20 of us made our own way to the Wyatt hotel Westport, firstly meeting for dinner on Monday evening, a great opportunity to get to know one another. We spent our first full day in Ballycroy national park and Achill, driven by local busman Padraig Sweeney, whose local knowledge, patience and total disregard of time gave us a day to remember. Ballycroy national park sits in 11,000 acres of wild bogland, a dark sky designated area where you can camp out overnight (not this time sadly) or at least stroll out on designated walkways.
Nevin’s gastropub provided us with great food (served by robots,I kid you not). The Wild Atlantic Way lived up to its name with spectacular waves, sheer cliffs and housing evidence of both past and present. Did you know there was a university on Achill founded at the same time as Trinity? The following day gave people an opportunity to try various activities from a cruise on Killary fjord ( where else can you eat mussels at 11.30 on a Wednesday morning?!) visiting Westport house and gardens, cycling the Greenway, browsing shops good enough to rival any shopping quarter. Some of us explored the Museum of Country Life, surely the top attraction of its kind in the country, visited Matt Molloy’s iconic pub while all the while eating wonderful Mayo food. Some managed to visit Kylemore and elsewhere on the day home. We’ll return at a future date to discover more of what the Northwest has to offer so please join us.