The past eighteen months have been incredibly difficult from lockdowns to home schooling and working remotely we have all had our world’s turned upside down. If you’re reading this and feeling in the need a much needed break, consider taking some annual leave this Autumn and make a break for North Mayo.
Here a few recommendations for enjoying a break from work and the city:
1. Enjoy an Autumn break in one of our hotels
The North Mayo capital of Ballina is home to some lovely hotels to relax and shut out the outside world. If you’re in need of a much needed spa break the Ice House hotel located on the Ballina Quay is the perfect spot for you. Relax the Chill Spa at the Ice House Hotel perhaps soak away your cares at the Ice House’s outdoor seaweed baths.
If you’re a gym lover the Twin Trees Hotel have an amazing Leisure Centre. The Leisure Centre facilities include a heated 15 metre swimming pool and a separate children’s pool, a fully equipped gym, aerobics studios for a range of classes, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a squash court.
For more information visit: Twin Trees Hotel & Leisure Centre
2. Recharge your soul with a spiritual trip to the Fr. Peyton Memorial Centre in Attymass
Attymass is an anglers and walkers paradise with its chain of lakes extending from Lough Brohly in Graffy to the north and Lough Carrakerribla in the south along with the mountain lakes and the fabulous river Moy.
There is wonderful scenery at Glann Hill overlooking Rooskey Lough on a hill similar to Cork Screw Hill in Co. Clare. Glann hill at Cloughmore affords views of Attymass and into the North Mayo area in general as far as Lough Conn and the spectacular Nephin mountain.
The Father Peyton Centre is an oasis of tranquility and a respite of prayer and peace situated in scenic Attymass,10 minutes from Ballina. The Centre is dedicated to telling the fascinating story of Venerable Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. through archival video footage, memorabilia and guided tours.
For more information please visit: www.fatherpeytoncentre.ie
3. Book a biodynamic treatment at The Biodynamic Clinic in Killala
Biodynamic Medicine is defined as the ‘art of healing’ in accordance with the biodynamic principles. Whether it’s for healing, relaxation or just curiosity, you will leave your session or sessions feeling relaxed, chilled and with a new sense of connection with your body.
For more information please visit: www.biodynamic.org
4. Take a trip to Ballycastle and marvel at Downpatrick Head
No trip to North Mayo is complete with out a trip to Ballycastle to visit Downpatrick Head on the edge of the earth overlooking the wild Atlantic. A Signature Discovery Point on the famed Wild Atlantic Way, the area provides unparalleled views of the ocean, including a unique vantage point over the Stags of Broadhaven.
After your trip make for visit to Mary’s Cottage Kitchen for a hearty lunch.
5. Explore our history with a visit to The Jackie Clarke Collection
The Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina County Mayo displays a collection of historic material spanning 400 years of Irish history all collected by one man, Jackie Clarke (1927-2000).
It comprises of many rare books, manuscripts, photographs, letters, newspapers and more, with items relating to notable figures such as; Theobald Wolfe Tone, P.H. Pearse, and Michael Collins. Housed in the magnificently refurbished Old Provincial Bank on Pearse Street in the heart of Ballina, The Jackie Clarke Collection and its heritage garden are a must see for any visitor interested in the story of Ireland.
Admission is FREE and the Collection is currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm.
6. Wrap-up and explore Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park
Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park – a vast unspoilt wilderness of rugged mountains and Atlantic blanket bog. Explore the cultural and natural heritage of this area in the interactive exhibition at the beautiful and modern Visitor Centre nestled into the landscape above Ballycroy Village.
Embark on a short guided stroll with one of their Guides along the 2km Tóchar Dáithí Bán boardwalk and trail (pre-booking required). The panoramic views from the top of Cleary’s Hill are spectacular with vistas of the Nephin Beg Mountain range including Slieve Carr, Ireland’s most remote Mountain, Slieve Mór on Achill Island and the surrounding Wild Atlantic Way seascapes.
7. Soak-up some art at The Ballinglen Museum of Art
View and explore this stunning area through the work of artists who have spent time in North Mayo. See many recognisable scenes, showcasing the beauty of this mystical landscape, abstract paintings to open the mind and encourage personal interpretation and discussion.
Take in the expansive view at the rear of the Museum including Bunatrahir Bay, Downpatrick Head and St. John’s Church. A place of wonder and enlightenment, a jewel to find on the Wild Atlantic Way. Not just for art enthusiasts, the scope of work is broad and appeals to all ages and interests.
The Ballinglen Gallery is located next door and exhibits work primarily created by Ballinglen Fellows of the Foundation. The exhibitions vary from solo shows to work from the Permanent Collection.
8. Reach for the stars with Terra Firma
From the Greenway to the Milky Way! Reach for the stars and discover your wild side in county Mayo’s stunning wilderness and celestial night skies with one of our “after dark” experiences. Their after dark tours and experiences are unique and ideal for group bookings and evenings out. Contact them to arrange a booking. Prices per person including transport.
Choose from a range of after dark experiences:
• Stargazing Safari and Dark Sky Tour
• Gastronomy & Astronomy
• Myth, Magic & Moonlight
• Full Moon Walk
To find out more visit terrafirmaireland.com