A family break in Ballina, North Mayo - Visit North Mayo

Life can be hectic at times! If this past few years have taught us anything, it’s that it is so important to take some time from the busy schedule. Time to re-focus on what is important in life – that includes spending quality time with family and loved ones! A family break in Ballina, North Mayo is the perfect opportunity to strengthen relationships and reconnect.

North Mayo is the ideal location for a family break. With our wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and heaps of things to see and do, here are just some suggestions and recommendations for a family break in Mayo North.


After a long week in the office pack up the family and some luggage (you’re heading to the west of Ireland so don’t forget a raincoat) and head for Ballina on a Friday evening. If you’re looking for and adventure why not hop on Bus Éireann or travel with Irish Rail. Once you reach Ballina head for your hotel. Ballina has plenty of hotels and accommodation to choose from. It offers some of the best award winning accommodation in the West of Ireland.

The Twin Trees Hotel and Great National Hotel Ballina both have pools and kids clubs. Whilst Belleek Park Caravan and Camping offers a secure site for motor-home parking as well as self-contained self-catering accommodation.

Family Rooms at the Twin Trees Hotel Ballina
Family Room at the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co.Mayo

Once you’ve settled into your room(s) why not enjoy a late dinner in the hotel restaurant? Alternatively, there are a number of family friendly restaurants to choose from. The award winning Cot and Cobble Bar & Restaurant located along the banks of the River Moy is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. So too is the Merry Monk Ballina. Located on the Killala Road it offers a unique dining experience using only the highest quality of produce. They have also won many awards for their excellent carvery! Within Ballina town centre, you are spoiled for choice. The Loft on Pearse Street or Bar Square on Garden Street both serve food until the early evening. There are a number of taxi services available in Ballina if required, just ask at reception.

Did you know Ballina is a Purple Flag town? The Purple flag is awarded to towns across the United Kingdom and Ireland which have demonstrated to have a safe evening and night-time economy (ENTE).


Start of your Saturday morning with breakfast at your hotel. If you have wandered into town for breakfast, why not try The Post House on Casement Street in Ballina. John, Lisa and the team will greet you with a friendly smile, a chat and delicious food.

If you’re a coffee lover we suggest you head on over to Dave’s Deli and Coffee Shack. It is located in the SMA Arcade on O’Rahilly Street. Dave’s Deli offer a specially selected menu of gourmet coffees, locally sourced food and an atmosphere that is cozy, welcoming and personal. This is a café to savour and the pancakes are to die for! Here you can enjoy wholesome healthy food with freshly sourced local ingredients, whether to take away or sit in, and tantalize your taste buds with varieties of coffee from around the world.

Dave’s Deli, SMA Arcade, Ballina, Co.Mayo

Firstly, grab a coffee on the go then head down to The Tom Ruane Park and Playground on the Sligo Road, where the kids can play and you can sit take in views of the famous River Moy.

Tom Ruane Park & Playground Ballina
Tom Ruane Park & Playground, Ballina, Co.Mayo

A trip to The Jackie Clarke Collection on Pearse Street is a must for anyone visiting Ballina. The Jackie Clarke is the single most important private collection of Irish history material in public hands, comprising over 100,000 items spanning 400 years. The Collection comprises an eclectic mixture of artifacts, proclamations, posters, political cartoons, rare books etc associated with Theobald Wolfe Tone, Michael Collins, Michael Davitt and O’Donovan Rossa. It also contains, personal items from Leaders of the 1916 Rising. If your young companions are not interested in museums the beautiful Walled Garden is a great place to explore.The Jackie Clarke Collection is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm and admission is FREE.

The Jackie Clarke Collection
The Jackie Clarke Collection, Ballina, Co.Mayo

If you are looking for something outdoors, why not saddle up for a pony trek with Iceford Stables. Best known for their summer camps, which are ideal for families visiting the area, you can also enjoy a countryside trek, or an indoor lesson in their purpose-built arena.

Pony trekking on the beach with Iceford Stables

After an exhilarating day, head back to Ballina for dinner in Dillon’s Bar and Restaurant. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town, you’ll find the atmospheric Dillons courtyard an ideal place in which to chill out after a busy day. Another great option is the award winning Poachers Restaurant. A hidden gem in the town, be sure to pre book in order to guarantee availability.


The leisure facilities at all Ballina hotels are some of the best in the West of Ireland. If you’re in the mood to relax we encourage you to avail of the services. For any exercise junkies, shake off the cobwebs with a cycle through Belleek Woods with Rachel’s Irish Adventures, and just take a stroll and explore the Fairy Trail. For those who have water-sports as a hobby why not explore the waterways of Ballina and try your hand at Stand-Up Paddling with some amazing local activity providers – Harbour SUP, More to Life Adventures or Simply SUP?

Standing up paddling SUP river Moy Ballina Co Mayo Ireland

Alternatively, if you fancy a gentle stroll explore The Ballina Bench Trail. Why not take some time to enjoy an ice-cream along the way!


So you’ve experienced Ballina in North Mayo but this is only a small portion of what we have to offer. There’s so much to explore. This is just the starting point! The list of things to do and see in North Mayo is endless, from Downpatrick Head to the Céide Fields, Wild Nephin National Park and over to Erris where you will discover gems such as, Blacksod Lighthouse and the deserted islands of Inishkea. The list is endless. There’s something for everyone….

Check out our guide of 50 Great Things to do in North Mayo and West Sligo and view our map of North Mayo below to plan your next trip.
North Mayo adventure and activity map Ireland
The Seven Wonders of North Mayo

We hope to see you soon . . . .