantic coast

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Experience the sights of western Ireland and the wild Atlantic coast

Westport

Few towns in Ireland can match Westport’s charisma and continental flavour. Cheerful, multi-coloured shop fronts jostle for attention with

an attractive selection of shops, pubs, cafes & restaurants. Little wonder it has become one of Ireland’s most popular and cosmopolitan holiday destinations. Situated on the south east shores of the Atlantic inlet of Clew Bay, against the backdrop of the protective Croagh Patrick – under the watchful eye of the chapel at its peak! The charming Quay area is just a few minutes from Westport’s town centre and possesses a unique character of its own with pubs, restaurants, hotels, shops and galleries.

 

Strokestown Park House

Strokestown Park House is a Palladian villa in Strokestown, County Roscommon set on approx. 300 acres. The entrance leads directly from the town of Strokestown reputedly one of the widest streets in Ireland. The house is open to the public all year round, as is the Famine Museum in the grounds. Many evictions of poor tenant farmers occurred during the Great Famine. The Mahon family alone, who owned the estate, in 1847 evicted 3,000 people. After the assassination of Major Denis Mahon in November 1847, at the height of the Famine, his only daughter, Grace Catherine, vowed never to return to her ancestral seat. She was on honeymoon at the time, having been married only weeks earlier. Strokestown Park is now owned by a Roscommon based company, the Westward Group, which has restored the house and gardens using largely original furnishings. The 4-acre walled pleasure garden was officially opened in 1997 by the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.

The Museum

Strokestown Park contains some of the best records from the time of the Famine. The Museum was built by the Westward Group and all the documents on display in the Museum are from the estate. The Museum aims to explain the Great Irish Famine and to draw parallels with the occurrence of famine in the world today.

 

Galway - Galway lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous city in the state and the sixth most populous on the island of Ireland. The city also bears the nickname "The City of the Tribes"  because "fourteen tribes" of merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory one in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They later adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town's Cromwellian occupier. The Spanish Arch in Galway city was originally an extension of the city wall from Martin's Tower to the bank of the Corrib, as a measure to protect the city's quays, which were located in the area once known as the Fish Market (now Spanish Parade). In the 18th century the Eyre family created an extension of the quays called The Long Walk and created the arches to allow access from the town to the new quays. The Spanish Arch is located on the banks of the River Corrib directly across from The Claddagh. The Long Walk is a promenade to one side of the Arches.

 

Foxford, historically called Bellasa ("mouth of the waterfall") is a village 16 km south of Ballina in County Mayo. Situated between the Nephin and Ox Mountains, Foxford lies on the River Moy, a salmon-fishing river, and close to Loughs Conn and Cullin.

Foxford developed around the eponymous Woollen Mills which have been producing the famous Foxford blankets since 1892.

 

Achill Island

Achill Island is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, and is situated off the west coast. It has a population of 2,700 and is attached to the mainland by Michael Davitt Bridge. The mountain, Slievemore, (672 m) rises dramatically in the north of the island and the Atlantic Drive (along the south/west of the island) has some dramatically beautiful views. On the slopes of Slievemore, there is an abandoned village (the "Deserted Village") The Deserted Village is traditionally thought to be a remnant village from An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger of 1845-1849).

 

Day 1

An early morning departure from Cumbria sees us travel south via Chester and along the North Wales coast to Holyhead for early afternoon Stena sailing to Dublin. On arrival we travel to our overnight hotel, the Johnstown House Hotel at Enfield. Dinner in the hotel, evening at leisure.

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Day 2

We leave after breakfast for the journey via Mullingar and Longford, calling at Strokestown Park House, a beautiful 18th century mansion house. Once the ancestral home of the Mahons, during the famine the landlord of the time chartered “coffin ships” to transport his evicted tenants to America. The stable block within the grounds is now home to the famine museum, which includes letters from former tenants. There is also the newly restored pleasure garden to explore with the largest herbaceous border in Ireland. We continue our journey to Westport and the Castlecourt Hotel arriving in time to freshen up before dinner is served in the hotel.

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Day 3

Today we head to Galway city, a lively compact city that lends itself to be explored on foot, visit the Old Quays and Spanish Arch, cathedral of St Nicholas with its ornate marble floor or fascinating Eyre Square. We return to Westport for dinner.

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Day 4

A day at leisure in Westport situated at the mouth of Clew Bay, perhaps visit Westport House or use the hotel’s extensive leisure facilities. Dinner in the hotel.

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Day 5

After breakfast we enjoy a full day guided excursion around Magical Mayo. We first visit the Foxford Woollen Mills, where a self-guided tour through the visitor centre recounts the amazing tale that brought a thriving woollen industry to the town. Today master craftsmen produce traditional Irish pieces that are sold worldwide, and a visit to the many displays in the mill shop is recommended. From Foxford we follow the shores of Lough Conn and Lough Cullen through Castlebar and over the road-bridge to Achill, Ireland’s largest island, and then on to Keel for lunch. This is a rugged, unspoilt and spectacular region of Ireland dominated by Slievemore Mountain that rises dramatically to the north. At Achill Sound we join the famous circular 'Atlantic Drive'. Final dinner in the Castlecourt Hotel tonight.

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Day 6

After breakfast we leave our hosts at the Castlecourt Hotel and travel north via Sligo and through Yeats Country, with fine views of Benbulben to Enniskillen, and then onward to Belfast for overnight accommodation at the Stormont Hotel. Dinner in the hotel tonight.

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Day 7

Following breakfast we leave our hosts and travel north to Larne and the lunchtime sailing to Cairnryan, then homeward to Cumbria, arriving home early evening.

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B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Castlecourt Hotel

Located in Westport town centre the Castlecourt Hotel is separated from the Westport Plaza Hotel by a landscaped courtyard. Our 4 star hotel offers luxury accommodation and a warm welcome. There is also a sister hotel, the 4 star Westport Coast Hotel, located on the waterfront overlooking Clew Bay.

The C Club Leisure Centre offers a 20 mtr indoor heated poor, gym, Jacuzzi and steamroom. Or why not escape to Spa Sula, opened in 2008 it has since become one of the most popular destination spas in Westport. When you step into Spa Sula you enter a luxurious temple of harmony for body, mind and spirit. It is an indulgent sanctuary created exclusively for your pleasure and well being. 

With the award winning Orchard Restaurant and the Courtyard Bistro you are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining Options.

The informal Courtyard Bistro offers a full bar menu from 6-9.30pm and a delicious carvery lunch from 12.30-3pm.

For those in need of a quick bite, sandwiches and an array of pastries are served throughout the day.

Meet the locals in Petie Joes bar which has nightly live music. This exceptional family run hotel is perfectly located and has something for everyone.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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Autumn Spring 2018 2019
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