CYCLING ROUTES

Cycling in the Westport region of the West of Ireland is a very special experience. Westport’s wild Atlantic seacoast, coupled with its rural landscape, provides multiple cycling experiences especially for those who like to be close to and interact with raw nature at its best.

 

This cycling guide focuses on the areas surrounding wonderful Westport town (voted by many to be the best place in Ireland to live). Included in this guide are 18 cycle routes. Choose the one that is best suited to you and your party. Cycle distances from                              Westport average from a gentle 10Km to the more challenging 80 Km and many variations in between.

 

Also available for cycling is the Greenway cycling track stretching all the way from Westport via Newport and Mulranny to Achill Island.

For those interested in going further afield, cycles can be extended around the lakes and mountains of Connemara (not included in this guide).

Ireland and precipitation are occasional partners so don’t forget to bring appropriate clothing.

 

This cycling guide is published by Westport Tourism Organisation. Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this guide, Westport Tourism Organisation is not liable for any loss, injury or damage which may arise.

 

Research compiled and uploaded by Westport Tourism Organisation. Copyright 2017.

Cycle 1: Ballintubber Abbey Cycle Route

LOCATION: Ballintubber Abbey

LANDSCAPE: Scenic

START/FINISH At the car park adjacent to the Towers bar, The Quay, Westport.

DISTANCE: 55 KM

APPROXIMATE TIMES: 3 to 4 hours

TERRAIN: Level, very few hills.

 

 

Download a PDF of the map and route here.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Car Park head westwards for about 200m and then left onto the Greenway.  Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge.  After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground, and then turn left on to the R335.  Continue for about 100m to the T-junction. Then turn right on to the Leenane road (N59) and continue until you come to a Filling Station (Point 1 on the map), turn left at the Filling Station and continue for 200m and at the T-junction, turn right on to the Lankill road.  Continue on this road as far as Lankhill School. Continue on to the next cross on the left.  Take this road (Point 3 on the map).

 

You are now on Tochar Padraic (Croagh Patricks Heritage Trail or pilgrim’s path). That path passes through fields and is in existence for centuries. Continue east through historic Aughower “planes of the wells"). It was a centre of population going back to the Bronze Age. The word is that St. Patrick baptised the first converts and erected a church in Aughower. You cannot miss the Round Tower.

 

Continue on the road heading east for 3KM and turn right on the Ballinrobe road (R330) and continue for 2 KM turning left at Point 4 on the map. Then cycle on to Points 5 and 7 on the map. Afterwards continue to Ballintubber Abbey (Point 6 on the map) crossing the Castlebar / Ballinrobe Rd.  Pilgrims used to pass here on the way to Croagh Patrick in pre-Christian times. The present church was founded in 1216 and is in daily use. The Abbey owned thousands of acres before it was confiscated in the seventeenth century

 

Turn back the way you came which leads on to the Castlebar / Ballinrobe Rd.

 

On the way back to Westport retrace your journey going through Points 7,5,4,8,3,2 (in that order) and finish at the Towers Bar.

 

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Restaurants and Bars along the way. Also restaurants in Westport.

Cycle 2: Westport/Lankhill/Derrycraff/ Croaghrim/Aughagower/Westport Cycle Route

LOCATION: This cycle route passes through areas south east of Westport town (the best place to live in Ireland). This is an area of natural rural tranquillity with rolling hills, lakes, forests and farm animals especially sheep. This cycle also passes through the historic village of Aughagower – see additional information below.

 

LANDSCAPE: This rural countryside has varied landscapes including sheep rearing farmland, boglands, forest clusters, lakes and rivers. En route you will experience background views of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, the Shreeffrey Mountains, the Partry Mountains and to the north the Nephin Mountains.

 

START/FINISH At the car park adjacent to the Towers bar, The Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: 42.3 Km

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: 3 to 4 hours

 

TERRAIN: The terrain includes a mixture of flat roads and some hills – see profile.

 

Suitable for Intermediate level, not for beginners.

Download a PDF of the map and route here.

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Car Park head westwards for about 200m and then left onto the Greenway.  Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge.  After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground, and then turn left on to the R335.  Continue for about 100m to the T-junction.  Then turn right on to the Leenane road (N59) and continue until you come to a Filling Station (Point 2 on the map), turn left at the Filling Station and continue for 200m and at the T-junction, turn right on to the Lankill road.  Continue on this road for 7km, passing Lankill National School and Cordaragh crossroads until you come to Derrycraff Cross (Point 3 on Map). You will see a sign for Tourmakeady.  Turn left and continue on this road towards Tourmakeady for 2.5 Km. Turn left at sign post for Killavally (Point 4 on map) and continue on this road for 4 Km. Turn left at sign for Aughagower (Point 5 on map). Turn left at next crossroads (Point 6 on the map). Continue on for 2.3 Km and keep left at Y junction (Point 7 on the map). Continue on up this hill with a forest on your left and a quarry on your right on top of the hill. After this continue to Aughagower. Take a sharp left at Aughagower Church (Point 8 on the map) and go straight up the village passing Scott’s shop and bar. Continue on this road for 5 Km until you reach the Lankhill road (Point 9 on the map).  Turn right at this cross and continue on to the end of this road for 7 Km. Turn left at the T- junction (Point 10 on the map) and after 150m turn right on to the Leenane road (N59). Continue on this road until you reach the R335. Turn left and go onto the Greenway at the playground. Continue on down the Greenway and make your way to the Tower’s bar

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Refreshments in Aughagower/ Westport

 

Additional Information:

Aughagower is said to have been visited by St. Patrick on his way to Croagh Patrick.

