The longest off-road walking and cycling route in Ireland, The Great Western Greenway follows the path of the closed railway lines. This stunning trail takes you through some remote and beautiful areas on the western coast of Ireland. By visiting the pretty villages of Mulranny and Newport you get a real feel for the West of Ireland.
Céad Míle Fáilte – Achill Island lies just off the coast of Co. Mayo less than 200m from the mainland it is connected via a bridge. Achill is known for its tall sea cliffs and many beaches. Be sure to visit Dooagh Beach which has just re-appeared after disappearing in 1984! Soak up the island atmosphere and enjoy fresh sea-food to set you up nicely for your walk tomorrow.
The first official access point is at the gateway of the Achill Island hotel where a fingerpost will point you in the right direction to go. On a designated walking and cycling path you will follow the old railway line round to Mulranny with views out to sea on your left and surrounded by fields of long grass flowing in the wind. Ahead of you in the distance are the mountains of Mayo. Leaving the estuary behind you will sweep round and down towards Tonragee. Shortly after you will feel like you are nowhere near the sea as you cross the Blue Bridge surround in the distance by mountains. Finally arriving down into Mulranny at the Mulranny Park Hotel why not relax with a nice cold drink and some freshly prepared food. Then take some time to explore this small town and be sure to take the Mulranny causeway across Trawoughter Bay to discover the specular coastline.
Returning to the Greenway where you left it yesterday, the walk today will be longer than yesterday. Heading out of Mulranny sweeping views over Clew Bay and to Croagh Patrick in the distance will accompany you. Greenfields of every shade will accompany you as you gently climb to sweeping views that make you feel like you are further from civilisation than you actually are. Benches are placed along the route so be sure to stop and enjoy the view from one of these rest spots. Cyclists won’t be the only other things to watch out for today as you pass by open grazing areas for cows, which at times are known to be on the actual way. Watch out for a sign directing you to a local pub and take the diversion to grab a bite to eat or a cup of tea to keep you going. Winding through the countryside then crossing an expanse of water on an old stone bridge you are on the final section of today to Newport. This section follows the main road round to Newport the ancestral home of Princess Grace of Monaco.
This final walking day is a short day and well worth starting out early so you can be in Westport for lunchtime. Leaving Newport by crossing the bridge the way follows the main road to Westport. Eventually, you move away from the main road to be surrounded once again by the countryside on a relatively flat section that winds its way across the land with some bridges helping you across small rivers. Coming back to alongside the road you soon cross over to continue on the far side of the road. This section doesn’t feel so much like you are parallel to the main road as a line of trees and some shrubbery separate your walking path from the main road for a while. Soon the way will slowly move further and further from the main road till you are back in the countryside where tall trees line the way and you will pass under bridges now rather than over. A final gentle ascent then descent will take you to the town centre of Westport. Here you can explore the Georgian town centre, sample some traditional Irish cuisine and enjoy traditional music sessions. What a way to celebrate finishing your walk.
Today we say “Slán agus beannacht leat “ unless you would like a few extra nights here to really enjoy this area and maybe tackle Croagh Patrick! If not we hope to see you again soon.
Get the train from Dublin Heuston Station to Claremorris. From Claremorris get the bus to Achill Island.
Fly from Stansted or Luton to Knock with Ryanair, or Gatwick to Knock with Aerlingus. Then get a bus from Knock to Stephen Garvey Way Castlebar, change and get a bus to Achill Island.
Get the train from Westport to Dublin, or the bus which goes via Galway to Dublin.
Get a bus from Westport to Knock airport then fly to Luton or Stansted with Ryanair or Aerlingus to Gatwick.
Information on trains can be found on the following website:
Information on buses can be found on the following website: