“Anois teacht an Earraigh, beidh an lá dúl chun shíneadh, Is tar eis na féil Bríde, ardóigh mé mo sheol.” (Translation: Now the coming of Spring, The days will grow longer, And after St. Brigid’s day, My sail I’ll let go) are the opening lines of ‘Cill Aodáin’ by Antaine Ó Raifteirí and they resonate with us.
We hope the arrival of Spring will bring some bright days ahead for us all. Here are some activities to experience this Spring in County Mayo:
Achill Experience Aquarium & Visitor Centre, F28 TX49
The Achill Experience is a place for families, tourists and people with an interest in marine life and history who want an educational and entertaining indoor experience. Our aquarium and museum offer a unique, personal experience of local marine and island life and unlike virtual reality our experience is real.
Opening: 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and11:30am – 3:15pm Saturday – Sunday
Price: €7 per Adult, €4.50 per Child. Included with admission: self-guided access to aquarium, museum and gift shop. Aquarium guide on site to answer questions. Allow one hour
Person of Contact: Elaine Connaghan | Phone: (098) 43292 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.achillexperience.ie
The Ballinglen Museum of Art, Ballycastle, F26 RX61
Contemporary Irish Art Gallery
March 4th – April 20th: ‘Moving Still’, a solo exhibition of work by printmaker Kate MacDonagh.
April 8th – May 1st: ‘Seaworks’. Paul Kenny, Fellow of Ballinglen, photographer. Bun na Sphéire (The Bottom of the Sky) moving image
work inspired by time spent on residency at The Ballinglen Arts Foundation.
Attendance is FREE.
Person of contact: Úna Forde | Phone: (096) 43184 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.ballinglenartsfoundation.com |
Ballintubber Abbey, Claremorris, F12 W584
Dating back to 1216 visitors can see the original altar, restored nave and the beautiful stained glass. Ballintubber is also the starting point for the Tóchar Phádraig pilgrim path. This Spring, you can join their tour guide, Muriel for ‘Abbey Wednesdays’ at 11am weekly.
Opening: 9am – 9pm, 7 days (self-guided tours); 9:30am – 4:30pm Tuesday – Friday (guided tours – days may vary, please phone ahead)
Price: Free (self-guided) / €5 (guided) – Included with admission: access to abbey, grounds, St. Patrick’s Well, museum and gift shop. Allow one hour
Person of contact: Teresa Vahey / Deirdre Hardcastle | Phone: 094 9030934 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.ballintubberabbey.ie
Clew Bay Heritage Centre – The Quay, Westport, F28 K302
Museum of local area. Using a scale model of Westport, their guide will conduct a tour of Westport and the Clew Bay area. Genealogical research service. Guided walks of Westport town may be booked for groups of 6 and over.
Opening: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am – 2pm
Price: €4 – Included with admission: guided walk-through of heritage centre. Allow 45 minutes
Person of Contact: Bronach Joyce | Phone: 098 25420 / 087 6890711 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.westportheritage.com
Connacht Distillery, Ballina, F26 P932
Gain an in-depth knowledge of their whiskey, vodka, gin and traditional Irish poitín with fun and informal tastings.
Tastings: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 12:30pm and 3:30pm. Allow 45 minutes for your visit.
Price: €20 and €30 (depending on tour)
Person of contact: Louise Mulligan | Phone: 096 74902 / 096 74598 | Email: [email protected] | Website: https://connachtwhiskey.com/
Foxford Woollen Mills, Foxford, F26 H9E4
The Foxford Experience welcomes groups and individuals to learn from our guides about a century of innovation, forward thinking, manufacturing and craftsmanship.
After the tour guests can explore our lifestyle brand of premium product ranges from bed linen,
cushions, rugs, furniture and gift ideas in our Foxford Store followed by lunch or coffee in the gorgeous and spacious Foxford Café.
Opening: Foxford Store – Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday 12pm – 5pm,
Foxford Café – Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm & Sunday 12pm – 4pm,
The Foxford Experience – visit their website for current details: www.foxford.com
Included with admission: 30 minute guided tour of the Mill and access to Foxford Store and Foxford Café. Allow an hour and a half to visit the Mill, Store and Café
Person of contact: Alison, Claire or Marie (Tour Guides) | Phone: 094 9256104 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.foxford.com
Glen Keen Farm, near Doolough Valley, F28 VW73
The ultimate Mayo sheep herding experience with their friendly Border Collie’s. Contact then for details on more award-winning group experiences.