It lies on the pilgrimage way of the Tochar Phadraig- a pilgrimage way from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick. The ruin of a medieval church is beside the graveyard. It has a well preserved 10th Century tower. The tower was built between 973 and 1013. The tower was part restored in 1969 and leans slightly to the north. Aughagower has ancient artefacts such as Dabhnach Phadraig- a circular bath where pilgrims may have washed their feet. There is a well which has now dried up, but it was where pilgrims were said to have drunk water while performing the pilgrimage.

Cycle 3: Westport/Lankill/Tourmakeady/Aughagower/Westport

LOCATION: This cycle route commences from the Car Park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar and Restaurant at the Quay Westport and heads westwards, out the Leenane and Lankill roads, up and over the Maam Trasna (Mountain Range) towards Tourmakeady. On the return journey from Tourmakeady, you cycle on a number of minor country roads, heading towards Aughagower and finishing in Westport at the Quay where you started your journey.

 

LANDSCAPE: This rural route is hilly and remote, taking you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Mayo.  You will cycle an undulating route over hills and mountains, passing lakes and valleys.  This is a challenging but rewarding route, with each kilometre offering a new picture of natural beauty.

 

START/FINISH: Car Park at the Quay, Westport, adjacent to the Tower’s Bar and Restaurant.

 

DISTANCE: 65 Km

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: Approximately 5 hours for an experienced cyclist.

 

TERRAIN: Terrain is a tarred road throughout but with a mix of gentle gradients and challenging climbs interspersed with some flat pedalling. This is a challenging route for an experienced cyclist, and not to be undertaken in difficult weather conditions.

Download a PDF of the map and route here.

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Car Park head westwards for about 200m and then left onto the Greenway.  Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge.  After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground, and then turn left on to the R335.  Continue for about 100m to the T-junction.  Then turn right on to the Leenane road (N59) and continue until you come to a Filling Station (Point 1 on the map), turn left at the Filling Station and continue for 200m and at the T-junction, turn right on to the Lankill road.  Continue on this road for 7km, passing Lankill National School and Cordaragh crossroads until you come to Derrycraff Cross (Point 2 on Map). Turn sharp left up a steep incline towards Tourmakeady.  After 2.5km, you will pass a junction at Point 3 on the map.  Follow the road and signpost for Tourmakeady, cycling upwards along the side of the local mountain, after which you will descend to a junction at Point 4 on the map (23.7km from starting point).  Be careful to take right turn at this junction which will take you downhill to Tourmakeady Post Office/O’Toole’s Bar.  This is a good stop for some light refreshments.  Leaving from O’Toole’s front door with filling pumps to your rear, you turn left on to a road signposted for Partry.  Cycle to Point 5, (31.4km from starting point), pass the local Srah National School, on your right, and then turn left after about 1 Km.  This left turn is approximately 7 km from OToole’s Tourmakeady and is a very small country road.  Follow this road for approximately 2km until you climb to Point 6 where you turn right on a bend. Cycling for approximately 1.3km to Point 7, go straight, veering left uphill, towards Killavally, keeping lakes below you on your right, as you travel along this road. As you approach Killavally, keep going straight on this road, until you arrive at a junction in the middle of village. Turn left at junction on to R330 for Westport.  Follow R330 to Point 8 (45km from starting point) and turn left following the sign post for Aughagower. Continue on this road until you reach Aughagower village. Turn left passing Scott’s, the local Bar and shop, on your right, cycle to the junction at the top of the village, then go straight, cycling for 5km to junction, Point 9.  At junction 9, turn right for Westport onto Lankill road, retracing your journey back to Point 10, then turn left and cycle for approximately 100m on to the N59, turning right for Westport. Cycle approximately 200m passing the local Fire Station on you left, then turn left on to R335 to Louisburgh for 100 m.  Turn right into small car par, adjacent to playground and then left onto the Greenway, cycling to the end and the waterfront. Turn right and continue 200m to the Tower’s Bar and Restaurant where you turn left for the car park and your finish point.

 

SERVICES/ FOOD/BEVERAGES:

Tourmakeady: Light refreshments and a friendly welcome in local hostelry/Restaurants in Westport.

 

Cycle 4: Westport/Clogher/Castlebar/Turlough/Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle passes through areas north east of Westport town and connects with the new Castlebar Greenway to the National Museum of Country Life in Turlough. This is an area of natural rural tranquillity with rolling hills, lakes, forests and farms. This cycle also passes through Castlebar, the administrative town of County Mayo.

 

LANDSCAPE: This Rural countryside has varied landscapes including general farmland, boglands, forest clusters, lakes and rivers. On route you will experience background views of Croagh Patrick (the holy mountain) to the south and the Nephin Mountains to the north.

 

START/FINISH: At the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar, The Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 60 Km

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: Approximately 4 to 5 hours

 

TERRAIN: The terrain includes a mixture of quiet country backroads, off road greenway some hills – see attached profile.

 

Suitable for Intermediate level, not for beginners.

