Head to Mayo for an action-packed family weekend

My husband and I are looking to take a weekend break in Ireland with our children. We have two boys, (11, 14) so they aren’t easily entertained anymore! We are looking for somewhere where there are outdoor activities that the boys can get involved in. Can you recommend anywhere?

My husband and I are looking to take a weekend break in Ireland with our children. We have two boys, (11, 14) so they aren’t easily entertained anymore! We are looking for somewhere where there are outdoor activities that the boys can get involved in. Can you recommend anywhere?

If you are looking for a weekend break with teens, then Westport in Co. Mayo is an ideal location. Recently voted the best place to live in Ireland, there is plenty to see and do in Westport itself and the surrounding area. If the boys are interested in outdoor activities, there is no shortage of them in Mayo.

Delphi Adventure Centre is located in Leenane, Co. Galway but is only a short drive from Westport. Delphi has their own accommodation onsite but they also offer day trips which would be ideal if you are staying in Westport town. If partaking in a day trip, there are two sessions each day. In each session you have time for one water activity or two land activities. Some of the land activities include; archery, an indoor climbing wall, zip-lining and orienteering. The water activities include surfing, kayaking, canoeing and snorkeling. The session costs from €45 per adult and €25 per child.

You must also visit Westport House, an 18th Century house tracing back to Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught. The story of the house is told through guided and self-guide tours, exhibits and reading materials. On the grounds there is also an adventure park which the kids will enjoy. The park includes rides such as the Cannonball Run slide, Pirates Swinging Ship and Pirates Plunge log flume ride. In addition, there is pitch and putt, tennis, table-tennis and fishing. It will definitely provide a good day’s entertainment for all the family. Adults are charged at €20 and children are €16.50 but family passes are also available.

Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from Westport town. The holy mountain rises to a height of 762m above sea level. Although the mountain can be climbed all year round, The Reek, as it is colloquially known, attracts over 25,000 pilgrims on the last Sunday in July who come to pray at a chapel at the top of the mountain.

If you want to climb the mountain, it is advisable to take sturdy footwear and take a walking stick, rainwear and some drinking water. The views are amazing from the top of the mountain and the boys will love the climb up and down which can be quite physical. Best of all, this activity is free!

Surf Mayo is located just outside Louisburgh and approximately 35 minutes from Westport. Carrownisky Strand is the name of the beach where it is based and it is the nearest surfing beach to Westport. The cost is €20 per child and €25 per adult for a two-hour surf lesson. They cater for all ages and abilities and they also provide all the protective gear needed to enjoy the lessons. Another winner with the boys.

The Royal TF theatre in Castlebar is only a 20-minute drive from Westport and hosts a variety of acts and shows during the summer months. If the boys are interested in musicals there are quite a few scheduled. Tickets for most can be obtained from the theatre itself or from Ticketmaster.

A 35-minute drive from Westport also leads to Ballinrobe racecourse. If your family have an interest in horses or are just looking for a day out, the Ballinrobe races are a real family event. There are a number of race days set up over the coming months and they are definitely a good source of entertainment for the entire family. Adult prices are set at €15 and children under 14 are free. Take a look at their website to get a list of the upcoming meetings.

Where to stay:

Castlecourt Hotel (****)

Prices start from €110 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Set in the heart of Westport town, the Castlecourt offers free use of its gym, sauna, pool and Jacuzzi to its guests. It also has a spa on site where guests can avail of treatments at a competitive price. Families can avail of a family room or interconnecting rooms.

Westport Woods Hotel (****)

Prices start from €150 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Dine in at the Lakeview restaurant which is a proud member of the Feile Bia charter. The Beech health club offers a complimentary gym and swimming pool for its guests. There is also a spa on site for those wishing to relax after a tough day site seeing.

Carlton Atlantic Coast Hotel (****)

Prices start from €115 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Conveniently located in the relaxed surroundings of Westport Harbour and overlooking Clew Bay is the luxurious Atlantic Coast Hotel. It is just a short walk from the centre of town and comes complete with a pool, steam and sauna room and an ayurvedic centre and spa.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 553 338 to wake up happy on your holiday!