Westport to Achill – an appraisal of the Great Western Greenway
My noble Ridley Orion with Vaude Handlebar bag and Ortlieb Large saddlebag, or torpedo as Mick calls it.
Foxglove from which Digitalis is extracted.
What are these curves for?
Glasbhealach = Green Route in the Irish language.
This is the official start but I don't recommend it. It involves obstreperous cycling and is a bit out of the way.
If you're coming from the West turn right when you see a sign for some suburb (can't remember but begins with A.) This will bring you out on Newport road.
This is one of the finest cycle-routes I've been on, and I've been on lots in the UK, Germany and in other countries. What it has is one big plus. Mighty scenery.It is also reasonably surfaced, a mixture of tarmac, hard packed gravel and a few excessively gravelly bits, but it is new. The gates can mostly be cycled trough as they use gaps with cattle grids. This is good. You have to open a handful of gates, as elsewhere. It's not very hilly though coming from the West there is a steep 100yd pull up from the back of the Mulrany hotel. I rode up it to see if I could and I could, just. You could walk that. Coming from the East there is one sharp uphill pull between this and Newport.
I have two small criticisms.
1. The bits you have to do on road. Maybe they can get around them eventually.
2. Here and there the surface could be improved and some of the gravel swept and there's a 100 yard section near Achill Sound which is a bit narrow.
Well done Co.Mayo! A great job was done. We have far too few proper bike paths in this country and this one is a hard act to follow.
Shops , etc., in Newport, half-way to Mulrany, Mulrany itself and at the end of the bit near Achill where it goes onto the road for a bit, an Art Gallery with a cafe which has great scones and cakes , etc. I know because I tried them!
There are bike shops in Westport. Bikes can be hired there and in Newport and I think in Mulrany. Don't know about Achill.