 

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Towers Car Park head westwards for about 200m and then left on to the Greenway. Continue up the Greenway to Altamount Street /Fairgreen roundabout. Cross the R330 and proceed on the Greenway to Mill Street across the old railway bridge and skirting playing fields to Castlebar Road. Turn right and cross the N5 at the pedestrian crossing.  With Westport town behind continue to the next junction.  Turn left onto The Lodge Road (sign for Clogher / Monamore, (Point 1 on map).  Continue on this road for 3 Km.  Turn right following the sign for Castlebar (Point 2 on map). Continue for 2.5 Km passing sign for Clogher Lake on your right until you reach a T junction. Turn right. Continue on this road (passing Points 3 and 4 on the map) with views of Islandeady Lake in the distance on the right. After 7.5Km you reach the R311, the main Castlebar to Newport Road. Turn right on to the cycle path.  Continue on this path for 4 Km towards Castlebar town centre. Turn left at junction for Pound Road. At T junction turn right onto Rathbawn and continue through crossroads to R310 on Linenhall Street and through traffic lights to Springfield Terrace. Follow the sign on the left and enter the Castlebar to Turlough Greenway (See detailed map for Castlebar).

 

Continue the 8 Km route along the Castlebar River to the National Museum of Country Life at Turlough with terrain varying from broad green fields to wooded riverbanks.

 

Return to Castlebar via same path. In Castlebar go from Springfield Terrace to the traffic lights leading on to the Main St. Go up the Main Street and turn down for Market Square. Continue straight through and this will lead you on to the Newport road. From there do the reverse route home to Westport.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Café at Turlough House/ Restaurants in Westport and Castlebar

 

 

Additional Information:

 

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF COUNTRY LIFE

With exhibitions spread over four floors, see how the people of rural Ireland lived in the hundred years between the Great Famine and the end of the 1950s.

 

The award-winning Museum of Country Life is home to the National Folklife Collection. Interactive displays and screens, actual video footage of traditions we are fast losing are featured alongside handcrafted harvest knots, wickerwork, spinning wheels and boats, clothing and artefacts from the islands and hand operated machinery our grandparents used.

 

As well as the Museum Galleries, visitors can also explore Turlough Park House, Turlough Park Gardens & Grounds

 

http://www.museum.ie/Country-Life/Visitor-Information/Things-to-See-Do

Cycle 5: Westport Coastal Cycle

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: - CLEW BAY MAYO

This cycle zigs and zags along the Atlantic coastline inlets of Clew Bay between the town of Westport to the south and the town of Newport to the north,

 

LANDSCAPE: The area presents a rugged coastal environment including multiple sea inlets and with roads traversing a scenic costal and rural farming setting.

 

START/FINISH: Start and finish at the car-park adjacent to the Towers Bar, The Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 50Km -if all inlets are cycled.

 

TERRAIN: This is mostly a flat cycle with occasional short climbs.

 

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

Starting at Westport – start at Westport Quay and cycle into grounds of Westport House (signposted Greenway at entrance). Cycle through the grounds (part greenway path and part road) passing the Farmyard on your left and the Soccer grounds on your right. When you reach a t-junction at the Golf links road, turn left. On this road you will pass the entrance to Westport Water plant and enter the townland of Carrowholly, further along on the left pass the Westport Golf club and Westport Rugby grounds.

 

TO PIGEON POINT:  At next crossroads turn left (Point 1 on map) and cycle for approx 1 Km where road ends at Pigeon point. Return on this road back to crossroads.

 

TO CARROWCALLY POINT: Turn left at crossroads and pass Carrowholly National School on the right and Carrowholly stables on the left. Continue on this road to Point 2 on the map. Turn left and continue to Carrowcally. Return on this road back to Point 2 and turn left for Rosmoney.

 

TO ROSMONEY: After you cross the bridge you will come to t-junction, turn left for Rosmoney (Point 3 on the map) and you will arrive at Mayo Sailing club and Rosmoney pier. Overlooking Clew Bay this pier and sailing centre is a good spot to take a break and stretch. Return on this road back to Point 3.

 

TO ROSMINDLE: From Point 3 continue straight to next t-junction and turn left at sign immediately before bridge. When you come to next T-junction turn left for Rosmindle. When you arrive at a stone clad house this road ends with sea views overlooking Clew Bay. Return on this road and continue on to Roscahill.

 

TO ROSCAHILL: On this road after short climb you will come to a left turn for Roscahill Point. Entering Roscahill you will pass a castle ruins on your left. Cycle along sea front road and staying on this road veer right at fork. (Continuing straight along seafront will bring you to a dead end).

 

TO TRAWBAUN: Continuing on this road will bring you to Claggan (Point 4) and at next fork veer left at sign for Sea Point House to go to Inishnakillew, shortly after veer left again and cycle along seafront costal road for approx 1 Km, after fairly steep climb you will arrive at high point with magnificent views of Clew Bay and the islands. Return on this road to Sea Point House.

 

TO KILMEENA:  Turn left at yield sign (Point 4) and you are now on the road for Kilmeena Village.

 

TO NEWPORT: As you leave Kilmeena village turn left at road sign BOTHAR-A-CHOSTA (Cycle 1 on sign post) and pass Mulloy’s Shellfish on left. After about 1Km turn right at T-junction (Cycle 1 sign). After about ½ Km you arrive at N59, turn left here and enter Greenway and cycle about 5Km to Newport town (Point 5 on the map).

 

TO WESTPORT: Retrace your path to Greenway and cycle to Westport via Greenway. As you approach Westport take right turn and cross the N59 onto golf links road. Turn left into Westport House grounds retracing your outward path and arrive at Westport Quay – cycle finish point.

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES:  Approximately 5 hours and many more if you wish to experience the surrounding beauty.

 

OPTION

For shorter 40Km cycle – As you leave Kilmeena village continue straight at sign for N59. When you reach N59 turn right and cycle Greenway for approx 8Km to Westport.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Restaurants in Newport town and Westport town

 

Cycle 6: Burrishoole Abbey, Rockfleet, Newfield

Download a PDF of the map and route here.Location: Westport, Newport, Burrishoole Abbey, Rockfleet Castle, Newfield.

