The Ellison 48 Hours Stay Challenge




With so much to do and see in Mayo, we thought we’d pack some of the best bits into a 2-day itinerary so you get the most of out of your trip.

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Day 1



Enjoy breakfast in Siar Restaurant. Stepping away from the norm, guests at The Ellison can choose from a wide selection of tasty options from our newly created breakfast menu in the Siar Restaurant.

After Breakfast - A Climb of Croagh Patrick

Steeped in history and offers breath-taking views across Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick is a mountain located approximately 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport which is 20 minutes from Castlebar in County Mayo. Considered the holiest mountain in Ireland, this majestic peak, also known locally as the 'Reek' stands 750 metres or 2,500 feet tall and dominates the Mayo landscape.

Afternoon - Westport House for Lunch & History 

Westport House is by far one of the West of Ireland’s best-known heritage attractions, one of the finest examples of an historical country house in Mayo if not Ireland. Located just 20 minutes from The Ellison. A visit to Westport House is not complete without popping into Gracy’s for some refreshments. Check out Gracy’s Menu featuring favourites including their famous wood burning pizzas, burgers and scrummy Fish n Chips to name but a few. Enjoy a glass of red or white wine or even prosecco on tap as well as a selection of beers and craft ales.

Late Afternoon - Westport Cruises

This 90-minute experience will leave you refreshed and amazed by the beauty of Clew Bay. The team at Westport Cruises sail daily from Westport Harbour until the end of October. The cruise can be enjoyed on their comfortable passenger ship; with amenities like a bar, café, toilets , 50 seater heated lounge & upper outdoor deck. Book your Clew Bay cruise when making your reservation.


After an exuberant day, no doubt you’re feeling peckish. Siar Restaurant & Bar, Castlebars’ newest eatery offers smart, casual dining in a contemporary setting.  Warm, inviting textures and furnishings give a great sense of comfort & style to this beautifully refurbished Restaurant.


Day 2

Day Trip After Breakfast – Achill Island – Keep Discovering

After a nice relaxing breakfast in Siar Restaurant, it’s time to set off for a Drive of the North West Wild Atlantic Way to Achill Island. Achill Island is at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, and Keem Bay is one of the 14 Signature Discovery Points that span the 2500km route. The breath-taking scenery of the west coast of Ireland is unrivalled and Achill epitomises all that is dramatic and wild about the route, with ancient castles, prehistoric sites, towering cliffs, windswept beaches and untamed landscapes.


What to see along the way?

Keel Beach, at the foot of Achill Head, is one of the most popular and magnificent sandy beaches on Achill Island it 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.

Achill Experience, Aquarium & Visitor Centre is an exhibition on Island life, a Replica deserted village boley house complete with artifacts of the era, an art exhibition and a History Room as well as an audio-visual room showing documentaries covering historical information from Achills past. It is a great all-weather facility, ideal for people of all ages, families and school groups. There is also a standalone Gift Shop.

The Deserted Village at Slievemore is a haunting reminder of times past. An hour spent meandering from cottage to neighbouring cottage, along the ancient track and through adjacent fields with their lazybed ridges and furrows is a journey back in time. Sheltered under the slopes of Slievemore and hidden from the 21st century, this tranquil corner of a remote island is a perfect place for quiet reflection and remembrance. The Deserted Village at Slievemore consists of some 80 – 100 stone cottages located along a mile long stretch of road on the southern slopes of Slievemore mountain. While some of these dwellings were occupied as summer ‘booley’ homes within living memory, the area itself is rich in archaeological artefacts including megalithic tombs dating from the Neolithic period some 5,000 years ago. Local field systems and site remnants indicate that settlement in this area dates from at least early Mediaval times.

The Slí Grainne Mhaol / Granuaile Loop walk was opened in 2015 in Derreens on Achill Island, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Taking its name from the legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, who had a castle in nearbyKildavent, this 6.7km loop walk begins and ends at Johnny Patten’s pub. There is ample parking across from the pub. The route takes in Derreens, Kildownet and Ashleam Bay and has a total climb of 334 metres. The signposted route should take 2.5 hours to complete and offers panoramic views of Granuaile’s sea kingdom.

Achill-henge is a concrete structure on Achill Island off the northwest coast of County MayoIreland. The term henge is used colloquially only and does not indicate genuine structural or cultural similarity to prehistoric monuments found in Ireland. Achill-henge is over 4 metres (13 ft) high and 100 metres (330 ft) in circumference. It consists of a circle of 30 concrete columns topped by a ring of stone.

Grace O’Malley’s Castle at Kildavnet, Achill. The Tower House at Kildavnet, known locally as Grace O’Malley’s Castle, is some 40ft (12m) in height and has three storeys. The strategic importance of its location, at the mouth of Achill Sound and protecting the passage that connects Clew Bay with Blacksod Bay, is underlined by the fact that the present-day Achill lifeboat station is situated close by.

Keem Bay , at the western end of Achill Island, is one of the most picturesque bays in Ireland. It is accessible by road over a twisting clifftop route on the side of Croaghaun mountain. At the heart of Keem Bay is the award winning beautiful fine sandy beach. This strand is bordered on two sides by cliffs; to the east by the slopes of Croaghaun mountain, and to the west by a spar called Moyteoge. At the top of this spar, at an elevation of about 200m, is a former coastguard watch-house. For hillwalkers, this spot marks the start of a breath-taking 1.5km walk along the top of the cliffs of Benmore towards Achill Head, the most westerly point of Achill Island.

Atlantic Drive, On the southern shores of Achill Island you will find one of the most spectacular coastal stretches in Ireland. The rough Atlantic swell has done a great job here and formed a unique and stunning coast. A panoramic road, the so-called Atlantic Drive, winds along this legendary coastline. 

Evening - Pre-Dinner Cocktails at Siar Bar

After a day full of adventure, exploring and sightseeing it is time to head back to the Ellison Hotel where you can sit back in comfort in the newly designed contemporary bar & savour the deliciously created cocktails by our own in-house Mixologist.  If cocktails aren’t your thing, then please see our extensive drinks selection. 

Dinner at Siar Restaurant, we strongly believe in supporting local producers and suppliers, and our menu is a platform for the best of what if offered locally. Our skilled team of chefs have carefully created a choice of dishes which reflect current tastes married with their creativity

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