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Great Western Greenway

Distance: 42k
Westport – Newport – Mulranny – Achill

Great Western  Greenway

The Great Western Greenway was completed in 2011, this panoramic route, which winds its way along the coast of of Clew Bay, was the longest greenway in Ireland. The Great Western Greenway has been so popular that it has inspired similar ventures all around the country, most notably perhaps, the Waterford Greenway which just surpasses the Great Western’s 42km by 4km! Today more than a quarter of a million people use the Great Western Greenway annually, all attracted by traffic-free natural environment and the ever-changing and beautiful views over Mayo’s mountains, bogs, farmland and dramatic Atlantic coastline.

The Great Western Greenway follows the line of the old Midlands Great Western Railway, which closed in 1937. It can be completed in either direction, although the best approach is from west to east, with the prevailing wind at your back. Of course, you don’t have to complete the entire 42km, there are a number of entry points onto the Greenway so you can choose to do the Greenway in smaller sections if you wish.

White garden folly surrounded by trees.

Achill to Mulranny (13 km)

This stretch of the Great Western Greenway essentially travels north from Achill Sound (the gateway to Achill Island) and along the coastline of the Corraun Peninsula and back down towards Mulranny village where the peninsula meets the mainland proper. The section provides magnificent views of Mayo’s rugged coastline and is regarded as being the most impressive section of the Greenway. 

Where Does the Trail Start? 

  • Achill Sound: An official access point is located at Óstán Oileán Acla /Achill Island Hotel at the gateway to Achill Island, follow finger post signage onto the Great Western Greenway.
  • Mulranny Trailhead: An official access point is located to the right just off the N59 travelling to Bangor. An access point is also located to the rear of the Mulranny Park Hotel in the old Railway Station House.

     

How Long Does it Take to Complete?

  • Estimated Time Cycling: 1 – 1.5 hrs
  • Estimated Time Walking: 2 – 2.5 hrs


What to Expect

The first 800m of path from Achill Sound has no special provision for bikes, so please take care here. As the route passes through working farmland, you will encounter a number of gates and grids along the way, you will need to dismount for the gates. The dramatic landscape and views out over Blacksod Bay here are wonderful.

After about 6km the trail sweeps south, and you pass Dánlann Yawl Art Gallery, which has a coffee shop next door if you’re in need of a caffeine hit! The scenery becomes more wild as you cross a humpback bridge over the Cartron River and continue south-east across open moorland. Soon the peaks of the Nephin Beg Mountains to the north come into view across Bellcragher Bay as you join the mainland.

A long, steady climb through beautiful woodland brings you to Mulranny Village in which you’ll find the old Railway Station House, which is now in use as a service centre for Greenway users. Bike hire, toilets and showers are just some of the facilities on offer here.

 

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White garden folly surrounded by trees.

 

Mulranny to Newport (18km)

One of the most popular sections of the Greenway, this stretch provides stunning views out over Clew Bay and the hundreds of little islands which decorate it. These islands represent Ireland’s best example of sunken drumlins which were deposited here during the last Ice Age over 10,000 years ago. The impressive cone of Croagh Patrick rises skyward on the opposite shore as you continue your journey east.

Where Does the Trail Start? 

  • Newport: An official access point is located to the left just off the N59 travelling to Mulranny.
  • Mulranny: An official access point is located to the right just off the N59 travelling to Bangor. An access point is also located to the rear of the Mulranny Park Hotel in the old Railway Station House.

     

How Long Does it Take to Complete?

  • Estimated Time Cycling: 2 to 2.5 hrs
  • Estimated Time Walking: 5 to 5.5 hrs

What to Expect

After leaving Mulranny you’ll encounter a climb towards wild moorland on the lower slopes of the Nephin Beg Mountains. The exertion is worth it though for the fabulous views that the elevation provides out over Clew Bay and its tiny islands. This wonderful view continues for most of the way to Newport. If you’re in need of some refereshments, stop in Nevin’s Newfield Inn, reached via a detour to the right some 7km beyond Mulranny.

