Buggy-friendly walks Mayo – The Great Western Greenway

We visited Mulranny in September 2014 staying at the Mulranny Park Hotel  which I couldn’t recommend highly enough for a family holiday.

We went walking on the Western Greenway two of the days of our visit. As follows:

To Westport

Turning right out of the hotel I headed in the direction of Westport. There were one or two small hills at the start but otherwise it was completely flat. Granted I didn’t walk very far this day for a number of reasons but the views were stunning over Mulranny Beach and it was just so peaceful. There are no loop walks here so once we met Diarmaid on his run from Westport we headed back to the hotel.

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To Achill:

Originally we thought we could hire bikes bringing our daughter in a trailer, however children have to be 18 months plus before riding in one of these. Aedín was 4 months at the time! So we decided to walk instead. Diarmaid double-checked with me reminding me it would take 2 1/2 hours to Achill (13km one way) but I was ready for the challenge.

The first section of the path is quite sheltered by trees but there are lovely lookouts in different spots. There are information boards dotted along the route also. The terrain was perfect for walking with the buggy and for the duration of the walk it was reasonably flat  with the exception of a number of steep bridges. As we progressed along the path it became more open and the views were just spectacular. We were spoiled with the weather also. The closer we got to Achill the wilder the scenery became, it truly was breathtaking.

We seemed to be the only walkers out that day and got a lot of admirable looks from cyclists whizzing past us on they’re way to Achill. Those that passed us on their return either looked at us with pity knowing we had quite a distance to cover still or as if we were a little bit crazy walking so far with a small baby and a buggy.

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We had assumed we would stumble upon coffee shops along the route. There was only one, which was closed so perhaps in retrospect we probably should have researched this beforehand. However we carried on. I won’t lie the last few kilometers were tough but purely because I was not used to such lengthy exercise. Aideen was a star and slept the whole way.

As the Greenway does not continue right up to Achill  the last section of the walk is along the main road. This was a little bit hairy in places especially with the buggy. We either had to walk on the grass or if there was a bit of a verge it wasn’t very wheel-friendly. My weary legs were very thankful to arrive at the Achill Island Hotel. Initially we thought we’d walk back again as we could not take a taxi without a child seat. Thankfully we had our thinking caps on so Diarmaid took a taxi back to the hotel returning to collect Aideen and I in our car. This was a short journey home considering how far we’d walked. A magical family day out, highly recommend it but be prepared – it’s a long walk!

You can discover more buggy-friendly walks in Mayo here.

 

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