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Welcome to Mayo

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Towns in Mayo

From the raw incomparable landscape of Achill island to one of the few designed towns in Ireland, namely Westport, Co. Mayo is full of beautiful contrasts. Co. Mayo boasts the setting for major motion pictures including the movie version of the play 'The Field' by John B Keane and 'The Quiet Man', starring movie legends John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. This fine comedy-drama gained Oscars for John Ford the director and for the superb photography of the magnificent Irish landscape. Academy Award Winner and nominated 'Best Picture' in 1952.

Keem Bay, Achill, Co. Mayo. Mayo is home to many religious excursions. In more recent times to the little village of Knock, a place of pilgrimage and a tourist venue owing to an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John which appeared on the southern gable of the village church at Knock on the 21 August 1879.

In a more demanding form of devotion, Co. Mayo also boasts Irelands Holy mountain Croagh Patrick. The most climbed mountain in Ireland, where every year on the last Sunday in July thousands of people climb the rough pilgrim path to the small chapel at the summit where they pray, hear mass and receive Holy Communion. Croagh Patrick, otherwise known as the Reek, stands 765 metres in height (2,510ft). According to legend it is here St. Patrick spent the 40 days of lent and where he extracted a promise from God that Ireland would never loose 'The Faith'.

Keem Bay, Achill, Co. Mayo. Not far from Croagh Patrick you will locate Westport, one of the few designed towns in Ireland, planned almost down to the last detail by the great Georgian architect James Wyatt. Westport, a superb location for shoppers or for those of you who just want to stroll around this pretty site and perhaps throw a coin like many before you into the waters under the lucky bridge and make your wish. The summer season for the town starts in June with the two annual events, the international Sea Angling Festival and the Horse Show. In July you will run into the annual Street Festival - a knees-up of music, art, song and dance. September boasts the Westport Arts Festival and in October a hill walking festival.

A 15 minute drive north of Westport brings you into the delightful picturesque village of Newport. St. Patrick's Church, the beautiful church of Newport stands high above the village and boasts some breathtaking panoramic views, as does the via duct which is now in use as a foot bridge which leads you to a great children's play area.

A Viaduct overlooking childrens playarea in Newport, Co. Mayo. A short distance over the Newport road following the sign for Mulranny, brings you to the parish of Burrishoole. Home to the 15th Century Burrishoole Abbey, a beautiful ruin embraced almost all around by the sea. Take a little detour here and follow the road out to Furnace and you are on a promise to paradise. Interested in fishing? then visit the Furnace Fisheries, where salmon breeding is a local industry, or hire a boat and fish around the lakes of Furnace. Take the road from Furnace to Lettermoughera, the next country village from where you can see spectacular views of Clew Bay Islands, Newport village and St. Patrick's Church. The captivating raw beauty of this countryside will entice you back again and again.

Back enroute to Achill where a landscape full of little lakes, rugged hills with dry stone walls greets you in a countryside that is ablaze with colour in Spring and Summer. Achill derived its name from the Irish acaill meaning eagle, as up until the 19th Century, sea and golden eagles were plentiful here. Over the small bridge that connects Achill island to the mainland just follow the road and simply look around you, the views are spectacular. To find a hidden strand sheltered by the cliffs, boasting golden sand and glittering rocks you would expect to find in the Tropics, simply follow the sign for Kem Bay and you've arrived, welcome to Heaven.

Neighbouring Counties
Galway | Roscommon | Sligo
Achill Island
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