Landscape: Scenic, sheep and cattle farming.

Start/Finish: At car park adjacent to Tower’s Bar, The Quay, Westport

Surface: Tarred road and smooth Greenway.

Distance: 55 Km

Terrain: Flat

Approximate time: 3 to 4 hours

 

 

Outline of Route:

From Westport take the Greenway to Newport (13 KM). Remain on the Greenway along the Mulranny Rd. for 2KM.  At Point 2 on the map turn left for Burrishoole Abbey.

 

After returning from Burrishoole Abbey on the same road cross the N 29 road and continue on the Greenway for another 3 Km until you reach Point 3 on the map. At this point you leave the Greenway by taking a sharp left and going up a road with a gate on it. This little road brings you to the N59 Newport/Achill road. Turn right on to this road at Point 4 on the map. Continue on the N59 for about 300m. Then turn left for Carrickahowley Castle.

 

After visiting the castle continue along the shore to the pier turning up the hill past the gate (Point 5 on the map). After 1 Km from the pier turn left and continue as far as the holy well at Killeen. Afterwards continue right through to Nevins’s bar and restaurant as shown on the map. You have to cross the N59 road to access Nevin’s.

 

After some refreshments in Nevins’s take the turn 50m to the right and make you way on to the Greenway (Point 6 on the map). Newport is 11 Km and Westport is another 13 Km.

 

 

Services/Food: Cafés in Newport and Nevins’s Restaurant at Newfield

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

Burrishoole Abbey or ruined Dominican friary was founded by Sir Richard De Burgo in 1469. Sir Richard resigned his Lordship and lived there for the last years of his life. The Abbey was attacked a number of times by soldiers and has the grave of Father Manus Sweeney. Father Sweeney was hanged in Newport because he joined in the rebellion of 1798.  The grave is surrounded by distinctive 1798 pike heads. It is free to enter.

 

Rockfleet Castle also known as Carrickahowley Castle was one of many castles belonging to Grace O Malley (Granuaile) along the shores of Clew Bay. Some years ago the castle was restored by its American owner. It has four floors and the top floor has a fireplace.

 

St Brendan's holy well and Killeen cemetery is along the shore at Roskeen South.

Cycle 7: Westport, Fahy, Newport, Furnace, Newport, Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle route passes through areas north of Westport. This is an area of natural rural tranquillity with rolling hills, lakes and farm animals especially sheep.

 

LANDSCAPE: This rural countryside has varied landscape including sheep rearing farmland, boglands, lakes and rivers. On route you will experience views of the Nephin Mountains.

 

START/FINISH: At the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar at the Quay, Westport.

DISTANCE: Approximately 44 Km - APPROXIMATE TIMES: 3 to 4 hours

TERRAIN: The terrain is a mixture of hilly roads and some flat roads.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the car park travel up the Greenway as far as the N5 road (Westport to Castlebar road). Cycle up the N5 for about 150 m and turn left on to the road which leads for Fahy.

 

Go straight through to Fahy (9.5Km from start) and turn left just before the school (Point 1 on the map). This road will bring you into Newport. Go straight through Newport and continue on the Greenway towards Achill.

 

Turn northwards at Point 2 on the map and continue to Furnace lake via Point 3 and Fish Research centre. Afterwards continue to Point 4 on the map. Turn right and continue until you reach the Newport/Achill road at Point 5 on the map. Continue on the Greenway to Newport. After Newport continue on into Westport on the Greenway finishing at the Tower’s bar.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Restaurants in Newport/ Westport

 

Cycle 8: Glenisland

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: Glenisland

 

START/F LANDSCAPE: Scenic

 

FINISH: At car-park adjacent to Tower’s Bar

 

DISTANCE: 40 k

 

TERRAIN:  Mostly flat

 

APPROXIMATE TIME: 4 HOURS.

 

 

From the Towers car park head westwards for about 200m and then left on to the Greenway. Continue up the Greenway to Altamount Street /Fairgreen roundabout. Cross the R330 and proceed on the Greenway to Mill Road across the old railway bridge and skirting playing fields to Castlebar Road. Turn right and cross the N5 at the pedestrian crossing. With Westport town behind continue to the next junction.  Turn left onto The Lodge Road (sign for Clogher / Monamore), Continue on this road for 3 Km. Turn right following the sign for Castlebar (Point 1 on map). Continue for 2.5 Km passing sign for Clogher Lake on your right until you reach a T junction (Point 2). Turn right. Continue on this road with views of Islandeady Lake in the distance on the right passing Points 3 and 4.  After 7.5Km you reach the R311, the main Castlebar to Newport Road. (Point 5) Turn left to Newport and after 200 m turn right for Bangor (Point 6). Continue on this road until you reach Point 7 on the map. Continue beyond this point until you come to Rest place near Lough Beltra.

 

After the rest you go back the way you came for a few hundred metres as far as the old red brick Garda station (note this building was made 18 inches taller when rebuilt after being damaged during the troubled times (Point 7 on the map).

 

Turn right there for Newport along a sparsely populated quiet road (about 7k to the Newport Rd). Follow this road passing through Points 8 and 9. Turn right at Point 10 when you meet the Castlebar / Newport Rd. If you forgot your lunch earlier there are lots of nice cafes and bars in Newport for a cuppa.

 

You can return to Westport via the Greenway.

 

Beverages/Food: Restaurants in Newport.

