Friday, April 1, 2016

Irish Pubs and Folklore 2016 Day 6 Westport House, Achill Island #cietours #ireland #TourismIreland #mycietour #AchillIsland


Ireland 2016
CIE Tour-Irish Pubs and Folklore
March 19-26, 2016

Thursday March 24-Westport, Westport House and Achill Island.

We have a late sleep and make our way down to breakfast. Today we'll be visiting the Westport House, having lunch at The Helm and then heading out to Achill Island.

We poke through some of the 30 rooms of the stately mansion,Westport House



From their website:
"...visitors immerse themselves in life as far back as the 16th century when Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Connacht ruled the land and seas around the estate. Built upon the foundations of one of her many castles which can still be toured in the dungeons today, the original Westport House was built in 1650 by Colonel John Browne and his wife Maud Burke, Grace O’Malley’s great-great-granddaughter.

Since then it has undergone a number of developments under the direction of the celebrated architects Richard Cassels (of Carton and Leinster House architectural fame), James Wyatt and Thomas Ivory, progressing from a smaller, one room deep residence with a central open court yard to the stately square house complete with balustraded terraces that we recognise today."

Grace was quite a woman. At six years old she shaved her head and sneaked onto to her father's ship and she never looked back.

After our visit back to the 16th century, we're hungry. At trip in town to The Helm for lunch is in order. The Helm is located in a row of old corn mills.




After lunch of Chicken curry and a mountainous fudge cake for me and fish and chips and profiteroles for Jay our coach takes some folks back to the Wyatt  to do their own things. The rest of us stay on the coach and get, wait for it SEAT UPGRADES! We did make it to the front of the bus!

On our way to Achill, Micheal points out The Great Western Green Way. It's a rail to trail way that runs from Westport to Achill through Newport and Mulranny. Trail Map Here. Bike rental shops are popping up to accommodate this new tourist attraction. The railway has an unusual past. It's first trip carried young girls to a hooker (type of boat) to make their way to Scotland to pick potatoes. The boat tipped over and all 36 girls died. This is known as The Clew Bay Disaster.

It's last trip carried the bodies of potato pickers from Scotland who were living a barn when the barn was burned down by a feuding neighbor, the neighbor did not know the people were inside. This is know as the Kirkintillock Fire.

We stop at the Kildownet Old Cemetery



Sadness and a melancholy take over as we walk the grounds of the cemetery. Some graves are only marked by stones. And there are many, many stones. With tears in our eyes, we board the coach for our next stop. A coffee at The Beehive.


The scenery is so dramatic.

We pass a few sod (peat) harvesting areas.



Time for an Irish Coffee break, with a homemade scone! We're in Keel now at The Beehive.


Back on the coach and off to check out the Deserted Village at Slievemore. It consists of about 80-100 stone huts on a mile long stretch of road on the side of Slievemore Mountain.



We leave Achill Island, we even pass a golf course on the island. Back into Westport and we're on our own for dinner.

Jay and I wander the town and end up at The West Bar for seafood chowder and brown bread. It was excellent!


There's lots of cool stuff to see in town so we take out time walking off the very rich seafood chowder.



Back to the room, we set the alarm for 6:30 a.m., bags need to be outside the door for 7:30 and we need to be on the coach at 8:45 for our trip back to Dublin.

Jay hits the SuperValu to stock up on beer for Good Friday-Pubs are closed in Ireland until midnight!


Before we retire, I hit the hotel bar and try Green Spot Whiskey, it was really yummy. It has a hint of green apple.

Off to bed and off to Dublin in the morning.

More images from Day 6: https://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/Ireland-2016/WesptortAchillIsland/

Next up: Back to Dublin! Glasnevin Museum and the Brazen Head Pub.

Irish Pubs and Folklore
CIE Tours 2016
Day 3 March 21 Kilkenny,WaterfordBlarney, Killarney
March 19-26, 2016
Copyright ©2016 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy