Castlebar is the largest town in Mayo and is also the administrative seat for the county. Originally a garrison town, its name - Caisleán an Bharraigh - comes from a settlement around de Barra Castle in the 11th century. Home to several fun-filled festivals, the town is home to the International Four Day Walks, an event immersed in walking and comradeship. Complemented by a rich vein of culture, you are sure to meet welcoming locals in Castlebar.
Top 10 Things to Do in Castlebar
- Visit the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, situated in the stunning grounds of Turlough Park. The museum comprises of the estate’s original house (1865), which has been fully restored, as well as a purpose-built exhibition gallery. The innovative exhibits on show tell the story of Irish country life between 1850 and 1950.
- Follow the footsteps of the locals and spend a sunny evening walking around Lough Lannagh. Once inaccessible, the new paths & walkways make for a stunning stroll, with rounded bridges curving over the river. You can also try Stand Up Paddling (SUP) on the lake.
- Walking in Castlebar - Take a short drive out of the town and you will soon be in the Croaghmoyle and Nephin mountain range, covered in thick mosses and heathers, scattering a rich hue of purples and reds across the countryside.
- Raheens Wood: Enjoy an afternoon nature trail, dotted with unique points of interest, including the ruins of a large stately home built once by Dodwell Browne in memory of his wife, Maria.
- The winding streets of Castlebar town hide a fascinating past. As you walk around, you will see plaques which mark historical locations, e.g. the memories of the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798, in which General Humbert led his French troops against the British forces.
- The Great Western Greenway extends from the museum in Turlough Park to Castlebar town, Lough Lannagh, Raheens Wood and onwards to Westport. This trail offers a pleasant mix of riverside woodlands, country back roads and urban settings.
- Mayo Peace Park - this memorial is situated in the centre of Castlebar town, by the old town cemetery. It commemorates all those from Co. Mayo who served and died in the major world wars and confl icts of the past century, as well as in other wars and conflicts.
- Castlebar is a shopper’s heaven, abuzz with fantastic boutiques, gift shops, bookshops, high-street stores, artisan butchers and lots of quirky cafes.
- Enjoy an afternoon in the Linenhall Arts Centre, the cultural hub of Castlebar for over 20 years. Housed in one of the oldest existing linenhalls in Ireland, it is home to an intimate performance space, a visual art gallery, an art workshop, and a lovely coffee shop.
- Enjoy a round of golf at Castlebar Golf Club, which is over 100 years old. The magnificent parkland course is known as “the Augusta of Connaught” and the modern clubhouse is home to a bar & restaurant with panoramic views of the course.