Newport is a beautiful, picturesque, and lively town on the west coast of Ireland. The town is steeped in history, for it's ties with the famous Grace O'Malley Pirate Queen, Edward Lyons, and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. The locals are very friendly, and the town is extremely welcoming to visitors all year round.
1. Walking and Hiking
Newport is home to some of the most scenic and wild mountain loop walks, hill walks, and hikes. Not to mention, Brannens of Newport is the home of the Nephin Begers.The surrounding areas of Srahmore, Letterkeen, Lettermaghera, and Glenhest - all included in The Wild Nephin National Park are fantastic for those outdoor enthusiasts. Not to mention, the start, or finish, of the Bangor Trail (depending on which way you're headed!)
Walkers may take a stroll along the Letterkeen Loop Walks, where they will come across the winding rivers, and stunning Srahmore landscape.
For those time-travellers, you may choose to visit the Srahmore Caves. It was in these caves, a local hill-walker and historian Michael Chambers found ancient human bones in 2016. The bones dated back over 5,000 years, to 3,600 BC! The location of the caves can be tough to find on a map - however, if you want to learn more, just ask John when you check-in. John is more than happy to help out with any information you might need about Newport and the surrounding areas.
2. The Great Western Greenway
The Greenway is the 44km walking and cycling trail that spans from Westport to Achill, via Newport. The Greenway is ideal for couples, family, and groups of friends. The trail itself follows an old railway line that strecthed from Achill to Westport.
The Greenway is a very scenic cycle. Especially from Newport to Mulranny, and on to Achill. The route takes you through woodlands, to boglands, and over bridges as you navigate the track. There are some rest stops along the way where you can stop for a break or a picnic.
As for bike rentals, The Greenway Bicycle Hire offers a fantastic service here in Newport. Bike rentals start at €25 per day for adults and €15 for kids. Rental includes helmets, hi-vis jackets ans security locks. Not to mention the collection service which collects cyclists at the collection points at several times throughout the day. So, you can cycle all the way to Achill and be collected there too. Don't worry you won't be cycling there and back in one day!
Our visitors may avail of the bike rental and the collection service too.
3. Kayaking and Watersports
In summer, Newport is known for hosting watersports for young people in the harbor around the quay. This event is called 'Splash', and for updates you can check out the Splash Facebook page.
Typically, visitors can sign up to Splash and take part in the evening events like kayaking, water trampolining, and other fun games. There is a sign-up fee for kids but this lasts the whole season.
For adults, they can take part in some kayaking with other folks around the Newport area. The paddles can range in difficulty but all are welcome to try their hand at a paddle.
There are organisations in Mulranny, Westport, and Achill who run SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Boarding for groups. This is a lot of fun for the family, friends, or groups.
4. Kids Activities
There are plenty of kids activities for kids of all ages in Newport. For the young people, the Newport playground is open on Medlicott Street. From March to October, the playground can be bustling with other young people - so making new friends is guaranteed.
For the older kids, the Newport GAP (Greenway Activity Park) is open with an multi-use game area for basketball, soccer, or GAA. Beside that is an outdoor gym too. It's nice to see young people playing a game of basketball or football, and everyone is welcome to join a team.
For the older kids again, the Greenway is definitely the best option. A cycle to Mulranny or further could be perfect for those wanting to explore the west of Ireland.
5. Harry Clarke Stained Glass Windows
Harry Clarke was a world famous stained glass artist who lived from 1889 to 1931. He was commissioned to design and create the stained glass windows in St. Patrick's Church in Newport. The windows were finished in 1931, sadly, Harry passed away in this year.
The windows remain in the church to this day, making them over 91 years old. The cost at the time was £800, and the windows are known as 'The Newport Last Judgement'. The detail in the art is truly a sight to behold. The colours that radiate in the light are magnificent to see first hand.
The church is open to view the windows throughout the year. For anyone with an interest in art, or stained glass, the windows are stunning.
6. Local Food and Nightlife
For foodies and connoisseurs alike, Newport is a hidden gem. Home to local fish trade and award winning butchers, good food can be sourced in Newport.
There are restaurants in the area for all tastes. Typically stocking meats from the award winning butchers, like Keane's Meats and Kelly's of Newport. After you've been fed, it is a good time to look for a nice pub atmosphere.
Our own pub, Brannens, is over 70 years old, and a generational family owned pub. Opening on the 17th of March, in 1951, Brannens is a traditional pub, with a lively atmosphere, live music on weekends and a pool room for all to enjoy.
The pub is a great spot to meet up with friends, or make new ones. The locals are very welcoming and will not hesitate to chat.
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