How to Spend a Weekend in Westport, Ireland on a Rail Holiday from Dublin

Westport in County Mayo along the Wild Atlantic Way is an easy weekend break from Dublin.  An ideal summertime destination with gorgeous scenery, trails, and festivals; it's sometimes possible to get a train ticket from Dublin to Westport on Irish Rail for 10 EUR each way if you book in advance.  We took the train out to Westport on a Saturday morning and came back to Dublin on Monday morning at 5 am.  We timed our Spring trip for Saturday June 28 - Monday June 30th to coincide with the Westport Festival of Music and Food.  Here are some ideas for how to spend an ideal weekend in Westport, Ireland.

The Octagon at the Heart of Westport

The Octagon is the heart of Westport and all roads seem to lead to and from it.  Colorful pubs and homes line Westport's Octagon and it's a great point of reference for exploring the town or to grab a pint.
Westport - County Mayo

A Warm Welcome to Westport and Homemade Truffles 

Christy's Harvest is a quaint coffee shop just off the Octagon in Westport. We were drawn in for a cuppa which was served in colorful patterned mugs.  Christy's Harvest is tiny but cozy.  We managed to wedge into two stools along the wall.  We couldn't resist trying Christy's homemade truffles.  Amazing.  Christy's is also nice for a bit of a chat.  The owner seems a bit gruff at first but when you start talking, he warms right up.  The cafe is family run with yer man's grandson helping out on the weekends.  We got to chatting about computer science programs and I even was able to offer a bit of career advice for the lad which was appreciated.  

Truffles and Coffee - Christy's Harvest

Listen to Music Al Fresco Along the Sidewalks of Westport

One thing that we noticed about Westport that seemed a bit unusual (in a good way!) was the tendency for bands to set-up outside the pub rather than in a dark corner.  We spotted this great trad session in front of a pub on the Octagon.  Great stuff.

Westport - Trad on the Octagon

Stay in a Golf Inspired Accommodation at Augusta Lodge

We were spoiled for choice of Bed and Breakfasts in Westport.  We booked in at the Augusta Lodge which was just up the hill outside of Westport town (walkable to the town centre in about 15 minutes).  Clearly the owner was a golf fan based on (a) the name (b) the inside decor and (c) the putting green on the lawn out front.  We even gave it a go when we came back from a rest before dinner.

Westport - Augusta Lodge

Experience Views of County Mayo's Croagh Patrick

The scenery in Westport is spectacular especially when the sun is shining as it was during our weekend visit.  A key feature of the landscape is Croagh Patrick.  This mountain has been a popular pilgrimage spot for centuries, first for pagans celebrating the summer solstice and now for Christians as St. Patrick reportedly fasted for 40 days atop this County Mayo mountain in the 5th century.  Be on the lookout for Croagh Patrick as you're exploring Westport.

Croagh Patrick

Ponies and Donkeys on the Great Western Greenway! 

Following the route of a former railway in County Mayo, the Great Western Greenway was an enchanting diversion.  We entered the Greenway above Westport town and walked for about 30 minutes across amazing rolling farmland.  My favorite part about the Great Western Greenway?  We crested a hill and I spotted a donkey lazing about in a field of yellow flowers.  I also made a few new friends in these ponies!  They struck a picture perfect pose and then came over to the gate for a scratch behind the ears.  
Mayo - Great Western Greenway

Westport's Summer Flowers

When we were in Westport for the weekend at the end of June, the whole town and surrounding countryside seemed to be in bloom and it's one of the things I remember fondly about our trip to the West of Ireland.
Westport Flowers

Craft Brews on Westport Quay

Westport Quay is about a 20 minute walk from the center of Westport town.  It's faster if you take the shortcut through Westport Park House.  We didn't have that option though as Westport Park House was taken over for the Westport Festival of Music and Food (more on that later!).  We walked out to the Quay and then quenched the thirst we'd worked up on the way with Irish craft brews at The Towers Bar from The Independent Brewing Company of Ireland and Kinnegar.  They have a lovely 'beer garden' with views overlooking the bay and Croagh Patrick. 
Westport - Craft Beer

Chasing Pied Wagtails and Other Birds

I'm an opportunistic bird watcher.  I don't have the patience to stake out a place and wait for hours to see an elusive species but I will definitely try to capture that perfect shot when birds present themselves.  We saw a few different species in Westport including the Pied Wagtail.  This is a tricky little fellow that is often flitting about so capturing the photo was the biggest challenge.  It was worth the effort though as these guys are striking.
Westport - Pied Wagtail

Get Sheep Shape in Westport

In Westport, it's impossible to forget that you're just a stone's throw from rural Ireland.  We spotted these sheep lapping up a bit of water near Westport Quay.
Westport Sheep

In Westport, the Taxi Service Doubles as the Undertaker

I love zero'ing in on the little details when I visit a new place.  I noticed this sign in Westport town when we visited for the weekend.  Apparently, the local taxi service also doubles as the undertaker.  I guess both are part time jobs in a town of this size (Westport has about 5000 residents with a population that balloons with tourists over the summer).

