Trail in Achill Island

The Great Western Greenway

Explore the 42-km Great Western Greenway in Ireland, a scenic, car-free trail with rich history and diverse wildlife.

The Great Western Greenway in Ireland is a 42-kilometer trail that follows the route of the renowned Westport to Achill railway, which closed in 1937. This car-free path takes you through some of Ireland's most spectacular landscapes, including views of Clew Bay and its islands, Sheeffry Hills, and Mweelrea, Connacht's highest mountain. Alongside historical richness, exemplified by the 15th-century Burrishoole Abbey ruins, the trail provides opportunities for both recreation and wildlife observation, with the chance to spot otters and seabirds in their natural habitats.

Cycling and Walking Routes

The Greenway offers a unique experience for both cyclists and walkers. With gentle gradients and smooth surfaces, it suits all levels of fitness and is especially family-friendly. Bike rental shops are available in the adjacent towns, providing a hassle-free way to explore the trail. For walkers, the Greenway splits into manageable sections, allowing you to enjoy the landscape at your own pace. Whether you're interested in completing the entire trail or simply spending a few hours outdoors, the Greenway accommodates every itinerary.

Scenic Views and Landscapes

One of the trail's highlights is its panoramic scenery. As you traverse from Westport towards Achill, you'll encounter breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the expansive coastline along Clew Bay. Stop at well-placed benches to appreciate the tranquil nature or look out for points of interest such as the Nephin Beg mountain range, adding depth to your journey with their majestic presence.

Burrishoole Abbey

Amid your journey, take a moment to visit the ruins of Burrishoole Abbey. This 15th-century Dominican friary tells a story of religious history and resilience. Located in Newport, its arches and graveyards speak silently of the past, providing an evocative backdrop for reflection amidst your trek.

Tips for Navigating the Greenway

The Great Western Greenway is well signposted, making it easy to follow. Nonetheless, picking up a map from local tourist offices can enhance your journey, pointing out rest areas, viewpoints, and cultural sites. Remember that weather in Ireland can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to carry rain gear and check forecasts.

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What else to see in Achill Island?

Photo of Keem Bay in Ireland

Crystal-clear waters of Keem

Explore the clear waters of Keem Bay on Achill Island, famed for its marine life and historic sites. Enjoy hiking, water sports, and stunning views.

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