Wild West Mayo Tour

Day 1 Saturday: Arrival in Westport

You meet up with the guide and the rest of the group at 6.30 pm in the Helm Bar in the harbour area of Westport (098 26398), which is about two miles from the train station. It would probably be best to get a taxi. This is just the meeting point and may not necessarily be where you are actually staying that night. There is an introductory talk from the guide followed by an evening meal. If you are unexpectedly delayed please call the Helm Bar and leave a message for the guide as to when you expect to arrive. After dinner you can check into your B&B before perhaps returning to a nearby pub for a drink and a music session.

Day 2 Sunday: Westport to Foxford 36 ml/58 km

Leaving the town on the Castlebar Road, after a mile we turn onto the Western Way walking route. The route takes us along quiet backroads passing by lakes and bog land to our lunch stop. After lunch there is some nice lakeside cycling around Lough Conn and then onto Lough Cullin, which brings us to our Hotel in Foxford.

Day 3 Monday: Foxford to Ballycastle 30 ml/ 48 km

We start the day by visiting the historic Woollen Mills in Foxford after which we head out on back roads to follow along the eastern shore of Lough Conn before stopping for lunch in a pub. In the afternoon we again follow quiet roads to Ballycastle.

Day 4 Tuesday: Ballycastle to Belmullet 42 ml/68 km

Heading west on the coast road with wonderful views looking out over the Atlantic, we come to the Ceide Fields, site of an ancient 5000-year-old field system. It is the largest Stone Age site in Europe and there is an excellent interpretive centre here that outlines the history of the site. Continuing on from the centre there is a dramatic cycle across open bogland with more wonderful coastal views all the way to the town of Belmullet.

Day 5 Wednesday: Belmullet to Achill 45 ml/72 km

Today we is cycle around the Atlantic Coast through a wild barren landscape, past freshly cut fields of peat, to the village of Mulranney and from there cycle onto Achill Island and our night stop. There may be an option to cycle out on the isolated peninsula beyond Belmullet and take a fishing boat from Blacksod Point across the Bay to Doogort on Achill Island. From here it is a short cycle to the village of Keel where we spend the next two nights.

Day 6 Thursday: Rest Day in Achill

There are several dramatic cycling routes around Achill the most impressive being the Atlantic Drive, with its wonderful coastal views and beautiful landscape. You can also head to Keem bay for a swim on its white sandy beach. For those feeling energetic you could climb to the top of the nearby cliffs some of the highest in Europe, where you are rewarded with the most breathtaking views of the week.

Day 7 Friday: Achill to Westport 37 m/ 60 km

Leaving the Island via the bridge at Achill sound, we continue along the Clew Bay coast road and visit a 16th Century Tower House, one of the chain of forts built by Granuaile, a female pirate who controlled this whole region. We then visit a small but beautifully situated early Christian monastic site, before heading to Newport for lunch. In the afternoon we return to Westport for a final night on the town together.

Day 8 Saturday: Departure

After breakfast you are free to head your separate ways.