 

Cycle 9: Westport/Kilsallagh/Drummin/Westport Cycle Route

Download a PDF of the map and route here.APPROXIMATE TIMES: 4 hours

 

LOCATION: This cycle route starts at the car park adjacent to the Tower’s bar at Westport Quay. The route is located west of Westport and goes through the villages of Murrisk, Lecanvey and Drummin.

 

LANDSCAPE: This route provides views of Croagh Patrick, Sheefrey Mountains, Achill Island and the Nephin mountain range. The early stages of this cycle route run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean with spectacular views. Later it follows a route south of Croagh Patrick and then a route back into Westport. As a result you find a great variety of landscapes, ranging from seascapes to mountain ranges, to boglands and pastoral scenes.

 

START/FINISH: At the car park near the Tower’s Bar at the Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 44 kms.

 

TERRAIN: Great views of sea, mountains, boglands and pastoral scenes. Lots of hills especially in the section south of Croagh Patrick.

 

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Tower’s bar head westwards for 3 km until you come to the main Westport/Louisburgh road (Point 1 on the map).  Turn right and continue until you reach Campbell’s Pub. Continue until you arrive at Lecanvey. You continue on this road until you arrive at a junction with a sign for Drummin (Point 2 on the map). Take the road going left to Drummin and continue on this narrow road for 2.5 km until you come to a cross which has a sign which reads Drummin 11 Km (Point 3 on the map).Turn left and continue to the next junction. (Point 4 on the map).Continue on to the church in Drummin. Turn left after the Church (Point 5 on the map) and continue until you arrive at the main Leenane/Westport road (Point 6 on the map). Turn left and continue on the N59 to Westport. Just before Westport turn on to the R335 and after 150 m cycle on to the Greenway and make your way down to the Tower’s Bar at the Quay.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Restaurants in Westport

 

 

Cycle 10: Westport/Louisburgh/Doolough/Sheefry Pass/Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: West and South of Westport Co. Mayo. This route takes you along the south Wild Atlantic Coast of Clew Bay passing the 800 - meter peak of Croagh Patrick on the left.  This route carves its way through the mountains of Mweelrea past the lake at Doolough, through to the Sheeffry Pass, before joining the N59 road back to Westport.

 

LANDSCAPE: Breathtaking multi-varied landscape including a costal sea section followed by mountains on every side, sea inlets, lakes and river falls.

 

START/FINISH: Start/Finish at the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar, Quay area of Westport Harbour.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 70 Km

 

TERRAIN: This is mostly a flat road cycle with some steep climbs.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

Starting at Westport Quay cycle along the Louisburgh coast road for approx 3 Km, turn right at T-junction onto route 335 sign-posted Louisburgh (Point 1 on map). From here continue on loop noting the following route identification locations.

 

After 6 Km – Murrisk Village

After 2 Km – Croagh Patrick and the National Famine Memorial

After 2 Km – Sign for Bertra Strand. (Off route visit)

After 6 Km – Sign for Old Head Beach (off route visit)

After 4 Km – Louisburgh. Village. Cycle through village over bridge and turn left signed Leenane R335 (Point 2 on map)

After 10Km – Glen Keen Farm and Restaurant

After 7 Km – Turn left onto L1823, signposted Sheeffry Pass / Drummin (Point 3 on map)

After 20 Km – Turn left onto N59, signposted Westport (Point 4 on map)

After 8 Km – Turn left at on to R335 and continue for 100 m, then turn right through playground on to the Greenway. From there make your way down to the Quay area where you started.

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: Complete loop approximately 5 hours and many more if you wish to experience the surrounding beauty.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Murrisk Village, Croagh Patrick, Louisburgh Village, & Glen Keen Farm.

 

Cycle 11: Westport/ Drummin/ Sheeffry Hills/Doolough/Louisburgh/Westport Cycle Route

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle heads south towards Connemara through quiet countryside. The highlight of the trip is the short steep climb and fast descent through the Sheeffry Pass via the remote Tawnyard Lough and the gentle climb up the famous Doolough Valley. The cycle finishes with a fairly easy ride from Louisburgh back to Westport.

 

 

LANDSCAPE: Remote and mountainous, the Sheeffry Hills are an underrated beauty spot.  Doolough Valley is one of the outstanding scenic roads in Ireland.

 

 

START/FINISH: At the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar. The Quay, Westport

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 69 Km.  Climbing 585m.

 

TERRAIN: The terrain includes a mixture of quiet country backroads, off road greenway and some hills.

Suitable for Intermediate level, not for beginners.

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: 5 to 6 hours

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Towers car park head westwards for about 200m and then left on to the Greenway. Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge. After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground and then turn left on to the R335. Continue for about 100m to the T-junction. Then turn right on to the Leenane road (N59). Continue cycling for 8km in a southerly direction via the townlands of Carrowbaun, Knappagh and Liscarney. Turn right onto the L1823 (Point 1 on map), signposted Drummin & Sheeffry Pass. Continue the gentle climb on this road through quiet countryside for 10Km towards the village of Drummin. Following the signs to Sheeffry, the terrain now becomes very mountainous and the road climbs steeply along the mountain side for 2km to the top of the Sheeffry Pass. If the weather is clear, pause to take in the view of the valley back towards Liscarney and Croagh Patrick. The road immediately descends towards a viewing area on the left where spectacular views over the wooded valley and Tawnyard Lough await.

 

The road now descends steeply through remote countryside for 8Km towards Doolough. Turn right on to the R335, signposted Louisburgh (Point 2 on map). For the next 3 Km, enjoy the beautiful view of the lakes in the Doolough valley. The road now ascends gently leaving the lake behind.  A visit to the Famine memorial in the layby to the right is worthwhile.

