Get away from it all
One of the biggest advantages of the route is that it allows you to get out into the countryside without having to tackle dirt tracks or negotiate uneven country lanes. So you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Mayo without the noise and traffic of a main road.
The smooth, level track is ideal for cycling and it’s easy to rent a bike for the day at Westport Bike Hire or Clew Bay Bike Hire. You can also take advantage of drop off points and a free shuttle service at different locations along the greenway so you don’t have to commit to doing the whole trip in one go.
3 great cycles
Westport to Newport (12.5km)
This section of the route starts off in the charming town of Westport, which has no shortage of boutique shops, great eateries and excellent pubs. This portion of the greenway route takes in some stunning Atlantic seascapes and you can look out over Clew Bay, which is dotted with small islands.
Finish up in the lively heritage town of Newport on the shores of Clew Bay, which is a renowned fishing spot. It takes between an hour and 1.5 hours to cycle this trail and you can walk it in three or four hours.
Newport to Mulranny (18km)
The next section takes you on to Mulranny and you’ll get to see impressive views of Clew Bay, Clare Island and the rugged Nephin Beg mountain range. One unique feature on this section is the eye-catching Mulranny causeway, a narrow bridge that crosses Trawoughter Bay and links the village to Mulranny’s blue flag beach. This serene beach is a great spot for a dip on a good day.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the town’s famous old Irish goats. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of these rare, big-horned locals as you pass through these parts.
Cyclists can cover this section in between two and 2.5 hours while walkers can expect to take between five and 5.5 hours.
Mulranny to Achill Sound (13km)
This section will take you from Mulranny to Achill Sound, the first village you encounter when you cross on to the beautiful Achill Island from the mainland. Prepare to enjoy some spectacular island sights and some of the country’s most dramatic coastal scenery when you get there. Make sure your phone is charged as you’ll definitely want to grab some photos along the way. Soaring sea cliffs, breathtaking views and a friendly island welcome await you when you complete your trip. Celebrate with a pint or a coffee or just relax and soak up some of the island’s natural charms.
This section can be cycled in between one and 1.5 hours and it will take between three and 3.5 hours to walk. Whether you start in Westport or Achill, you’re in for a treat. This is a chance to get away from it all and explore the old railway route under your own steam and at your own pace.
Not only will you come away from The Great Western Greenway with a real sense of achievement, but you’ll also be able to look back on a journey that you’ll never forget. Use our Mayo destination page to discover great places to eat and refuel after your cycle.