You’ll then enjoy a gradual descent towards the tidal, Burrishoole channel and over the attractive Burrishoole Bridge, which dates from the 18th century. The route then crosses to the southern side of the N59 continues beside the road southwards for about a kilometre, before reaching the final approach to the attractive town of Newport which has lots cafes and shops if you wish to stop for a break and a browse.

Detours off the Route

Mulranny Causeway: 
Cross the road in front of the Mulranny Park Hotel and carry your bike down a flight of  steps which bring you to a wonderful Victorian causeway which spans Trawoughter Bay. Built in 1889, the causeway links the village with Mulranny’s spectacular marine coastal environment including Mulranny’s blue flag beach, Rosmurrevagh Machair, Mulranny Salt Marsh and Mulranny Pier.

Burrishoole Abbey:
Just after you cross to the south side of the R59, take a 1.5km detour to the right which brings you to the atmospheric 15th-century ruins of Burrishoole Abbey which has an interesting and turbulent history.

 

 

Newport to Westport (11km)

This section of the Great Western Greenway is regarded as the least interesting/ scenic part of the route which has some significant inclines which novices may find challenging!

Where Does the Trail Start? 

  • Westport: The Greenway runs around the outskirts of Westport, from the quay in the south, right up to the N59 in the north, there are 15 entry points along from the town onto the Greenway. www.greenway.ie/WestportAccessPoints.html
  • Newport: An official access point is located to the left just off the N59 traveling in the direction of Westport, located approximately 2km from Newport town.

How Long Does it Take to Complete?

  • Estimated Time Cycling: 1 to 1.5hrs
  • Estimated Time Walking : 3 to 3.5hrs


What to Expect

Be sure to have used the services in Newport as there are no services along this stretch! The Greenway follows the N59 out of Newport and runs alongside the road for most of the route. Although this stretch does not provide the wonderful scenery of the previous sections, it does provide the opportunity to see the beautiful, 19th century, seven-arched viaduct which was built to carry the old railway across the Black Oak River. As you approach Westport, the Greenway begins to climbs slowly through woodland and then passes through a series of stone arches leading to the Attireesh access point. The route then veers left up a very steep hill and follows a loop around the eastern and southern side of the town before reaching the finishing point at Westport Quay.

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History of the Great Western Railway Line

 The 19th century saw the birth and rapid expansion of the railway system in Ireland. The first railway opened in 1834, with many routes opening over the following ten years, connecting Dublin with other major towns around the country.

By 1866 the line from Dublin reached Westport and by the 1890s, a new line was built linking Westport to Achill Sound, known as Balfour Lines. Arthur J. Balfour, Chief Secretary of Ireland between 1887 and 1891, introduced an Act providing State assistance for the construction of light railways to disadvantaged areas in Ireland and the under which the Westport-Achill line was funded. 

The towns of west Mayo benefited greatly from the development of the new railway. It is believed that over 1,000 men were employed in the construction of the railway, while tourism, trade and the postal system also improved as a result.

The Irish railway companies soon became involved in the hotel business. The Mulranny Park Hotel opened in 1897 and from 1898 the hotel began offering a combined rail and hotel ticket! Still considered something of a luxury, the hotel offered electric lighting, hot and cold water baths and a seawater swimming pool. 

However the improvement of the road system meant that the track never reached the levels anticipated and the passenger service was terminated in the mid-1930s. The steel tracks were lifted by the Irish Transport System in 1938 and sold to Germany for use during the Word War II.

WesTport

With the impressive Nephin Bed mountain range to its north, views of Croagh Patrick to the south and located on a narrow piece of land which stretches between Blacksod Bay and Clew Bay, Mulranny is located in one of Mayo’s most scenic spots. The Victorian and very charming Mulranny Park Hotel is the only hotel situated along the Greenway and the hotel has retained much of its original character and charm while also developing a contemporary style along with a reputation for excellent food.

