Heading to Westport, Ireland? Check out our list of the best things to do in Westport including favorite restaurants, outdoor activities, pubs, golf, and best hotels.
Westport is a charming, seaside town located in County Mayo on Ireland’s west coast. If you are wondering if Westport is worth visiting, the answer is YES! We loved our visit and found so many fun things to do in Westport.
Ads are how we pay our bills and keep our blog free for you to enjoy. We also use affiliate links; if you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Westport was my second stop on a wonderful two-week Ireland road trip with my son. We began our adventure in Dublin and after a few days exploring the capital and largest city of Ireland, we drove to Westport. It’s an easy, beautiful three-hour drive from Dublin to Westport. And it was one of my favorite towns we visited.
For a small country, Ireland offers endless small towns, castles, and wondrous sites to visit. In 1767 Westport became the first planned town in Ireland. The quaint town of Westport is located in the heart of County Mayo. It is situated at the S.E. extremity of Clew Bay on the Carrowbeg river. The town was designed by the English architect James Wyatt.
23 Great Things to do in Westport, Ireland
There are so many fun things to do in Westport for families or couples. Biking, kayaking, hiking, golfing, archery, zip-lining, shopping, eating, and, of course, all sorts of craic!
Westport’s charisma is instant. From the moment you arrive, the beauty and charm of this small town are evident.
1. Visit Westport House
Westport House is a heritage home museum, amusement park, campground, and train ride rolled all into one. The grounds celebrate 300 years of Irish heritage on a 400-acre property. It is one of the best places to visit to learn the history of the town.
The most important aspect of the property is the 18th Century Westport House, which is privately owned and operated by Jeremy Browne (The 11th Marquess of Sligo) and his family.
The first thing we did when we arrived in Westport was head to the Westport House for a tour of the home.
The Browne family are direct descendants of Grace O’ Malley, the famous 16th Century Pirate Queen of Connaught.
2. Westport House Express Choo-Choo Train Ride
After the Westport House tour, we jumped on the choo-choo train for a tour of the town and the house grounds. Westport House Express is a miniature railway and a fun way to get an overview of Westport House grounds and town.
3. Pirate Adventure Park
Pirate Adventure Park is located on the same grounds as Westport House. My son zip-lined, had an archery lesson and went on a lot of fun rides including a log ride, vortex tunnel and mini Ferris wheel.
4. Enjoy the Best Pizza in Westport at Gracy’s
There are fields of sheep, rides for smaller kids, and a great restaurant; Gracy’s, owned by Alannah Browne, youngest daughter of Lord and Lady Altamont. Gracy’s is named after Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen, who is Alannah’s 14th Great Grandmother and direct descendant.
They are known for their delicious pizza (gluten-free as well) and cakes.
When visiting Westport House, plan for a full day to truly enjoy everything the property has to offer!
5. Play Golf at the Westport Golf Club
One of Ireland’s most popular outdoor activities!
One of Ireland’s finest Championship Golf Courses is just five minutes from the town center. During our visit to Westport, my son had a chance to play the course at Westport Golf Club, designed by renowned international golf course architects Fred Hawtree and Sons.
When we planned our trip, playing golf was on the top of his list of things to do in Westport Ireland. The golf course is just stunning; on Clew Bay and looking out at Croagh Patrick (a mountain and an important pilgrimage site).
The course can be challenging with its long holes, elevated greens, strategically placed bunkers, and holes that climb tall hills. If you a golfer, this is a must!
6. Explore the Quaint Town of Westport
In the Georgian town center of Westport, you’ll find a quaint stone bridge on many streets, and tree-lined promenades on the banks of the Carrowbeg River. You’ll also find Rockfleet Castle and Burrishoole Abbey, which have ties to the 16th-century pirate queen, Grace O’ Malley.
In the Westport town centre in the main roundabout, is the statue of St. Patrick.
The town is walkable and filled with shops, pubs, bakeries, restaurants, and lots of gorgeous flower beds.
7. Afternoon Tea at The Westport Plaza Hotel
Afternoon tea in Ireland is generally served between 3 pm and 5 pm. The Westport Plaza Hotel is both luxurious and cozy creating a high-end, but comfortable space. Enjoy delicious sandwiches, homemade scones, cakes and desserts with Irish Tea, Coffee or nonsense tea, I mean Herbal Tea. Add a little fun to the day with champagne, cocktails and wine.
8. Visit a Pub for Traditional Irish Craic
Craic? There is no literal translation to American English, but what I have been able to gather is it means to have fun (in many ways). It also means to gather and play live music.
