GREAT WESTERN GREENWAY
Escape the hustle and bustle of urban life on the 44km Great Western Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. Brannens of Newport is the perfect to stay for a cycling or walking break offering accommodation and bike hire package.
The World Class Great Western Greenway is a traffic free cycling and walking trail which follows the coastal route of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way along of the renowned Westport to Achill railway line, which closed in 1937.
Brannens of Newport is the perfect link between the town of Westport, and the island of Achill. Westport is 12km from Newport, and the cycle will take over an hour or so. Newport to Mulranny is 18km in total, which will take roughly two hours or so. Finally, for a real challenge, the distance to Achill is 32km! Don't worry, you'll be glad to know, the Greenway Bike Hire run a shuttle service and can collect you from Achill (or even along the way).
Just 3km (2 miles) northwest on the Greenway from Newport, beside a quiet tidal estuary, lies the beautiful ruin of Burrishoole Abbey. Founded by Sir Richard de Burgo for the Dominican order in 1469, who resigned his lordship in and entered the friary, where he remained a friar until his death four years later.
The seven-arched bridge, crossing the Burrishoole channel, was built in the 18th century as part of the roadway between Newport and Mulranny. Then, in 1950, the road was re-routed along the former railway line to the north, located further downstream. The railway line, which ran from Westport to Achill, had been in operation from the 1880s until 1939.
Rockfleet Castle, also known as Carrickahowley Castle, is situated at the mouth of a small inlet on the northern shores of Clew Bay. The castle is famous for it's connection with the Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley (or Granuaile). Grace, or Grainne, lived in the castle in the late 16th century. Grainne wanted to become a pirate, but being a woman, she was not allowed. So, she cut her hair, and snook onboard a ship. She then went on to command 3 galleys and 200 men. She won many of battles, fending off a troupe of English raiders to hold her castle.
Found tucked away between the town of Mulranny and Mulranny Beach, Mulranny Causeway is a beautiful walk inland from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The causeway follows the path from the town to the beach. In the summertime, you can take a dip in the shallows when the tide comes in. The path will bring you all the way to the beach, where you can relax and unwind in one of the many Blue Flag Beaches on the west coast. If you're interested in pier diving, keep to the left when walking to the beach. The Mulranny Pier is a short walk from here.
Mulranny Railway Station
The last train ran through the station in Autumn of 1937 and recently it has been magnificently restored to its former glory. It now serves as an Activity Services Centre for Greenway users. Offering bike hike, tour guide services and a kite surfing centre. There are also public toilets, showers and storage facilities with locker room facilities.
The final stop along the Great Western Greenway. Achill is the largest island in Ireland, with stunning coastal views and endless beaches. Cycle down to Keel Beach, or make the winding descent to Keem Bay. The recent home of wild basking sharks, Keem Bay is the hidden gem of Achill Island. If you're up for an adventure, rent some surfboards at Keel and hit the waves. Enjoy a tour of the rugged island coast before hitting back to Brannens for a well deserved rest.