Autumn is a wonderful time to get out and about and view the beautiful Mayo scenery with all its golden hues and watch the Autumn leaves start to fall. It’s still a great time to plan a holiday and explore the many cultural and heritage attractions Mayo has to offer. Here are some interesting historical places to visit. Happy exploring!
Whether you are visiting County Mayo on a staycation or reconnecting with family, there is nowhere in Ireland quite like the Mullet Peninsula. When you arrive take a step inside the Blacksod Lighthouse and immerse yourself in the history of this strong, castellated building. You will be able to visualise how the lighthouse keepers of the past lived and worked when times were tougher and communications more challenging on this remote rocky outcrop.
Lighthouse attendants Fergus and Bill are on hand to answer your questions and regale you with tales of local maritime history. Learn about the other lighthouses of Erris, understand how the keepers of Blacksod Lighthouse changed the course of World War 2 and see the artefacts once used to keep the iconic light in sequence and the deep bay safe for all who navigated her. In the lantern room, observe the magnificent Fresnel lens which has been in operation for over 150 years. To pre-book tickets visit their website: Blacksod Lighthouse
The Jackie Clarke Collection is walking distance from the Twin Trees Hotel & Leisure Club in Ballina Town and displays a collection of historic material spanning 400 years of Irish history all collected by one man, Jackie Clarke (1927-2000). It comprises of many rare and important books, manuscripts, photographs, letters, newspapers, and more, with items relating to notable figures such as Theobald Wolfe Tone, P.H. Pearse, and Michael Collins. Housed in the magnificently refurbished Old Provincial Bank on Pearse Street. The Jackie Clarke Collection and its heritage garden are a must see for any visitor interested in the story of Ireland.
Admission is free and the collection is currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm to 5pm.
For more information visit Jackie Clarke Collection
A 40min drive from the Twin Trees Hotel & Leisure Club, but a superb experience is the ever popular Knock Shrine. Since the miraculous Apparition in August 1879, pilgrims and visitors have come here to explore this unique Shrine with its rich and engaging history. From the intimate atmosphere of the Apparition Chapel to the expansive theatre of the iconic Basilica, Knock Shrine is a place of sanctuary and sacredness.
With its beautiful grounds and gardens, fascinating museum and a unique collection of artworks throughout, Knock Shrine is a must see destination in the West of Ireland. Situated in the small thriving village of Knock, the Shrine has been honoured with visits from Pope John Paul II in 1979, Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1993 and Pope Francis in 2018. Approx. 1.5 million pilgrims and visitors make their way here every year.
Guided tours of the Shrine grounds and museum, led by experienced local guides who share their unique insights and stories, bring the visitor on an intriguing journey tracing the development of Knock from its humble origins in August 1879 up to the present day. There are also Audio Guides available.
Café Le Cheile, adjacent to Knock Museum, is the perfect vantage point for viewing the beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds of Knock Shrine. Serving a wide range of delicious food, sourced locally and cooked on the premises.
To find out more visit Knock Shrine
Michael Davitt is Ireland’s greatest patriot and one of the most influential international Irishman of the 19th Century. The Museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of this pre-eminent social activist and global reformer. The Museum collection is housed in the magnificently restored Pre-Penal Church in the picturesque village of Straide in Mayo. The exhibition is enhanced by an audio-visual presentation and brought to life by the museum’s award winning tour guides. The museum has developed a reputation as a centre of excellence and has attained full accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland.
The museum is adjacent to Straide Friary a 13th Century Norman structure which contains some of the finest medieval sculpture available on the Island of Ireland. The entire area forms part of a beautifully maintained spacious site. Ample parking is available and this picturesque tranquil location is ideal for picnics and leisurely walks. For more information visit Michael Davitt Museum
In North Mayo you will find the The Ballinglen Museum of Art located in Ballycastle, a small village of 350 residents which lies east of huge historic blanket bogs, the Céide Fields and within sight of the dynamic North Atlantic coast with its rugged cliffs and sandy beaches.
The Ballinglen Museum of Art now contains over 850 artworks and is a record of 30 years of visits by Irish and international artists to Ballinglen. Artworks are reflective of the environment, heritage, community, and soul of this part of North Mayo and is a unique and significant art collection. You can also take in the expansive view at the rear of the Museum including Bunatrahir Bay, Downpatrick Head and St John’s Church. A place of wonder and enlightenment, a jewel to find on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Not just for art enthusiasts, the scope of work is broad and appeals to all ages and interests. The Ballinglen Gallery is located next door and exhibits work primarily created by Artists/Fellows of the Foundation. The exhibitions vary from solo shows to work from the Permanent Collection.
For more information visit Ballinglen Arts Foundation
Try a traditional Hot Seaweed Bath! Relaxing, Therapeutic, Natural and Pure
In 1912, the year of the “Titanic” the doors of Kilcullen’s Bath House opened for business. For over 100 years and into the fifth generation of ownership by the same family the Bath House has kept its doors open. The therapeutic power of the Seaweed Bath is attributed to the high concentration of Iodine that occurs naturally in Sea Water and in Seaweed.
Invigorate yourself this autumn at the Bath House the “full treatment” comprises a “Steam & Seaweed Bath”. In concept the steam bath is very similar to modern Sauna Baths but that is where the familiarity ends… You are enclosed in your individual wooden cabinet with only your head exposed to the light of day. You can breathe fresh cool air as your body is gently seamed with pure moist vapour. The treatment is completed by taking a warm Seaweed Bath followed by an invigorating cold sea water shower. Also available, relaxing therapeutic massage, the perfect complement to a Seaweed Bath.
For more information visit Kilcullen Seaweed Baths
Stop off on your Wild Atlantic Way tour to visit the Foxford Woollen Mills, a contemporary Irish lifestyle brand created in the small picturesque town of Foxford, Mayo best known for weaving luxurious woollen throws and accessories since 1892.
Foxford Woollen Mills was founded in 1892 by an Irish nun, Sister Agnes Morrogh-Bernard. Sister Agnes came to the town of Foxford with the hope of bringing ‘Brighter Homes, Better Work and Greater Happiness’ to the locality and her vision of possibility, tenacity and bravery weaves an intriguing tale though the decades that followed.
The Foxford story is timeless, rooted in their history yet looking to the future. Immerse yourself in the historic past of the Mill with the ‘Foxford Experience’ and learn from their experienced guides about a century of innovation, forward thinking, manufacturing and craftsmanship.
‘The Foxford Experience’ details:
• Monday to Friday – 10.30am and 11.30am (duration 20 minutes)
• No charge applies for individuals or groups, however, booking is required
• For enquiries and bookings, please email email@example.com or call 094 9256104
Shop at Foxford, where they offer contemporary, affordable throws, scarves and baby blankets created in The Mill complemented by their lifestyle brand of premium product ranges from bed linen, cushions, rugs, furniture and gift ideas. A visit to Foxford is an absolute must when in North Mayo. After you have completed your shopping trip why not relax at the Foxford Café where the menu includes a choice of soups, hot and cold dishes with an outstanding seasonal salad selection served with dressings and chutneys made in the Foxford kitchen, delicious bakery treats such as breads, scones, cakes and desserts all made on site daily.
The Café walls are adorned with the history of the Mill from its foundress and key figures in the success of the Mill to the original maps and plans for the building and old photographs which tell the story of the rich heritage of the Mill and its importance to the town of Foxford. You can also choose to take home a taste of Foxford from the food retail area which includes a range of homemade jams, chutneys and dressings as well as carefully chosen speciality foods and cooking utensils. A handpicked selection of cookery books and food related publications to browse and buy makes an inspirational ‘foodie’ purchase.