WESTPORT is Ireland’s capital for stag and hen parties – or so it seems, as the town is sometimes heaving with young men and women, out for a last hurrah before they take the plunge.
Still, there is plenty of space for people who truly want to experience the charm of Westport and all it has to offer.
Whilst on a recent weekend visit, we stayed at the Westport Coast Hotel, which was a great base. Set just outside the town, its location makes it a slightly quieter option than the more centrally located hotels.
The hotel overlooks Clew Bay and sits in the shadow of Croagh Patrick. Westport House is right next to it as well, so it really is a good spot with kids. The hotel also has a pool and smaller toddlers’ pool, which we took full advantage with our two-year-old.
Staff in the hotel are great, proving really accommodating and child-friendly. The hotel restaurant had a couple of hen parties dining there when we ate there, and I can’t lie – they were a little bit raucous, but very well behaved.
This suited us, as it drowned out the noise of our son banging away at plates and shouting for nom-noms!
The food in the Westport Coast is very good, with a nice emphasis on seafood; not surprising, being right next to the Atlantic.
The prawns were from Dublin Bay, however, and were spectacular. Seabass on a ratatouille bed was also nicely cooked.
Their stand-out dish though is the crab claws (only available in the bar), cooked in garlic butter. These were the fat, succulent variety, and we couldn’t resist having them on both days for lunch.
The hotel also has a small spa, offering Ayurvedic treatments, and I indulged in a heavenly facial, finished off with an Indian head massage.
If staying in Westport, I highly recommend a cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way, which runs from Westport to Achill. We chose the section that sounded the most scenic, from Mulranny to Achill.
With our boy in the toddler trailer, my heart soared listening to his squeals of delight as we took off, down a beaten track, and peddling like crazy, eager to keep up the excitement for him!
With the sun on our backs and the wind in our hair, we thought: “Does life get any better?”
Although it is a long enough drive from Dublin, it’s well worth it once you get there, and the kids will adore all that Westport has to offer. So, a few wails of “Are we there yet?” is a small price to pay.
For further information, see www.westportcoasthotel.ie.