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Cycling The Great Western Greenway

An exquisite expanse of cycling and walking routes, what could be better than taking to the open road and exploring all that the incredible Great Western Greenway has to offer?

Ideally placed along the County Mayo stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, whether hopping in the saddle or grabbing your boots, prepare for unparalleled views and inspiring landscapes. 

Spanning an impressive 43.5km, it follows part of the 19th-century Midlands Great Western Railway route, which was constructed in order to service what were then more rural areas, such as West Mayo.

Although the railway closed in 1937, today the route has a new lease of life as a breathtaking, traffic-free track between pretty Westport and picturesque Achill. With gentle gradients along the way, cyclists and walkers will marvel at how it encompasses so much of the county, and the West’s, exceptional scenery. An ideal route from which to explore the landscape's unique features in all seasons, a burst of autumn or winter sunshine can be just as idyllic as bright spells in flowering springtime or on summer days.

Cyclists in Mayo

Your Journey Awaits   

Set out on the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland and you’ll soon escape the shackles of today’s urban life. 

Part of the National Cycle Network, greenways are trails designed for shared use by leisure walkers and cyclists, the Great Western Greenway is traffic-free and off-road with a solid surface to travel on, so you’ll enjoy a super smooth journey whether walking or cycling. Why not take a trail?

Westport to Newport (12.5km)

Starting in the bustling, scenic town of Westport, this impressive trail showcases to walkers and cyclists stunning Atlantic seascapes and irresistibly lush landscapes. 

Known for its fantastic fishing, this trail ends in the vibrant heritage town of Newport which sits nestled on the shores of gorgeous Clew Bay. 

Cycling this trail can take 1 - 1.5 hours, while on foot the walk lasts approximately 3 - 3.5 hours. 

Newport to Mulranny (18km)

On the route from Newport to Mulranny, greenway-takers can watch out for the sights of Clew Bay, Clare Island and the rugged Nephin Beg mountain range. Mulranny boasts an impressive causeway, built in 1889, which connects the village to Mulranny Beach, a serene spot which enjoys Blue Flag status. Cyclists and walkers might even spy one of the town’s famed old Irish goats on the journey too.

Cycling this trail can take 2 - 2.5 hours, while walkers can expect to take an estimated 5 - 5.5 hours to complete the trip.

Family on Mulranny beach

Mulranny to Achill Sound (13km)

This route will take walkers and cyclists from Mulranny’s resplendent natural scenery right up to the spectacular sights of Achill Sound, the first village you encounter when you cross from the mainland over to the wild and beautiful Achill Island

At the end of your trip embrace the unrivalled Atlantic vistas from this island paradise, and listen out for some Irish being spoken in this lively Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) village. 

Cycling this trail can take 1 - 1.5 hours, while on foot the walk lasts approximately 3 - 3.5 hours.

Whichever way you take the trail, the sights and sounds of the inspiring Wild Atlantic Way are sure to be as vivid as the many memories you’ll take home.

Explore more fun outdoor activities to enjoy here, or for more cycling inspiration read about Finnish blogger Satu Vänskä-Westgarth's two-wheeled trip on the Wild Atlantic Way here.