Mulranny is a great place from which to enjoy a wide range of activities such as hill-walking, golfing, cycling, sea-angling and water-sports from its two blue flag beaches. 

The village has won many awards for both tourism and sustainability. Please don’t be confused by the slight variations in the spelling Mulranny that you will encounter on different maps, signs and business names – Mallaranny, Mulrany, Malaranny, Mullaranny and Mullranny all refer to the same place!

Best Places to Eat

Westport is teeming with great hotels places to eat, we’ve selected just a few to point you in the right direction! 

Cobbler’s Bar at The Wyatt Hotel, is a bustling gastro pub located in the heart of Westport. Charm, folklore and character are not in short supply in this plush Irish bar standing on the Octagon in the heart of the town. Grub food is served daily between 12-9pm – fish & chips, steaks, burgers feature and curry are some of the favourites. Cobblers also have a great terrace outside where you can sit out on a sunny day and watch Westport go by!

The award-winning Pantry & Corkscrew located in the heart of Westport offers rustic cuisine in a casual setting with select wines. The restaurant pride itself on using as much local, organic and free-range produce as possible.

Run by Chef-Proprietor Frankie Mallon, in a tiny little building that is beautifully decorated, An Port Mór’s philosophy is to use seasonal, artisan produce from local suppliers. Its speciality is local fresh seafood and shellfish, particularly lobster, crab, scallops and langoustines fresh from Clew Bay. 

The Westport Coast Hotel, which has fantastic views over Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick offers two great dining experiences – the Coast Bar and the Waterfront Restaurant, both of which have an excellent reputation – particularly for their chowder!

 

Mulranny

With the impressive Nephin Bed mountain range to its north, views of Croagh Patrick to the south and located on a narrow piece of land which stretches between Blacksod Bay and Clew Bay, Mulranny is located in one of Mayo’s most scenic spots. The Victorian and very charming Mulranny Park Hotel is the only hotel situated along the Greenway and the hotel has retained much of its original character and charm while also developing a contemporary style along with a reputation for excellent food.

Mulranny is a great place from which to enjoy a wide range of activities such as hill-walking, golfing, cycling, sea-angling and water-sports from its two blue flag beaches. The village has won many awards for both tourism and sustainability. 

*Please don’t be confused by the slight variations in the spelling Mulranny that you will encounter on different maps, signs and business names – Mallaranny, Mulrany, Malaranny, Mullaranny and Mullranny all refer to the same place!

Best Places to Eat

Mulranny Park Hotel – this attractive sea-side Victorian hotel offers two different dining experiences – the Nephin Restaurant serves world-class cuisine in a relatively formal setting while the more informal Waterfront Bar & Bistro offers a more informal dining experience with the bistro menu operating between 1-9pm daily. This is a great spot to have a drink on the terrace overlooking over breathtaking views of Clew Bay after a few hours cycling on the Greenway.   

Newport

The pretty town of Newport offers sea angling in the bountiful waters of Clew Bay, and with  Newport River and Beltra Lake being regarded as some of the best fresh water fishing grounds in Europe, it’s easy to see why the town is renowned for its excellent fishing and angling.

Newport has more to offer than just fishing though – the small town sits at the foot of the beautiful Seven Arches Viaduct – built in red sandstone in the late-19th century and lays claim to the last stained-glass window designed by Harry Clarke in 1930, which is housed in Saint Patrick’s Church located on a hill overlooking the town. 

Rockfleet Castle, in which Mayo’s famous pirate-queen, Granuaile in believed to have died around 1603 is located seven miles west of Newport. The castle (which is more tower-house in shape and style) is open to the public during the summer months. Do wear waterproof shoes as it can be difficult to get near the castle without getting your feet wet at high tide!

 

Best Places to Eat

The award-winning Grainne Uaile pub located at the foot of the viaduct and overlooking the bay has a great terraced area to its front which is hugely popular with locals and Greenway goers alike. 

AchiLL Island

At 148km2, Achill is the largest of Ireland’s islands. It has been made accessible from the mainland by bridge. The villages of Dooagh and Dooega, the high cliffs at Slievemore and Minaun, the sandy beaches at Keel and Keem and the famous Atlantic Drive all make Achill worth a visit. The cliff-side drive can be quite hair-raising at times, so definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Achill has two great adventure centres offering windsurfing, sailing, abseiling, diving, jet-skiing and other activities in Ireland’s wild Atlantic Ocean. The island’s Seafood Festival held in July each year, offers the best in fresh Atlantic seafood, with plenty of craic agus ceoil on offer in the island’s many traditional pubs!

Scoil Acla is one of Ireland’s oldest summer schools and offers workshops in traditional Irish music, creative writing, set dancing, céilí dancing and in Gaeilge Acla – the Irish language of Achill. 


Best Places to Eat

The island has a variety of great eating options including cafés, tearooms, bistros, gastro pubs and fine dining. Kate’s Cafe on Achill Sound is a great favourite with weary travellers just finishing up on the Greenway – providing tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes to all along with a warm welcome!

If you’re looking for something more substantial in the evening, the Amethyst Bar in Keel village offers a quality and interesting menu in a cosy bar setting.

 

Bike Rental

There are a number of outlets providing a range of bike-hire services around the Great Western Greenway. Most providers will be able to offer a choice of regular push-bikes, electric bikes or a hybrid (combination of both electric and push-bike). They also offer a range of options for children, including children’s bikes, child-seats, tow-alongs and adult/ child tandems (but guess who’ll be doing all the work on that one!).

The Great Western Greenway is mostly flat and doesn’t require a high level of fitness to cycle the 42km. It can be comfortably cycled by the average cyclist on a regular pushbike over about a six-hour period. If you think you might need a little help then the electric hybrid might be a good option, as it gives you a little power boost as you cycle. The operators will be able to discuss all of the options with you.

Many operators have different outlets along the route, and provide shuttle bus services to bring you back to where you parked your car. Expect to pay around €25 for an adult bike and €15 for a child’s bike, with a shuttle bus journey included.  Tag-alongs and baby-chairs are generally provided free of charge.

Scooters?

    Clew Bay Bike Hire
    Rentals available from: Westport/ Newport/ Mulranny/ Achill.
    T.+353 (0)98 24818
    E. info@clewbayoutdoors.ie
    www.clewbayoutdoors.ie

    Greenway Bicycle Hire
    Rentals available from: Main Street, Newport.
    T. +353 (0)86 0382593 / +353 (0)86 0382594
    E. info@greenwaybicyclehire.com
    www.greenwaybicyclehire.com

    Sean Sammon Cycle Hire
    Rentals available from: James Street, Westport.
    T. +353 (0)98 25471

    Westport Bike Hire
    Rentals available from: James Street, Westport
    T. +353 (0)86 088 0882
    E. info@westportbikehire.com
    www.westportbikehire.com

    Achill Bikes
    Rentals available from: Dooagh, Achill Island.
    T.+353 (0)98 43301/ +353 (0)87 2437686/ 353 (0)86 1723087
    E.info@achillbikes.com
    www.achillbikes.com

    Clew Bay Bike Hire
    Rentals available from: The Westport Bike Shop, The Paddock, Newport Road, Westport.
    T. +353 (0)98 24966
    E. info@westportbikeshop.ie
    www.westportbikeshop.ie

    beaches


    Achill

    Achill Island has no less than five Blue Flag beaches – Silver Strand, Gold Strand, Trawmore, Camport Bay and Keem Bay all offer sandy beaches, unspoilt views and are places rich in stories and folklore. 

    Mulranny
    On a sunny day there is no better place to be than on the beach in Ireland, there are lots of beaches near the Great Western Greenway. Mulranny’s beautiful Blue Flag beach is accessible via a Victorian Causeway and has lifeguards on duty between June and August every summer as well as toilet facilities. The coastline around Mulranny is is certainly worth exploring https://mulranny.ie/mulranny-causeway 

    Westport
    The Blue Flag beach at Bertra lies about 12km west of Westport and connects the mainland with Bertra Island. The beach here is mainly sandy and provides great views out over Clew Bay towards Croagh Patrick.

    Playgrounds

    If the kids need an incentive to keep going at some points along the Greenway, you might the promise of a happy half hour in a playground once you’ve reached your destination. Here are the playgrounds located near the Greenway.

    • Achill Sound – a great new playground opened in July 2020.
    • Pairc na Mara, Keel Beach, Achill Island – a 15 minute drive to the southern shore of  the island.   
    • Pirate Adventure ParkWestport House, The Quay, Westport – An 18th century amusement park with more rides than your child might be able for! *Please note this park will not open in 2020 due to Covid 19.
    • Newport –  located at the quayside.

    Awards

     There Great Western Greenway has deservedly won many awards including:

    • 2013 – First Prize – European Greenways Awards
    • 2012 – Best Tourist Attraction, Best Recreational Facility & Grand Prix Award – Local Authority Members’ Association Award
    • 2011 – Irish Winner – European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) award

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    Best Bike for the Greenway?

    The Great Western Greenway is relatively easy to cycle, even for those who haven’t cycled in years (or decades!) or those who might be a bit out of shape. The paths are generally on the flat although the are some minor inclines if you travel the route from Westport to Achill – particularly a short stretch located between Newport and Mulranny, of course this can be avoided by deciding to do your trip in the opposite direction! If travelling the route from Achill to Westport, there are several sharp inclines around Westport.

    The bikes that are generally offered for rent are ‘comfort bikes’ which have an upright riding position and are designed for casual cycling on pavement. They are heavier than road bikes, come with wider tires, and often feature a shock-absorbing, suspension seat post. The trail from Achill to Newport has a fine gravel surface so a racing bike would not be suitable for this stretch.


    Electric Bikes?
     

    Electric bikes will help you on your way if you’re not sure about doing the entire 42km unassisted! Please note though that the electric bikes do need to be cycled, they’ll provide about an extra 30% boost to your cycling effort but you do need to push the pedals around yourself! So unfortunately an electric bike would not be suitable for someone with a problematic knee for example.

    Options for Kids?

    Of course it will depend on what stage your child is at with cycling. Some 5 year olds may be well-able for a 5km solo cycle, while some parents may think it wise not to attempt that with their own 5 year old! But most rental outlets provide a range of options for travelling with kids:

    Up to c. 3.5 years/ 15 kilos: Baby seat attached to adult bike.
    Up to c. 9 months- 4 years: trailer attached to adult bike (can take two passengers).
    5-6 years: tag along bike attached to adult bike (works like a tandem bike).
    6 years+: range of children’s bikes sizes.

    What about Older Cyclists?

    Again, it totally depends on each person, however if a person hasn’t been on a bike in many years, it’s worth having a go on a borrowed bike in advance of a trip to the Greenway just to ensure that you feel comfortable and safe on a bike before you head off. Having difficulty keeping your balance on a bike is a common experience of older people who first take to a bike after many years.

    Clearly if a person has mobility or joint issues in their legs, cycling will be a problem. An electric bike will only provide marginal support in this case as the pedals of an electric bike still need to be pushed around.

    But certainly, for any older person that doesn’t have any mobility issues, an electric bike is a good option as it provides an extra boost of energy to keep you going on your way!

    FAQ

    How long will it take me to cycle the Great Western Greenway?

    At 42km long, a fit cyclist could cycle the Great Western Greenway in 2-3 hours but we recommend taking a more leisurely approach and giving yourself a day (6 hours or so), allowing yourself time to stop for snacks, to investigate some of the wonderful sites you encounter and to soak up the varying and exceptional scenery along the way.