You can’t visit Westport without time in one of the pubs. It’s one of the most popular things for locals and visitors! It will allow you to get to know a few locals, enjoy a pint of Guinness, and hear some traditional Irish music!
There are several pubs in Westport, but Matt Malloy’s is one of the most popular. I promise a visit to an Irish pub will be a unique experience and most likely one of your fondest memories of an Ireland vacation.
9. Enjoy a Pint of Guinness
Guinness is the most popular beer in Ireland and the national beer of Ireland. Guinness can be found in just about every pub across the Emerald Isle and far beyond. But, there is something special about a pint of Guinness from the tap in Ireland!
Additional beers worth a try while in Ireland are Scraggy Bay, McGargle’s, Mescan and Five Lamps.
10. Enjoy the Fabulous Food
An Port Mór, is a multi-award-winning restaurant from chef Frankie Mallon. Most recently an Port Mor was included in the 2021 Michelin restaurant guide.
The food is inspired by local produce and is rustic, quirky, and absolutely delicious.
Chef Mallon loves big, gutsy flavors and his forte is seafood. Another of the chef’s gifts is creating beautifully plated food that is delectable.
The restaurant is a bit hidden, up an alley called Brewery Place which is directly opposite the Matt Molloy pub on Bridge Street.
11. Climb Croach Patrick
Source: Walking and Hiking Ireland
This isn’t just a hike, this is a popular pilgrimage spot for many. Croagh Patrick is considered to be Ireland’s holiest mountain, and renowned for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honor of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron Saint.
It was at the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD. The summit of this hike also offers tremendous panoramic views of the County Mayo landscape. The hike is just under half a mile and on average takes about 2 hours to climb up and one and a half hours to descend.
Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick also offers a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean.
12. Kayak Clew Bay
Source: Clew Bay Bike Hire
Another fun thing to do in Westport, Ireland is sea kayaking off the shores of Clew Bay. Paddling among the 365 islands of Clew Bay, with the breathtaking backdrop of Croagh Patrick is an experience you must have if you love to kayak. There isn’t a more peaceful way to spend a few hours in Westport. You can rent a kayak at Clew Bay Bike Hire.
13. Take a Bike Ride
Source: Clew Bay Bike Hire
There are hundreds of miles of back roads and trails in and near Westport. You can bike through mountains, woods and some spectacular coastline. The Great Western Greenway runs from Westport to Achill.
If you are up for a good ride, you can make it to Achill in 5 hours from Westport, with a stop for lunch in Mulranny. The Greenway is mainly flat, so it’s an easy ride that allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can rent bikes at Clew Bay Bike Hire.
14. Horseback Riding at Carrowholly Stables
Carrowholly Stables is owned and managed by the Kelly family. The stables are located three miles from the town of Westport along the Wild Atlantic Way. They offer beach and trail rides suitable for all levels of riders from the beginner to the more accomplished. Rides are 1 hour long and start at €30.
15. 1 or 2 Hour Guided Beach & Countryside Horseback Adventure
If you prefer a guided adventure; go horseback riding in the Irish countryside with this small-group tour. Choose between two different tour lengths and set out on horseback to ride along with the beach with sweeping views of Clew Bay. Explore the coastline at a leisurely place and admire views of local landmarks including Croagh Patrick and the Seals Rock. Read more about Beach & countryside horse riding. Mayo. Guided.
16. Take a Private Cooking Class
Learn about Irish food culture during a private, immersive cooking experience. In this cooking class, you will learn how to prepare traditional Irish soda bread and scones from scratch. The class also shared insight into local food heritage. At the end of class, you’ll enjoy the brown soda bread hot from the oven with Irish country butter and locally made jam with tea. Of course, you’ll also bring home the traditional Irish recipes to make at home as well.
17. Check out Local Art at the Quayside Gallery
The Quayside Gallery is a contemporary gallery located in the heart of the Quay, just seven minutes by car from Westport. This gallery was created by acclaimed woodcrafter Joseph McDermott and renowned artist Saileen Drumm.
The Gallery showcases the artistry of both contemporary art and handmade Irish crafts. The Quayside Gallery also showcases the art of a selected group of distinguished Irish artists.
Address: The Quay, Westport, Mayo, F28 NC44
18. Visit Holy Trinity Church
The Church of the Holy Trinity, Westport was built in 1868 and donated to the parishioners by George John the Third Marquess of Sligo. The Holy Trinity Church is built in the Gothic style and is thought to be the last church built before the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871. The architecture, mosaics, murals, and stained glass windows are well worth a visit on their own.