Westport Festival of Music and Food

The annual Westport Festival of Music and Food provided the perfect excuse to make the rail journey from Dublin to Westport.  We spent one day exploring the town and its surroundings and one day soaking up the sun and listening to some high end gigs on the lawn outside Westport Park House.  I thought I'd share some highlights of the festival specifically.

Westport House

Non-Musical Diversions

Westport House featured a variety of summer fun activities.  My favorite were these swan boats.  It looks idyllic to go for a paddle on the lake.  We'll save this one for next time as music was the sole item on the agenda for today!

Westport House - Swan Boats

Monsters of Rock

All the big names in rock were there:  Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Kurt Kobain, and John Lennon.  Wait a minute...all but two of those guys are dead :-/
Westport Festival

Clew Bay Pipe Band Plus A-List Cameos 

The early bird catches the worm...The Clew Bay Pipe Band performed at the Westport Music Festival early in the day and was accompanied by an A-list of guest musicians including (from bottom left:  local Matt Molloy of the Chieftains, Pete Williams of Dexys Midnight Runners, and Mundy).  The band brought down the house!  Great fun...
Westport Festival - Clew Bay Pipe Band

I Remember That Song! 

We had many moments throughout the day when we thought:  I remember that song!  Sinead O'Connor belted out a memorable performance.  Bryan Adams was headlining the festival.  He was solid but was definitely outplayed by my favorite band of the day, Kool and the Gang!
Westport Festival - Sinead O'Connor
Westport Festival - Bryan Adams

Front Row Seats for Kool and the Gang! 

Kool and the Gang was the band that tipped the balance in favor of making the journey by train to Westport for the festival.  They have so many memorable songs including Get Down on It, Jungle Boogie, and Celebrate to name just a few.  We sat on our picnic blanket for most of the day but as soon as Sinead O'Connor finished, we made a bee-line for the front row for Kool and the Gang.  They played all their hits.  The lead singer even came down into the audience at one point and I almost managed to get in on the action and get a hand on his monstrously large trumpet bearing belt buckle.  He was just out of my reach!
Westport Festival - Kool and the Gang

Is Westport Worth the Trip from Dublin?

Westport may not be on every visitor's wishlist, but it should be.  Westport is charming in summer and the annual music festival is an ideal cornerstone for a weekend trip.  It took us four years of living in Ireland to finally hop on the train to Mayo but it was totally worth it in the end, even factoring in the 5 am train back to Dublin on the Monday morning. ;-)