Opening: Advance bookings only
Price: €12 per person minimum of 10 guests – Included in price: expert sheep herding display. Allow 45 minutes.
Person of contact: Catherine O’Grady Powers | Phone: 087 6167396 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.glenkeenfarm.com
Ice House Seaweed Baths, Ballina, F26 Y9E8
Outdoor bathing therapies which include seaweed and mud bath rituals.
Opening: 9:30am – 6:00pm daily
Price: From €55 per person, Allow up to two hours. 45 minutes outdoor seaweed bath as well as full access to spa thermal area and spa garden.
Person of contact: Elaine Armstrong | Phone: 096 23500 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.icehousehotel.ie
Jackie Clarke Collection, Ballina, F26 A368
1 man, 100,000 items, 400 years of Irish history.
Opening: 12pm – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, Allow at least one hour. Included with admission: self-guided access to museum and walled garden. Guides available on request.
Person of contact: Edel Healy or Anne-Marie Forbes | Phone: 096 73508 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.clarkecollection.ie
Knock Museum, F12 E3F2
At Knock Museum you will discover the unique story of the Knock Apparition of 1879, find out about the lives of the people who witnessed it and explore why millions of people still come on pilgrimage here in search of peace, healing and reconciliation. Knock Museum is accredited in the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland.
Michael Davitt Museum, Straide, F26 FX37
The Michael Davitt Museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of this pre-eminent social activist and global reformer.
Opening: February 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Saturday / March to
September 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Sunday. Allow one hour.
Price: Adults €8, Children €3
Person of contact: Yvonne Corcoran Loftus | Phone: 094 9031942 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.michaeldavittmuseum.ie
National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Castlebar, F23 HY31
The award-winning museum houses Ireland’s National Folklife Collection and takes visitors back in time to discover what country life was like between 1850 and 1950. Set on 40 acres of stunning parkland, there’s lots to discover with woodland trails, outdoor art, a Gothic revival mansion, an adventure playground, and a 10k greenway to nearby Castlebar. There is also a café and gift shop on site.
Opening: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday and Monday 1pm – 5pm
Price: FREE – Included with admission: self-guided access to museum and access to grounds, playground, café and gift shop. Allow an hour and a half.
Person of contact: Emmet Callaghan | Phone: 094 90 31755 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.museum.ie/country-life
Terra Firma Ireland – After Dark Experiences, North and West Mayo
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.
From Stargazing Safaris to Myth, Magic & Moonlight Tours. Terra Firma
also offer a range of daytime guided hiking and walking activities around Mayo and Connemara.
Opening: Contact Ged for tour details, dates & times from February to April.
Price: Tours start from €25 – Included in price: guided experience including travel to and from Mayo Dark Sky Park by minibus (from Newport). Allow two and a half hours.
Person of contact: Ged Dowling | Phone: 089 2409015 | Email: [email protected] Website: https://terrafirmaireland.com/
The Colony Tour, Dugort, Achill, F28 NY97
A fascinating 2-hour guided walk around the ruins of the 19th Century Achill Mission with BAFTA winning writer and Achill Islander
Opening: Tour at 11am every Sunday or on request for group bookings.
Price: €20 – Included in price: guided walking tour. Allow two hours
Person of contact: Kevin Toolis | Phone: 086 0713973 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.thecolonytour.com
Opening in March
Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park, Ballycroy, F28 RX77
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).
Opening: Hoping to open daily from mid-March, 10am to 5:30pm. Check
website in advance.