The church is located on Newport Street and weekly services are Sundays at 11.30am.
19. Visit Aughagower Church
Beautiful church, graveyard and ancient monastic settlement remains can be found here. This is the church founded by St. Patrick. It is also the starting and finishing point for St. Patrick when he climbed Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, in the 5th Century.
20. Honor the Famine Memorial
Less than 10 miles from the town of Westport in Murrisk, County Mayo, is the Famine Memorial.
The National Famine Memorial commemorates the people of Ireland who died in the Great Irish Famine. One million people died in Ireland from disease and starvation during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1849.
Sculptor, John Behan, was commissioned by the Government to create a sculpture that would encompass the magnitude of the suffering and loss endured by the people of Ireland during the famine. The result was the Famine Ship, a bronze memorial, with skeletal figures symbolizing the many people who died in the “Coffin Ships” that set sail from Ireland in the desperate hope of escaping to a better life.
21. Explore Collanmore Island
Collanmore is a private Island in Clew Bay and just a few kilometers from Westport. You can visit the island by boat from Rosmoney pier. One of the most popular things to do is the tour of Clew Bay and its islands. You’ll o learn the fascinating stories of Granuaile, the famous Pirate Queen.
22. Visit Clare Island
Clare Island is located 3.5 miles off the west coast of County Mayo and a fun day trip from Westport. The ferry crossing from Roonagh Pier takes 20 minutes. Once you arrive on Clare Island there is a wide variety of activities including hiking, cycling, fishing, and swimming.
Top things to do on Clare Island include Heritage Centre, Ballytoughey Loom, Blue Flag Beach, Granuaile’s Castle, the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, the Lighthouse, the Napoleonic Tower.
The island can be explored on foot, by bike, or by minibus.
From Westport, take the R335 towards Louisburgh (about 20 kilometers). About 1.5 km after Louisburg take a right turn to Roonagh Pier.
23. Achill Island
Achill Island is about 18 kilometers from Westport and it takes approximately 14 min to drive. Once you arrive at Achill Sound, you can drive over the bridge that connects the island to the mainland.
There are five blue flag beaches located on this Atlantic Ocean Island location. If you love outdoor activities and watersports, Achill’s watersports include surfing, windsurfing, canoeing & kayaking. There are a number of local schools and providers on the island.
When to Visit Ireland
The weather is warmest in the summertime (which can still be chilly), but this is also the most expensive time and when accommodations are in most demand. I think the best months to visit are April to June and September to November.
Airfares and accommodations cost less at this time than during the peak summer season, and the crowds are sparser as well. When you travel to Ireland in the spring and fall, it’s bound to rain. Typically, rain won’t last long and sun is just around the corner.
If you enjoyed this article about the top things to do in Westport, Ireland, you’ll also love 52 Things to do in Ireland.
Traveling To Wesport Ireland Soon? Here are a few tips:
Save Big on Your Trip to Westport, Ireland
Check out the best Tours in Westport
Find the Best Hotel Prices in Westport
How to get there: Westport is a 3-hour drive from Dublin. You can also take the train or a bus from Dublin or from most anywhere else in Ireland. During my visit, we rented a car with Irish Car Rentals.
Hotels in Wesport Ireland: Westport is a great base for visiting the West Coast of Ireland. I recommend the Westport Coast Hotel if you’d like to be near Clew Bay and Westport Plaza Hotel if you’d prefer to be in the city center. Both hotels include a wonderful breakfast. I suggest checking Hotels.com for the best Westport hotel rates. Plus, with Hotels.com you get a night free for every 10 hotel nights booked! I love this deal.
Click here to check TripAdvisor for Westport hotel reviews.
What to pack for Ireland: The temperatures each season vary greatly, but even in summer, it can be cold. I visited in June and was very happy to have a light down jacket, warm socks (I love Ice Breaker), a waterproof outer layer and rain jacket, and some hiking boots (I love Keen). If you are visiting in Westport, Ireland, in winter, you’ll want to bring heavy-duty layers.
And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland
Pin for Later!
Learn More About Visiting Ireland
Best Things To Do in Westport, Ireland?
Those are some of my favorite things to do in Westport Mayo, Ireland. If you go, or if you’ve been, please let me know in the comments some of your favorite things to do in Westport. Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions if you’re planning a trip there.
While we were invited guests of several of the above locations, this is a totally independent and honest review based on my experience.