COMMENTS

Name

#DrJSabbatical #pigsonparade #tasteoftravel 1916 Rebellion a City Break Absolut Fringe Adelaide Adriatics Africa Agra Aix-en-Provence Alameda Alamo Square Alfama Algarve Alliance Francaise Americas Amnesty Amsterdam Andolu Kavagi Android Ann Arbor Antwerp Argentina Arizona Art Gallery Arthur's Day Asia Asia Pacific Athens Augsburg AUNZ AUNZ_Archive Auschwitz Austin Australia Austria Auto Awesome Avignon Baixa Baltics Bangkok Barcelona Barrio Alta Basel Basque Basque Country Bath Bazaar Belem Belfast Belgium Bellagio Bergamo Berlin Bern Bernal Heights Best of Beyond Dublin Bidart Big Island Bird Watching Birmingham Blackrock Market bleisure Bloco de Dublin Blogger Fiesta BloggerFiesta Bologna Bonn Boston Brad Pitt Bray Brighton Bristol Bruges Brussels BTW Bucharest Budapest Buffalo California Camargue Cambodia Cambridge Canada Canary Islands Cannes Cannonball Cannonball Run Canterbury Cape Town Carcassonne Cardiff Carnival Castro Catalonia Catalunya Cats Central Europe Central Richmond Chemistry Chinatown Christmas Christmas Market City Break Itinerary Civic Center Cobh Coffee cole valley Cologne Comedy Club Commute Chronicles Connemara Copenhagen Cork Costa Brava County Kerry Cow Hollow Critical Mass Croatia Culture Night Cyprus Czech Republic Dalkey Dalkey Castle Danang Delft Delhi Den Haag Denmark Denver Derry Diamond Head Disneyland Dolores Heights Donegal Dover Downtown Dresden Dublin Dublin Castle Dublin Culture Night Dublin_Archive Dubrovnik Ducks Dun Laoghaire Dusseldorf Eastern Europe Edinburgh Eindhoven England Eruption Estonia Europe Europe_Archive Evora Fado Fall Foliage Faro Faversham Festival Film Film Festival Financial District Finland Fisherman's Wharf Flanders Florida Flugtag Food France Frankfurt French Riviera Fringe Fringe Festival Galway Gandhi Gdansk Gdynia Georgian Dublin Germany GhostBus Gig Girona Glasgow Glen Park Golden Gate Park Google Plus Granada Grand Canal Greece Greece and Cyprus Guest Posts Guiness Storehouse Guinness Gurgaon Half Moon Bay Halloween Hamburg Hanoi Hawaii Hayes Valley HCMC Helsinki Hermanus Hilo Ho Chi Minh City Hobart Hoi An Holland Honolulu Hula Hungary Hurling Hyderabad Ice Cream Sandwich ICS India Inner Richmond Inner Sunset Ireland Ireland_Archive Istanbul Italy Itinerary Izmir Jackson Square Jaipur Japan Japantown Johannesburg Kaunas Kenmare Kilauea Kilkenny Kilkenny Cats Killarney Kiluaea Kona Krakow Kuala Lumpur Kyoto Lake Como Lake Street Languedoc Lanzarote Las Fallas Las Vegas Latvia Laurel Heights Leeds Leinster Leipzig Lemesos Let's French 2011 Liechtenstein Limerick Lincoln's Inn Lisbon Lithuania Liverpool Lloret de Mar London Los Angeles Louisiana Lower Pacific Heights Lübeck Lucerne Lyon Mackintosh Madeira Madrid Mainz Malaga Malaysia Mallorca Malta Manchester Marina Marrakech Marrakesh Marseille Massachusetts Mdina Med Melbourne Menton Milan Mission Bay Mission Dolores Modena Monaco Monte Carlo Montenegro Monterey Montpellier Morocco Munich Munster Music NA_Archive Naples Netherlands New Orleans New Year 2011 New Year Festival New Years Eve 2010 New York New Zealand Nice Nicosia Nob Hill Noe Valley NOPA Normandy Norrkoping North America North Beach Northern Ireland Nuremberg Oahu Oakland Oktoberfest Oliwa Olympics On The Road Osaka Outer Richmond Outer Sunset Oxford Pacific Heights Padua Palafrugell Palma Panorama Paphos Paris Parma Pearl Harbor Pennsylvania Perth Philadelphia Pittsburgh Poland Porto Portugal Potrero Hill Prague Presidio Presidio Heights Pride Provence Queensland Rabat RAF2010 Rainbow Ranelagh Ranelagh Arts Festival Recent Red Bull Regensburg Reims Restaurant Review Riga Ring of Kerry Rochester Roman Ruins Romania Rome Rotterdam Rugby Russia Russian Hill Salt Lake City Samba San Diego San Francisco San Sebastian Sand Castles Santa Cruz Scandinavia Science Gallery Science Museum Scotland Seattle Segovia Seville SF - Further Afield SF_Archive Shakespeare Shave Ice Sicily Siem Reap Silent Film Festival Singapore Sintra Sligo Snow SOMA Sonoma Sopot South Africa South America South Beach South San Francisco Soweto Spain SPWC St. Petersburg Stellenbosch Stirling Stockholm Strasbourg Street Performance Stuttgart Sultanahmet Sweden Switzerland Sydney Tallinn Tasmania Tavira TBEX Telegraph Hill Temple Bar Tenderloin TenderNob Tenerife Texas Thailand Thames Festival The Haight The Kruger The Mission Theatre ThisIsAthens Tipperary Tokyo Toledo Toronto Toulouse Trad Trad Sessions Transylvania Trinity College Turkey UBTD10 Uganda UK Ulster Bank Theater Festival Union Square United States Uruguay Utrecht Vacation Rental Valencia Valletta Venice Vienna Vietnam Vilnius Volcano Volcanoes National Park Waikiki Wales Walking Walking Tour Warsaw Washington Waterford Western Addition Western Australia Westerplatte Westfield Where's Wally? Whiskey Whitsundays Wicklow Wine Tasting Wisconsin World Record World War II Wroclaw WWI WWII York Ypsilanti Zurich
false
ltr
item
Sidewalk Safari: How to Spend a Weekend in Westport, Ireland on a Rail Holiday from Dublin
How to Spend a Weekend in Westport, Ireland on a Rail Holiday from Dublin
Take the train from Dublin to Westport in County Mayo and spend the weekend exploring all that the west of Ireland has to offer. A photo-rich post from Dublin-based travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-K9WyCw66A-g/U9VugldqAbI/AAAAAAAA7fI/S2SJ4-J_Qnw/s1600/Westport+Mayo+Music+Festival+6_20144.jpg
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-K9WyCw66A-g/U9VugldqAbI/AAAAAAAA7fI/S2SJ4-J_Qnw/s72-c/Westport+Mayo+Music+Festival+6_20144.jpg
Sidewalk Safari
http://www.sidewalksafari.com/2014/08/travel-vignettes-from-westport-ireland.html
http://www.sidewalksafari.com/
http://www.sidewalksafari.com/
http://www.sidewalksafari.com/2014/08/travel-vignettes-from-westport-ireland.html
true
2802498442123035908
UTF-8
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read more Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy