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Image / Editorial

Westport: Where to stay and what to do in the charming, coastal town


by Grace McGettigan
05th Feb 2020

Westport, Co Mayo

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Westport, Co Mayo

With spring on the way, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a weekend getaway in Ireland. Here’s where to stay and what to do in the beautiful town of Westport, Co Mayo


I recently indulged in a two-night trip to Westport, Co Mayo and I’m already planning my return. Everything about the town, from its stone bridges to its warm, friendly people, added to its character (and the view of nearby Croagh Patrick was a special bonus).

Given how much I enjoyed my time there, I’m sharing the places I stayed and ate, as well as the activities I did, so that you can enjoy them too.

Where to stay

Knockranny House Hotel & Spa

I stayed in the four-star Knockranny House Hotel for the duration of my stay in Westport. Family-friendly and perfect for couples, the hotel boasts luxurious rooms and an on-site spa.

Unlike other hotels in the area, Knockranny benefits from secluded, picturesque grounds, as well as breathtaking views of Clew Bay islands and the Nephin Mountains.

My elegantly styled room had a comfortable king-sized bed and jacuzzi bath. What’s more, as a resident of the hotel I had complimentary use of Spa Salveo’s vitality pool and thermal suites. Needless to say, when the time came to go home, I didn’t want to leave.

Knockranny House Hotel, WestportKnockranny House Hotel

Where to eat and drink

Gavin’s Café

I loved this spot for a quick bite to eat at lunchtime. Nestled on Bridge Street, it serves a variety of sandwiches and cakes.

As it was a nice day weather-wise (not always the case in the West of Ireland), I made use of the café’s outdoor seating area while eating a ‘build your own’ sandwich and pot of tea.

La Fougère Restaurant

Located in Knockranny House Hotel, La Fougère is a multi-award-winning restaurant that overlooks the town of Westport and Croagh Patrick.

Seamus Commons, one of Ireland’s most respected chefs, leads the team; serving fresh fish, caught and landed daily; locally reared beef and lamb, as well as fruit and vegetables grown in Knockranny’s own gardens.

I ordered the carrot and honey soup, followed by steak with garlic butter. I then enjoyed a slice of white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake with a glass of Los Andes de Paz of Chile.

Cosy Joe’s

Owned and managed for over 20 years by local couple Joe and Marian O’Malley, Cosy Joe’s was the first pub in Westport to hold a late bar licence.

I visited on a Friday evening for food and drinks, and while the staff recommended their special Beef and Guinness Stew, I couldn’t resist the chicken curry. Washed down with a pint of Bulmers, I couldn’t fault it.

La Fougère Restaurant

What to do

Electric Escapes

Explore the landscape and heritage of Westport on these easy-to-use electric bikes. With day tours available along the Bangor Trail and the Sheefrey Mountain Pass, you’ll learn all about the region from friendly people who live there.

Led by family-man Paul, Electric Escapes caters to people of all ages and abilities (cycling an electric bike is much easier than your standard push-bike).

Croagh Patrick

Five miles from Westport town, Croagh Patrick is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland and welcomes approximately one million pilgrims every year. That being said, even if you’re not religious, Croagh Patrick still makes for a nice day out.

At 765 metres (or 2,510 feet) above sea level, it’s a relatively challenging climb – but the views at the top are worth it.

Spa Salveo

If outdoor activities aren’t your thing, I highly recommend visiting Spa Salveo. I treated myself to the spa’s new Yang Sheng treatment, a two-hour experience beginning with a detoxifying bamboo massage, followed by a relaxing Gua Sha facial which is designed to remove impurities from the skin.

Inspired by the ancient Chinese tradition of fostering your own health and wellbeing by nurturing the body, mind and spirit, the Yang Sheng treatment is all about balancing your inner ‘qi’, helping to reduce stress in your mind and body.

After my treatment, I retreated to one of the relaxation areas where I read my book (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman) and drifted off for a midday nap. Pure bliss.

Spa Salveo

Feature photo: Westport Tourism


Read more: Travelling solo: Why I booked into a luxury hotel for 2 nights… alone

Read more: Staycation: Make this Tralee hotel your romantic minimoon destination

Read more: Stretch the legs: 10 walks to do around Ireland this weekend

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