WESTPORT QUAY, CLOONA, AUGHAGOWER AND BACK TO WESTPORT
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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.
APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 HOURS.
TERRAIN: The terrain is a mixture of hilly roads and some flat roads.
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.
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.