    Achill to Mulranny:

    • Cycling: c.1 hour
    • Walking: c.2 hours

    Mulranny to Newport

    • Cycling: c.2 hours
    • Walking: c.5 hours

    Newport to Westport

    • Cycling: c.1 hour
    • Walking: c.2 hours

    What to Wear

    As all Irish people know and anyone who’s been here knows, the weather in Ireland is changeable! It often feels like we have had four full seasons in one day! Winter can be cold, with average temperatures at 4°C, summers are usually mild, with average temperatures at 18°C but can often reach highs of 25°C.

    One thing which remains constant throughout the year (particularly in Mayo) is the rain! It rains a lot in Ireland so please make sure to bring a raincoat. We suggest wearing layers when walking or cycling the greenway as you’ll be able to peel-off or pile them on, depending on which seasons you encounter during the day!

    Also, please remember it’s a good idea to wear brightly coloured clothes or high-vis-vests when on the greenway. Although there are no cars allowed, there may be some serious cyclists who can pick up quite a speed along with electric bikes also so it’s a good idea to make yourself seen.

    It’s also a good idea to wear a helmet, especially if you’re planning on picking up some speed on the Greenway (bike-hire companies offer helmets with every bike). And don’t forget to wear some comfortable, breathable footwear, especially on a warm day when you’ll notice your body temperature rising quite quickly as make progress along the Greenway. 

    Other Attractions

    Westport House

    Considered by many to be the jewel in Mayo’s crown, Westport House has become one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions since it first opened to the public over sixty years ago. Built in 1730, the house brings visitors back in time to experience life in an 18th century ‘Big House’. It was the family home of the Browne family for nearly 400 years and was built on the site of a previous castle once belonging to a famous ancestor of the Brownes – Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught. In an interesting twist to the house’s story, it is now owned by former tenants of the estate, the Hughes family.

    The impressive grounds include a superb parkland setting with lake, terraces, wonderful gardens and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Clare Island and Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick. Family fun awaits in the Pirate Adventure Park while you can pick up a pizza in Gracy’s Pizzeria & Bistro in the farmyard. You may find that you don’t want to leave Westport House! In this event, there’s a great camping site and a 4 star hotel onsite!

    www.westporthouse.ie

    National Museum of Country Life

    Located in the stunning Victorian Turlough Park House and Gardens and in an adjacent contemporary exhibition building, the National Museum of Country Life provides access to rare archive photography and films which explore Ireland’s fascinating rural past and an almost vanished way of life.

    Admission to the museum is free and its exhibition highlights include ‘Straw, Hay and Rushes’ – exploring exceptional crafting traditions, and ‘Life in the Community’, which depicts a year-in-the-life of our rural ancestors. The museum offers a year-round programme of workshops, talks and tours for all ages and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions on historical and contemporary themes. There is also a café and gift shop onsite.

    www.museum.ie/en-IE/Museums/Country-Life

     

    Céide Fields 

    The Céide Fields, located near Ballycastle in north Mayo is largest Neolithic (Stone-Age) monument in the world, with field systems, dwellings and megalithic tombs which have been preserved beneath a blanket of peat for almost 6,000 years old. The area has been sensitively excavated since its discovery in the 1930s by a local schoolteacher while cutting turf. 

    Neolithic dwelling reconstructions, an audio-visual presentation and a cafe can be enjoyed at the site’s impressive visitor centre which holds a 4,300 year old Scots Pine tree, excavated from the fields, at its centre. An external viewing platform provides great views over the prehistoric landscape to the south and the dramatic Atlantic Ocean to the north. 

    Guided tours tell the fascinating story of the ancient field system and its inhabitants, along with how the landscape has changed over the last 5,000 years. The Visitor Centre is open daily from around Easter to the beginning of November each year. During the winter months, groups can book tours specially. Remember to wear good walking shoes and a raincoat!

    https://ceidefields.com

    https://ceidefields.com

    Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

    Located in northwest Mayo, Ballycroy National Park is one of six National Parks in Ireland. It is comprised of 11,000 hectares of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain, covering a vast, uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range.

