- For other places with the same name, see Newport
Newport is a village in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. It was originally Baile Uí Fhiacháin or Ballyveaghan, then re-built in the 18th century as a port and linen manufacturing centre. But even the industrious Quakers couldn't make a success of it and Newport withered as Westport grew. It's just a single street, and in 2016 its population was all of 626. That makes it by some margin the biggest village along the bleak northwest coast of Mayo, so it's convenient to describe those places' attractions and facilities here. A separate page describes Achill Island.
Get in edit
The nearest railway station is Westport 11 km south, with 3 or 4 trains a day from Dublin Heuston.
Bus 450 follows the coast from Louisburgh and Westport to Newport (20 min), then on north to Mulrany and across Achill Island. It runs M-Sa every 2-3 hours, with only three on Sunday.
By road from Dublin take M4 / N4 to Longford then N5 west to Castlebar, then R311 to Newport.
Get around edit
The village is small, just a single street, but you need wheels for outlying attractions.
See above for Bus 450. Local Link Bus 978 runs twice M-Sa from Belmullet on the peninsula to Bangor Erris, Ballycroy, Newport and Castlebar. It's timed to enable day-trips to Castlebar; a day-trip out to Belmullet is not feasible, but it would give you a couple of hours at Ballycroy.
June-Aug a free bus may run Tu-Sa from Westport and Newport to Ballycroy National Park. It didn't run in 2021.
Greenway Bicycle Hire is on Newport Main St just north of the bridge. It's open daily 09:30-18:00.
- 1 Seven Arches Bridge is a disused railway viaduct over the river, now a footpath.
- St Patrick's Church (RC) is on Blackoak Rise north of the river. It was built in 1914 in neo-Romanesque style, with attractive stained glass windows.
- 2 Burrishoole Friary was a Dominican Friary founded in 1470 and ruined after the Reformation. The church and a wall of the cloister remain, and the cemetery is still in use.
- 3 Rockfleet Castle or Carrickahowley is a 16th century tower house on the shore, down a narrow lane. It looks substantial but is considered unsafe, so you can't go inside.
- 4 Rosturk Castle is an 1840 mock-castle mansion on a tidal island in Clew Bay. It's a private residence and not worth delving down the very narrow lane to view.
- 5 Mulranny is a village on the neck of land between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay, where R319 branches off the main road towards Achill Island. There's a scattering of B&Bs and self-catering cottages, and a golf course. East of the village, the Old Irish Goat Centre celebrates the primitive species introduced to Britain and Ireland 5000 years ago: it's open daily 11:00-17:00. A path across the bay over saltmarsh and machair was built in 1889; you can cross (no dogs) tom the other shore then circle back to the village.
- Corraun Peninsula (or Currane) carries the road to Achill. R319 is the direct route but there's also a scenic lane, an earlier turn-off clearly signposted on N59, which loops round the south coast.
- 6 Achill Island is reached by road from Mulranny. It has the deserted village of Slievemore: see separate page.
- 7 Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail is a boardwalk over the bogs south of Ballycroy. Along the shore are fossil tree stumps, perhaps 5000 years old, preserved by the peat.
- 8 Ballycroy National Park is one of the largest intact blanket bogs and peatlands in Ireland, a protected habitat. In 2007 a large area west of Nephin was added to the park: this was commercial timber forests, which are now being re-wilded. The visitor centre has a 2 km boardwalk loop, you need to start elsewhere for longer hikes into the hills.
- 9 Belmullet is the village on the neck of land connecting Mullet (or Erris) Peninsula to the mainland. JM Synge visited in 1904 and wove it into The Playboy of the Western World. There's B&B, golf courses, and McDonnell's Bar doubles as an undertakers.
- 10 Blacksod Lighthouse marks the south tip of the 33 km peninsula. You can't go in. Deirbhiles Twist nearby is a modern stone sculpture got up to resemble ancient megaliths.
- 11 Inishkea Islands are the low sandy chain off Blacksod. They still have a handful of residents, but many of their young fishermen were lost in a storm in 1927, and the survivors left for the mainland. There are no ferries, but boat trips sometimes call. In the 19th century the inhabitants practised pagan rites around a "sacred stone" - after they'd been to church, mind. It was made out to be a prehistoric tradition but more likely was just a batty modern cult in a place that lacked amusements.
- 12 Ballyglass Lighthouse marks the northeast tip of the peninsula, almost pinching off Broadhaven Bay. Lots of bracing clifftop walks around the north coast.
- 13 Dooncarton Stone Circle is a good example of the megaliths further north up the coast.
- 14 Benwee Head and the Stags of Broadhaven are at the north point of this coastline. From there the coast trends east towards Céide Fields and the group of abbeys around Killala: see Ballina for these.
- Golf: Westport GC is closest. Mulranny GC west along N59 is nine holes: there and back is 6199 m, par 71.
- Great Western Greenway is a cycling and walking route, 42 km from Westport to Newport, Mulranny and the bridge to Achill Island. It's off-road, following the trackbed of the old Great Western Railway.
- The Wild Atlantic Way is a coastal itinerary from Donegal all the way to Kinsale near Cork. The local section through northern Mayo is self-evident: from Ballina along the north coast to Mullet Peninsula, south via Ballycroy to Mulranny and Achill Island, then to Newport and onward to Westport.
- Dark skies: the Ballycroy / West Nephin park is one recommended area, but anywhere away from town should do.
- Myna Stables[dead link] organise horse and pony-riding lessons and treks. They're on the coast midway between Newport and Westport.
- Centra is the convenience store in Newport, open M-Sa 07:30-21:00, Su 08:00-20:00. Do your big shop in Westport or Castlebar.
- Kelly's Kitchen, Main St F28 VF57, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-17:00. Bright cheery cafe for breakfast or lunch.
- Grainne Uaile, Medlicott St (south end of bridge), ☏ . Daily 12:00-21:00. Gastropub with great food, not cheap, but value for money.
- Port Chipper next to Grainne Uaile serves fast food W-Su 17:00-21:00, eat in or takeaway.
- Newport House has the best dining in the village, see Sleep.
- Bridge Inn on Main St serves good pub grub and has rooms.
- Newport House, 7 Main St, Newport F28 RP80, ☏ . Charming small hotel and restaurant open Apr-Sept. B&B double from €120.
- B&Bs include Brannens on Main St, Greenway View northeast on Rosmore R317, Western Greenway[dead link] east on Blackoak Rise, Riverside House west on Castlebar Rd R311, and Anchor House west on Quay Rd. Hotel Newport has closed down.
- There isn't a campsite or caravan park in Newport, the nearest is in Westport.
As of Feb 2021, Newport village has a mobile signal from Eir and Three. There's no coverage by Vodafone, no 4G, and very patchy coverage on the roads around.
Go next edit
- Achill Island has a deserted village, abandoned in the Great Famine.
- The road round the north coast continues to Killala and Ballina, with several ruined abbeys.
- Westport has a fine Georgian Manor and is near the pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick.