9 Great Places for Stunning Family Walks in Mayo


October 20, 2019

Keem Bay, Achill Island for walks in Mayo

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Family walks are a great way to get out with the kids, whether you are looking for a short stroll with a toddler or an adventure with an older child. There are so many beautiful places to walk around Mayo, from wooded trails to beaches, so you are sure to find something to suit you. Here are a 9 suggestions for fun family walks in Mayo. Make sure to remember the snacks, drinks, camera and weather gear.

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While you’re out and about, have fun spotting wildlife, feeding ducks, collecting leaves/acorns/shells or bring a picnic. You could try our nature scavenger hunt to entertain the kids, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery Mayo has to offer!

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Family Walks in Mayo

#1. Tóchar Daithí Bán Trail

Image: Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com © Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

A great family walk is the Tóchar Daithí Bán Trail in Ballycroy National Park, which is a lovely nature walk about 2 km long.  Start close to the front door of the Visitor Centre for Ballycroy National Park and finish up at the Tearoom which enjoys beautiful views of Achill Island.

The trail is named after mythical giant Daithí Bán who built a fortress on Ballycroy National Park’s tallest mountain, Corslieve and regularly walked down to the sea using the three islands between Ballycroy and Doohooma Head as stepping stones.

On the trail is The Dipping Pond which is a great location for spotting dragonflies and damselflies and a viewing point where you have breathtaking views of sea and mountains as you look across the Nephin Beg mountain range and over to Achill Island.

#2. Cong Woods

In the picturesque village of Cong lies Cong Woods. The lovely 2km walk has an entrance beside the ruins of Cong Abbey, plenty of lovely benches to rest tired little legs and lots of places to feed the ducks.

#3. Belleek Woods

Belleek Woods, near Ballina is a great family friendly walk situated along the banks of the river Moy. It is one of the largest urban forests in Europe with 200 acres of woodlands and trees up to 300 years old. The tree-canopied walk has lots of natural forest pathways which are great for little adventures with the children.

Keep a look out for some woodland animals such as squirrels, badgers, foxes and rabbits. There are also many historical features to be seen along the trail, including a hermitage and an ice house. There is a lovely picnic area where you can relax and watch the boats on the river. And don’t forget to hunt for the fairies on the fairy trail!

#4. Croagh Patrick

croagh patrick walks in mayo

Image: Croagh Patrick © Artur Ilkow

The holy mountain of Croagh Patrick in Westport is an ancient site of pilgrimage with breathtaking views over Clew Bay, and one of the most famous walks in Mayo. This is a great family hike for older children and worth a trip even if you only get as far as the base with toddlers.

#5. Clare Lake Loop Walk

The Clare Lake Loop Walk, Claremorris is a fantastic place to bring kids. It is a wonderful recreational park near Claremorris. Less than 3km long, it has a tree canopied path with lots of berries to pick, a lovely picnic area, benches to rest tired feet, 2 bridges to cross and lots of ducks to feed. Enjoy spotting the various species of wild birds to be found there and pop in to the playground at the entrance.

The park is also home to Land of Giants, fun giant art installations dotted along the way.

#6. Lough Lannagh

The walk around Lough Lannagh in Castlebar is perfect for a family walk. Take a leisurely stroll around one side of the lake, feed the ducks and a rather impressive family of swans!

Take a detour up through Lannagh Holiday village into the playground and astroturf football/basketball pitch or continue your walk across the beautiful new bridge right around the lake.

#7. The Great Western Greenway

Great Western Greenway for walks in mayo

Image: Courtesy Christian McLeod © Failte Ireland

The Great Western Greenway between Newport and Mulranny is the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. Meandering along the old Newport-Mulranny railway, this 18km traffic-free route is well mapped and signed with no steep hills so perfect for a family day out.

#8. Brabazon Woods

Brabazon Woods in Swinford are a great place for some fresh air and a family day out. Located on the Kilkelly Road just a 2 minute walk from Swinford town centre. A beautiful children’s playground is situated at the base of this walk which starts with a pathway that leads you on a short uphill stroll through the trees.

With forks in the path to choose your route, you will arrive at the top to view the town land below from various vantage points. A perfect place to take a picnic with benches located along the way.

#9. Beach Walks in Mayo

Keel Beach, Achill Island, Co Mayo ICP (1)

Image: Courtesy Fearghus Foyle © Failte Ireland

There are many Mayo beaches to choose from for a family walk along the coast, many of which have been awarded Blue Flag status.

Bertra Beach has a sandy front beach which is used for swimming and angling, and a quiet back beach, separated by protected sand dunes, which are ideal for making a round trip walk.

The very pretty Old Head Beach, about 10 miles from Westport, is a delightful curving sandy beach with a picturesque stone pier and, during the summer months, cruising and fishing boats at anchor.

Carrowmore Beach is a sandy beach located in a special protection and conservation area, while Keel Beach on Achill Island is a haven for a variety of water sports such as diving, surfing, windsurfing, swimming or even for a stroll on the long golden sandy beach.

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9 Great Places for Stunning Family Walks in Mayo - Mykidstime

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