    To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff bog. This is one of the last intact, active blanket bog systems in Ireland and western Europe and is an important scientific and scenic feature of the National Park. Ballycroy National Park is part of the Natura 2000 Network, which protects rare and important habitats and species under the EU Habitats and Birds Directive.

    www.wildnephinnationalpark.ie

     

     Croagh Patrick

    Overlooking the picturesque islands of Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick is well known for its annual pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick is said to have fasted for forty days in 441 AD. Nicknamed ‘The Reek’, Croagh Patrick  is 764m high and located eight km south west of Westport. The mountain’s conical shape sits proudly above the surrounding landscape and the nearby villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey.

    The mountain (or at least some of it) can be climbed any day of the week of course! There is a public car park at the base of the mountain at Murrisk along with a visitor centre called Teach na Miasa which has a cafe/ restaurant, gift shop, secure lockers, climbing sticks and even hot showers!

    www.croagh-patrick.com

     

    Slievemore Deserted Village

    The Deserted Village at Slievemore consists of some 80 – 100 stone cottages located along a mile-long stretch of road on the southern slopes of Slievemore mountain on Achill Island. While some of these dwellings were occupied as summer ‘booley’ homes within living memory, the area itself is rich in archaeological artefacts including megalithic tombs dating from the Neolithic period some 5,000 years ago.

    An Archaeological Field School is held annually at the Deserted Village under the guidance of a local expert, it is hoped that this research will provide further clues as to the lives of the village’s former inhabitants. This site is freely open to the public to visit.

    Google map: https://tinyurl.com/y4arn79w

     

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    The Greenway Code

     

    The Great Western Greenway is a ‘shared space’ which means it’s for all types of users to enjoy – walkers, cyclists, wheelchair-users, dog-walkers and children. This is why there is a simple code of conduct which is based on respect.

    There are signs at key access points on the Greenway which explains the simple code:

    • While walking or cycling please stay left and pass on the right. 
    • If you are on a bike, cycle at a safe spend and remember to ring your bell to make sure that walkers know you are behind them before passing. Remember, walkers listen out for those bells. 
    • All dogs should be kept on a short leads and remember to clean up after your pets.
    • Leave No Trace – Please bring your rubbish home and keep the Great Western Greenway beautiful.

     

    Parking

      • Westport: parking available beside Clew Bay Bike Hire
      • Mulranny: Mulranny Park Hotel – plenty of free parking to the rear of the hotel, bike-hire also available here.
      • Newport:
      • Achill:

      Security

      The Great Western Greenway is considered to be quite safe but we do advise using some common sense when parking your car – hide anything which might look valuable in the boot before you head off on the Greenway! Do lock your bikes if heading into a cafe for lunch or to explore the surrounding countryside on foot. 

      Locks will be provided with rental bikes, please do lock your bikes if leaving them unattended for any period of time!

       

      Toilets

      It’s a good idea to make sure you use the toilets in any cafes or restaurants you use as the only public toilets available on the route are at Old Railway Station House, Mulranny (showers available here too!).

      Emergency Contacts

      Emergency Services: 999 or 112

      other Useful webSites

       

      Google Maps: https://tinyurl.com/yykr2fon

      Great Western Greenway Official site: www.greenway.ie

      History of the Great Western Railway:

      http://mgwr.weebly.com

      https://www.eu-train.net/connect/story/stories/achill_railway.htm

      https://thewildgeese.irish/profiles/blogs/ireland-s-midland-great-western-railway

      Wild Atlantic Way: www.wildatlanticway.com

      Other Useful Info

      • The Great Western Greenway crosses through active farmlands which are privately owned but the public has landowner-permission to walk or cycle on the Greenway. Please respect private property and livestock and have regard for farming activities.
      • The Great Western Greenway is closed to the public on the 21st of Februrary each year.
      • At Newport, Greenway users share the street with live traffic for a distance of 1.5km.

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