 

Continue for 14Km climbing gently to the town of Louisburgh. At the outskirts of the town turn right at the T- junction (Point 3 on map).  Continue on through Louisburgh and back to Westport along the coast, passing under Croagh Patrick on the right. It is somewhat hilly in parts but with a good surface. At Murrisk join the Greenway for the remaining 8Km to the final destination at Westport Quay. Make sure you turn left at Point 4 on the map.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Glen Keen Farm & Visitor Centre on the R335 between Doolough and Louisburgh. Restaurants in Louisburgh. Please note that the Glen Keen Farm is only open in high season. If it is not open, it is advisable to bring refreshments as there are no other food outlets between Westport and Louisburgh.

 

Cycle 12: West Mayo Loop

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: West and South of Westport Co. Mayo. This route takes you along the south Wild Atlantic Coast of Clew Bay passing the 800 - meter peak of Croagh Patrick on the left.  This route carves its way through the mountains of Mweelrea, the Sheeffry’s, Ben Gorm and Ben Creggan, passes over Ashleigh falls before joining the N59 road and back to Westport.

 

LANDSCAPE: Breathtaking multi-varied landscape including a costal sea section followed by mountains on every side, sea inlets, lakes and river falls.

 

START/FINISH: Start/Finish in the car park adjacent the Tower’s Bar, Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 75Km

 

TERRAIN: This is mostly a flat road cycle with occasional short climbs.

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: Complete loop approximately 5 hours and many more if you wish to experience the surrounding beauty.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

Starting at Westport Quay cycle along the Louisburgh coast road for approx 3 Km, turn right at T-junction onto route 335 sign-posted Louisburgh (Point 1 on map). From here continue on loop noting the following route identification locations.

After 6 Km – Murrisk Village

After 2 Km – Croagh Patrick and the National Famine Memorial

After 2 Km – Sign for Bertra Strand. (Off route visit)

After 6 Km – Sign for Old Head Beach (off route visit)

After 4 Km – Louisburgh. Cycle through Louisburgh over bridge and turn left signed Leenane R335 (Point 2 on map)

After 10Km – Glen Keen Farm and Restaurant

After 9 Km – Delphi Adventure Retreat

After 7 Km – Ashleigh Falls. Cross the Erriff River here,

After 1Km – Come to t-junction. Turn left for Westport (Point 3 on map)

After 28 Km – Turn left at T-Junction and cycle 1Km to Westport quay finish point.

 

APPROXIMATE TIMES: Complete loop approximately 5 hours and many more if you wish to experience the surrounding beauty.

 

SERCICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES:

Murrisk Village

Croagh Patrick

Louisburgh

Glen Keen Farm

Delphi Adventure Centre

Westport.

Cycle 13: Greenway to Achill and back to Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle takes you from Westport to the island of Achill. The track winds its way along an old railway line.

 

LANDSCAPE: Breath-taking multi-varied landscape including farming countryside, mountains, lakes and a coastal sea section.

 

START/FINISH: Start/Finish at the car park adjacent to the Tower’s bar, the Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: 96 km

 

TIME:  7 to 8 hours depending on your fitness level

 

TERRAIN: This is mostly a flat road with occasional short climbs.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Towers Car Park head westwards for about 200mtrs and then left onto the Greenway.  Cycle on the Greenway as far as the first bridge, passing a play area on the right and outdoor gym on your left, proceeding straight under to a second bridge and  towards a third bridge under which you continue your journey. As you approach the railway line on your right, the route dips sharply around a corkscrew bend, beneath an underpass, then rises quickly bringing you to an exit on your left on to a sharp, steep descent. At the bottom of the steep descent, you arrive on to the Fairgreen/Altamount Street, a public road where you are advised to alight from your bike and carefully cross the public road towards Centra Convenience store and petrol pumps and proceed towards the Cycle shop, crossing Distillery Road, and go straight on to a side road, between the bike shop and an old convent wall.  After about a 100mtrs, passing the Social Services centre on your right, you go right on to the Greenway route again and then uphill onto a steep descent leading to a sharp right hand bend. (Note: EXTREME CARE on this descent). You then traverse a beautiful stone viaduct over the Carrowbeg River, following the Greenway around the grounds/playing fields of Rice College, Boys Secondary school and head upwards and veering left towards the school building and onto another public road, the main Westport-Castlebar Road (N5). You should cross here at the traffic lights and go immediately left, then take first right, keeping Allergan manufacturing on your right. Continue straight until you see the Greenway entrance again, on your left (Allergan on right). Back on the Greenway you cycle towards Newport (16.2 Km from the start of cycle). From Newport you continue to Mullranny (34.75 Km from start of cycle) along the tract. This route is well signed-posted. From Mullranny you make your way to Achill.

To return to Westport just do the route in reverse. A map accompanies this text.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Westport/ Newport/ Mullranny/ Achill/ Restaurants along the way.

 

Cycle 14: Westport Circular Greenway Route

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle route commences from the Car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar and Restaurant at the Quay, Westport and takes the cyclist on a wide circle of Westport town, mainly off road on a designated car free route.

 

LANDSCAPE: The route takes you around the outskirts of Westport Town and is a section of a planned cycleway (currently stretching from the Quay to Achill). This route allows you to easily access the town centre from many points and many of the access points are flagged with wide stripes of green and red painted on the road. The route offers good views of the town and beautiful scenery in the Westport House area.

 

START/FINISH: Car park at the Quay, Westport, adjacent to the Tower’s Bar and Restaurant.