Price: FREE. Included with admission: self-guided access to exhibition and trail and access to café. Allow one and a half hours
Person of contact: Margaret Flaherty | Phone: 098 49888 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.wildnephinnationalpark.ie
The Irish Soda Bread Way, Westport
A hands-on traditional Irish Soda Bread baking experience while getting an insight into Irish food culture and way of life
Opening: Every Tuesday morning commencing March 15th, 10am – 12pm
Price: €40 per person (€20 ages 8-16 / €35 group rate, minimum 8 people) – Included in price: guided baking experience as well as tea/coffee and scones/bread. Allow two hours
Person of contact: Mary Kelly & Carmel Healy | Phone: 087 1336741 / 087 7858655 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.irishsodabreadway.com
Blacksod Lighthouse, Blacksod, F26 KC7V
Step inside the lighthouse and immerse yourself in the history of this stout, castellated building. See how the lighthouse keepers of the past lived and worked when times were tougher and communications more challenging on this remote rocky outcrop.
Opening: 11am – 4:30pm from March 17th
Price: Adult €7, Child €4, Family €20 – Allow 40 minutes. Included with admission: guided tour of lighthouse
Person of contact: Evin Walker | Phone: 097 85797 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.visitblacksodlighthouse.ie
Opening in April
Big Style Surf School
Surf lessons – Lessons & Rentals – Wetsuits provided.
Opening: 10am – 4pm from April
Price: €15 – €35 – Included in price: wetsuit, board and lesson. Allow two hours
Person of Contact: Shane | Phone: 0873570016 | Email: [email protected] Website: www.bigstyle.ie
Croagh Patrick Seafoods Oyster Farm Tour, Roslaher, Newport
This 1 hour fully guided tour on the rugged shoreline of Clew Bay, includes the history of fishing on Clew Bay, how the oysters are cultivated today, how the oyster seed is grown and what husbandry is involved. We take you on a walk along the shoreline to see
how the oysters are grown. As part of the tour you learn how to open an oyster and sample some Clew Bay oysters fresh from the bay.
Opening: Tours Wednesday to Sunday from April 13th at 12pm and 4pm
Price: €25 per adult – Included in price: guided tour of oyster farm, shucking demonstration and oyster tasting. Allow one hour
Person of contact: Padraic Gannon | Phone: 087 2497570 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.croaghpatrickseafoods.ie
Old Irish Goat Visitor Centre, Mulranny
Old Irish Goat Visitor Centre with charismatic Old Irish Goats and multimedia exhibit, craft shop and coffee dock
Opening: from 1st April 2022 11am to 5pm
Price: FREE – Donations to critically endangered Old Irish
Goat conservation programme welcome. Included with admission: self-guided walk-through of exhibit and access to craft shop. Guides available to answer questions. Allow 45 minutes.
Person of contact: Helen Walker | Phone: 086 8270123 | Email: [email protected] | Website: https://oldirishgoat.ie/
The Quiet Man Museum and walking tour of The Quiet Man locations, Cong
Guided walking tour to the original Quiet Man movie locations in Cong village and visitor attraction featuring original movie memorabilia and an exact replica of White O’Morn cottage and film set.
Opening: 10am to 4pm daily from 14 April. Tours depart daily at 12 noon
from 14 April
Price: €15 for guided walking tour and museum entry, or €5.50 for museum only – Included in full price: 1 hour guided walking tour of film locations and access to museum. Allow an hour and a half
Person of contact: Lisa Collins | Phone: 094 9546089 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.quietmanmuseum.com
Opening in May
Beth Moran Handweavers, Clare Island
35 years handweaving, spinning and natural dying on Clare Island
Opening: May to September 12-4pm
Price: Varies depending on workshop/course – Included in workshops: small groups, personal attention, taster of all processes or focus on particular areas as requested. Allow: Weekend to week-long
Person of contact: Beth Moran | Phone: 087 1254552 / 098 25800 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.bethmoranhandweaver.ie
The Lost Valley, Silver Strand near Louisbourgh
The Bourke Family offer a fully guided cultural adventure, on well-developed trails that is suitable for all ages. Duration is 3 hours approximately as the heritage and history of The Lost Valley is recounted and explained, while we make our way at a relaxed,
leisurely pace on a well-developed trail along the different points of interest in the valley.
Opening: Pre-book in advance for tours from mid-May
Price: €25 per adult – Included in price: guided walking tour and refreshments en route. Allow three hours
Person of contact: Gerard Bourke | Phone: 085 1139977 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.thelostvalley.ie