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County Mayo Ireland | Things to See and Do

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County  Mayo Ireland

County Mayo Ireland | Things to See and Do

County Mayo is on the west coast of Ireland. Its scenery ranges from verdant to desertlike, with rocky cliffs at the Atlantic coast. Clew Bay is dotted with small, steep-sided islands, including Clare Island. At the eastern end of the bay, Westport town is known for its Georgian architecture and Westport House, a mansion with dungeons. Nearby is Croagh Patrick, a mountain linked to St. Patrick. ― Google

County  Mayo Ireland

Top Things to do in County Mayo

  • Ashford Castle
  • National Museum of Country Life
  • Westport Town
  • Westport House 
  • Village of Cong
  • Downpatrick Head 
  • Climb Croagh Patrick
  • Drive the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Achill Island
  • Clew Bay
  • Monk’s Fishing House

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle Hotel County Mayo

Ashford Castle is a medieval and Victorian castle that has been expanded over the centuries and turned into a five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo-Galway border, on the shore of Lough Corrib in Ireland. It is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World organisation and was previously owned by the Guinness family.

A castle was built on the perimeter of a monastic site in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke. After more than three-and-a-half centuries under the de Burgos, whose surname became Burke or Bourke, Ashford passed into the hands of a new master, following a fierce battle between the forces of the de Burgos and those of the English official Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, when a truce was agreed. In 1589, the castle fell to Bingham, who added a fortified enclave within its precincts.

National Museum of Country Life

Westport Town

Westport House 

Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt in the 18th century, Westport House in Westport, County Mayo, is one of Ireland’s most beautiful historic homes open to the public. 

It enjoys a superb parkland setting with lake, terraces, wonderful gardens and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Achill, Clare Island and Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick. It was built by the Browne family, who are direct descendants of the 16th century Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley. Now owned by the Hughes family, who own a number of businesses in the west of Ireland. 

Village of Cong

Cong village lies on the border between Co. Galway and Co. Mayo. 

In this video we will take you around the village, The Royal Abbey of Cong, to the Monks fishing house and to the amazing 5 star hotel Ashford Castle which is within walking distance of Cong village.

Downpatrick Head 

DownPatrick Head is a headland between Ballycastle village and the archaeological site of Ceide Fields. It commands breathtaking views on the Atlantic, the Staggs of Broadhaven to the west and high stunning cliffs to the east. Here Saint Patrick founded a church whose ruins can be seen todays.

There are also a statue of Saint Patrick erected in the early 1980’s, which replaced a previous one erected in 1912 and a small stone building, used as a lookout post during the Second World War with its stone aerial markers: EIRE 64.

‘Poll na Seantainne’ is a spectacular blow-hole with subterranean channel to the sea. It is well known in local history because during the 1798 rebellion 25 men, Irishmen and French soldiers, lost their lives taking refuge on the ledge at the bottom, but unfortunately tide came in before ladders could be replaced.

From DownPatrick Head the most fantastic view is of ‘Dun Briste’.

Dun Briste, (in English ‘The Broken Fort’), is a sea stack close to the edge of the cliffs, which is 63 metres by 23 metres, 45 metres high and 228 metres from shore. In 1393 it was separated from the coast as a result of high seas and violent stormy weather. Old annuals said people who lived there were taken off using ship’s ropes.

According to an old local legend, a Druid Chieftain, named Crom Dubh, lived there. He refused to convert to Christianity, Saint Patrick struck the ground with his crozier and the stack was separated from the mainland, leaving Crom Dubh to die on the top.

On July 31st 1980, Dr. Seamus Caulfield, his father Patrick Caulfield and Martin Downes, Professor of Biology at Maynooth College, landed by helicopter on Dún Briste and discovered the ruins of two stone buildings and an interesting low opening which is supposed to allow sheep to pass from one field to another. Similar openings can be found in many places all around Mayo. They also examined the fragile plant life on the stack’s top.

DownPatrick Head is one of two discovery points on the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo and hosts the 2014 Spirit of Place, a new installation to commemorate the natural power and richly-layered historical tales of the site.

Climb Croagh Patrick

A guide to walking up Croagh Patrick in Mayo

Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland is the longest Coastal Route in the World making for a great road trip snaking up the West Coast of the Country.

Achill Island

This Achill Island travel guide covers all of the best things to do on Ireland’s hidden gem: including Keem Bay, Keel Beach, Carrick Kildavnet Castle and the Minuan Heights viewpoint

Clew Bay

The islands of Clew Bay are amazing

Monk’s Fishing House

More places in County Mayo

Ready for that trip to Ireland? Start planning here!


Last updated May 29, 2023


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Get The Ultimate Ireland Travel Bundle When You Join and Stay Updated On Everything About The Emerald Ilse. Your Free Travel Bundle will include Free PDF Downloads as well as Online Resources that we update regularly.

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Michael Cooney

Saturday 26th of June 2021

Been to all the places on the list can’t wait to go back my dad was from County Mayo. We hopefully hope to go back home next year