 

DISTANCE: 10km

 

TERRAIN: This is a tarred route which is used by pedestrians and cyclists and you need to be aware of others on this route as it is a popular amenity. It includes two short steep descents and one sharp climb.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Car Park head westwards for about 200mtrs and then left onto the Greenway. Cycle on the Greenway as far as the first bridge, passing a play area on the right and outdoor gym on your left, proceeding straight under to a second bridge and towards a third bridge under which you continue your journey. As you approach the railway line on your right, the route dips sharply around a corkscrew bend, beneath an underpass, then rises quickly bringing you to an exit on your left on to a sharp, steep descent. At the bottom of the steep descent, you arrive on to the Fairgreen/Altamount Street, a public road where you are advised to alight from your bike and carefully cross the public road towards Centra Convenience store and petrol pumps and proceed towards the Cycle shop, crossing Distillery Road, and go straight on to a side road, between the bike shop and an old convent wall. After about a 100mtrs, passing the Social Services centre on your right, you go right on to the Greenway route again and then uphill onto a steep descent leading to a sharp right hand bend. (Note: EXTREME CARE on this descent). You then traverse a beautiful stone viaduct over the Carrowbeg River, following the Greenway around the grounds/playing fields of Rice College, Boys Secondary school and head upwards and veering left towards the school building and onto another public road, the main Westport-Castlebar Road (N5) (Point 1 on the map).  You should cross here at the traffic lights and go immediately left,  then take first right, keeping Allergan manufacturing on your right. Continue straight until you see the Greenway entrance again, on your left (Allergan on right). Back on the Greenway you cycle towards a steep climb, at the top of which you turn left, downhill, for about 500mtrs where you take the first left (Point 2 on map), after which you keep left as you head towards (N59) Newport Road junction (Point 3 on map). When you reach the (N59) Newport Road Junction you need to dismount and go straight across the Westport-Newport main public road over to the Golf Course Road. Go 300mtrs and you will pass a playground (on your left)  take the next turn left into the grounds of Westport House (Point 4 on map), following the cycle lane, pass Westport United Football grounds on the left, in through Westport House gated entrance, onto the footpath/cycleway. After 200mtrs you cross the road onto the Greenway which then meanders through a wooded area, past the lake on the left and on to Westport House exit Gates as you approach the Quay area. After 100mtrs you come to the main Quay-Westport public road (Point 5 on map), at which point you bear right and immediately left, passing the Helm Restaurant and Bar and on to where you will see the Towers Bar and Restaurant where you turn right to your finish point in the car park.

 

Restaurants/Food/Beverages: Lots of restaurants in Westport.

 

Cycle 15: Westport to Newport and Back to Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle takes you from Westport to Newport. The track winds its way along an old railway line.

 

LANDSCAPE: Breathtaking multi-varied landscape including farming countryside and mountains.

 

START/FINISH: Start/Finish at the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar, the Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: Approximately 32 km     TIME:  2 to 4 hours depending on your fitness level

 

TERRAIN: This is mostly a flat road with occasional short climbs.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Car Park head westwards for about 200mtrs and then left onto the Greenway. Cycle on the Greenway as far as the first bridge, passing a play area on the right and outdoor gym on your left, proceeding straight under to a second bridge and  towards a third bridge under which you continue your journey. As you approach the railway line on your right, the route dips sharply around a corkscrew bend, beneath an underpass, then rises quickly bringing you to an exit on your left on to a sharp, steep descent. At the bottom of the steep descent, you arrive on to the Fairgreen/Altamount Street a public road where you are advised to alight from your bike and carefully cross the public road towards Centra Convenience store and petrol pumps and proceed towards the Cycle shop, crossing Distillery Road, and go straight on to a side road, between the bike shop and an old convent wall. After about a 100mtrs, passing the Social Services centre on your right, you go right on to the Greenway route again and then up-hill onto a steep descent leading to a sharp right hand bend. (Note: EXTREME CARE on this descent). You then traverse a beautiful stone viaduct over the Carrowbeg River, following the Greenway around the grounds/playing fields of Rice College, Boys Secondary school and head upwards and veering left towards the school building and onto another public road, the main Westport-Castlebar Road (N5) . You should cross here at the traffic lights and go immediately left,  then take first right, keeping Allergan manufacturing on your right. Continue straight until you see the Greenway entrance again, on your left (Allergan on right). Back on the Greenway you cycle towards Newport (16.2 Km from the start of cycle).

 

To return to Westport do the journey in reverse. A map accompanies this text.

 

Cycle 16: West Mayo 20km Loop From Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: Westport, Co. Mayo

 

LANDSCAPE: A mixture of rural costal farmland and greenway track.

 

START/FINISH: Westport Quay Area:     DISTANCE: - Approximately 20 Km

 

TERRAIN: Mostly flat with some climbs.

 

APPROXIMATE TIME: 1 and ½ hours no stops.

 

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

Start at Westport Quay head East and cycle along the Quay road into the grounds of Westport House (Point 1 on map). Cycle greenway track and cross road with caravan-park on left and soccer playing fields on right.

 

After completing about 1 and ½ Km turn left at T-junction onto the Golf links road (Point 2 on map). Continue on this road and enter the Townland of Carrowholly. Passing the Westport Golf club, the Westport Rugby grounds and the Carrowholly National School. Shortly after School turn right at signpost for Rosmoney. (Point 3 on map)

 

The next segment has 3 T-junctions. After crossing bridge at first T-junction turn RIGHT (Point 4 on map), after short distance at next T-junction turn LEFT and again after short distance at next T-junction turn RIGHT (Point 5 on map). Continue on this road for about 2 Km’s and arrive at the N59 and Greenway cycle path to Westport (Point 6 on map).

 

Continue on the Greenway towards Westport for approx 5 KM and pass the Allergan Pharmaceutical plants before coming to traffic lights at the N60 road. Cross at traffic lights and pick up greenway and continuing on greenway you will come to roundabout with Centra Supermarket on your right. Cross roundabout and pick up greenway on other side and climb hill (maybe walk) before joining the greenway (former railway line) to Quay finish point.

 

FOOD/SERVICES/BEVERAGES: Westport

 

Cycle 17: Westport Quay, Cloona, Aughagower and back to Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: The route is located south and east of Westport.  It starts in Westport and goes through beautiful countryside to Aughagower and back to Westport.

 

LANDSCAPE: This rural countryside has varied landscape including sheep rearing farmland, boglands, and lakes.  On route you will have great views of Croagh Patrick.

 

START/FINISH: At the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar, The Quay Westport.

 

DISTANCE: 28KM.

 

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 HOURS.

 

TERRAIN: The terrain is a mixture of hilly roads and some flat roads.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the Tower’s Bar head westward for 3km until you come to the main Westport/Louisburgh road at Belclare (R335) (Point 1 on the map). Turn right and continue on the R335 road for about 500m. Turn left onto a small road beyond the filling station. Continue in this small road for about 500m and turn left at the first junction.  Continue on this road for about 1 km until you arrive at a t-junction.  You are now in Cloona.  There are the remains of an old linen factory on your left. Turn right and continue on past Cloona Health Centre.  Take the next road on your left and continue on this narrow road until you come to a T-junction.  Turn right at the junction and continue until you arrive at the main road between Westport and Leenane (N59) (Point 2 on map). Turn left and continue on N59 for about 70m and turn right on to a very small road (Point 3 on map). You are able to see Clew Bay from the top of this road.  When you reach the end of this road turn right and continue on for about 50m (Point 4 on map). Turn left and continue into Aughagower.  To return to Westport take the road to Point 6 on map. Turn right and continue on the same road for about 8km until you arrive at a T-junction (Point 7 on map). Turn left and continue for 200m onto the Leenane Road (N59). Continue on this road until you reach the R335.  Turn left and go onto the Greenway at the playground.  Continue on down the Greenway and make you way to the Tower’s Bar.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Aughagower/Westport

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Aughagower is said to have been visited by St. Patrick on his way to Croagh Patrick. It lies on the pilgrimage way of the Tochar Phadraig - a pilgrimage way from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick. The ruin of a medieval church is beside the graveyard. It has a well preserved 10th Century tower. The tower was built between 973 and 1013. The tower was part restored in 1969 and leans slightly to the north. Aughagower has ancient artefacts such as Dabhnach Phadraig - a circular bath where pilgrims may have washed their feet. There is a well which has now dried up, but it was where pilgrims were said to have drunk water while performing the pilgrimage.

 

Cycle 18: Westport Quay, Lankhill And Back To Westport

Download a PDF of the map and route here.LOCATION: This cycle route passes through areas south east of Westport town (the best place to live in Ireland). This is an area of natural rural tranquillity with rolling hills, lakes, forests and farm animals especially sheep.

 

LANDSCAPE: This rural countryside has varied landscapes including sheep rearing farmland, boglands, forest clusters, lakes and rivers.  On route you will experience background views of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, the Sheefrey Mountains, the Partry Mountains and to the north the Nephin Mountains.

 

START/FINISH: At the car park adjacent to the Tower’s Bar, the Quay, Westport.

 

DISTANCE: 26KM.

 

TERRAIN: The terrain is a mixture of hilly and flat roads.

 

CYCLE ROUTE:

From the car park head westwards for about 200m and then left onto the Greenway. Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge. After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground. Turn left onto the R335. Continue for about 100m to the t-junction. Then turn right onto the Leenane road (N59). Continue until you come to a filling station (Point 1 on the map). Turn left at the filling station and continue for 200m. At the t-junction turn right onto the Lankhill road (Point 2 on map). Continue on this road as far as Lankhill School. Continue onto the next cross on the left.  Take this road (Point 3 on the map). You are now on Tochar Phadraig (Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail or pilgrim’s path). That path passes through fields and is in existence for centuries. Continue east to historic Aughagower (“planes of the wells”) (Point 4 on map). It was a centre of population going back to the Bronze Age. The word is that St Patrick baptised the first converts and erected a church in Aughagower. Aughagower is said to have been visited by St. Patrick on his way to Croagh Patrick.

 

Aughagower lies on the pilgrimage way of the Tochar Phadraig - a pilgrimage way from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick. The ruin of a medieval church is beside the graveyard.  It has a well-preserved 10th century tower. The tower was built between 973 and 1013.  The tower was restored in 1969 and leans slightly to the north. Aughagower has ancient artefacts such as Dabhnach Padraig – a circular bath where pilgrims may have washed their feet. There is a well which has now dried up but it was where pilgrims were said to have drunk water while performing the pilgrimage.

 

To return to Westport take the road to Point 5 on the map. From there continue to (Point 6 on the map). This bring you past Lankhill School and continue on for about 6 km until you reach the t-junction at Point 6. Turn left and continue for 150m onto the Leenane Road (N59). Continue on this road until you reach the R335. Turn left and go onto the Greenway at the playground. Continue on down the Greenway and make your way to the Tower’s Bar at the Quay.

 

SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Aughagower/Westport