Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Mayo

By Robert McHugh
Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Mayo

For global travellers seeking an authentic Irish experience, Mayo is a good place to start. Those with an adventurous streak can visit Achill Island, Ireland's largest island, which offers spectacular cliffs, beautiful hills and clean beaches.

Mayo is also famous for offering some of the best seafood in Ireland along with lively pubs and great traditional music.

With all these factors in mind, Hospitality Ireland decided to examine the top ten visitor attractions in Mayo, based on Fáilte Ireland's Visitor Attractions Survey 2022.

1. Westport House
(150, 639)

Westport House is top of the list with 150,639 visitors as of 2022.

It is one of the few privately-owned historic houses left in Ireland, and was built by the Browne family whose connections to Mayo date back to the 1500s.


The estate also has over 400 acres of green landscape which includes walks, forest trails, restored pathways and more. There is no charge as the Hughes family have generously opened their estate and all are welcome.

Other attractions at the estate include a premier Camping, Glamping and Caravan site. There is also Pirate Adventure Park which offers rides, slides, boats, trains and much more.

Copyright: Gabriela Insuratelu

2. Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre and Store

Established in 1892, the Foxford Woollen Mills was originally opened by Sister Agnes Morrogh-Bernard.

At the working Mill, master craftspeople continue to weave fabric to this day. Visitors can a take a guided tour of the Mill and visit the store where contemporary throws, scarves and baby blankets created in the Mill are complemented by Foxford’s lifestyle brand of premium product ranges of bed linen, towels, homewares and gift ideas.

Foxford Café has a menu with local produce and quality seasonal ingredients, all handmade on site.


Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre and Store

3. National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park had 55,037 visitors as of 2022.

The ancestral home of the Fitzgeralds, an influential family of landowners, Turlough Park House is a Victorian Gothic mansion that was built in 1865.

The mansion overlooks gardens, parkland and woodland. Visitors can explore the Green Flag award-winning Victorian gardens and can also take advantage of the Castlebar to Turlough Greenway where visitors can start their day with a cycle from Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, along a 10km, mainly off-road riverside route, all the way to the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life.

Afterwards, visitors can enjoy a visit to the café located in the setting of the Courtyard at Turlough Park House, next to the Museum Shop, which offers snacks, lunches, speciality teas, coffees and homemade desserts.

Turlough Park

4. Knock Museum

The Knock Museum details the story of the Knock apparition of 1879.


It profiles the fifteen ordinary people who witnessed an extraordinary event which saw the transformation of Knock, a small rural village in County Mayo, into an international Marian Shrine.

Thousands still flock to the site, located on the N17 in County Mayo. The museum also places the apparition in the context of life in 1879, from living in the thatched house to working in the forge.

Knock Museum

5. Achill Experience

The Achill Experience offers Mayo’s first and only aquarium.

It consists of 16 tanks, exhibiting a variety of fish found nearby, plus a selection of tropical fish from around the world. The open top tank allows visitors to get up close with catsharks, crabs, thornback rays, starfish, sea urchins and many more, including ‘Nemo’ the Clownfish, and ‘Dory’ the Pacific Blue Tang.

The history boards detail the history of the shark fishing industry in Achill which, during the 1950’s was one of the largest fisheries in the world.


Achill experience

6. Jackie Clarke Collection

Jackie Clarke (1927-2000) was a Ballina Business man and a collector of Irish historical material.

In 2005 his widow, Mrs Anne Clarke, gifted his collection to Mayo County Council for the people of Ballina, Mayo and Ireland. The collection comprises over 100,000 items spanning 400 years. It includes artefacts associated with Theobald Wolfe Tone, letters from Michael Collins, Douglas Hyde, Michael Davitt and O’Donovan Rossa.

Jackie Clarke Collection also contains rare books, proclamations, posters, political cartoons, pamphlets, handbills, works by Sir John Lavery, maps, hunger strike material and personal items from Leaders of the 1916 Rising.

Jackie Clarke Collection

7. Wild Nephin National Park

The Wild Nephin National Park covers 15,000 hectares of wilderness, dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff Bog, one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Western Europe.

The park is home to Greenland white-fronted geese, golden plover, red grouse and otters.

Visitors can also witness some of the darkest, most pristine night skies in the world and the Wild Nephin National Park is officially certified as a Gold Tier standard International Dark Sky Park. The Mayo Dark Sky Park extends across the entire National Park, and on a clear night visitors can see thousands of stars, other planets in the solar system, the Milky Way and even meteor showers.

Wild Nephin National Park

8. Ceide Fields

The Ceide Fields are a system of fields beneath the boglands of north Mayo that consist of dwelling areas and megalithic tombs which together make up the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world.

The stone-walled fields, extending over hundreds of hectares, are the oldest known globally, dating back almost 6,000 years. They are covered by a natural blanket bog with its own unique vegetation and wildlife.

The award-winning visitor centre includes a viewing platform on the edge of a 110-metre-high cliff.

Ceide Fields Visitor Centre,Co Mayo_master

9. Ballintubber Abbey

The story of Ballintubber Abbey began when in 441, St Patrick baptised the people at the Druidic Well and established a church here.

Partially burned in 1265 and rebuilt in 1270, the Abbey flourished and became rich and powerful, accumulating a lot of land locally. It was connected with local kings and chieftains.

From Ballintubber Abbey, stretching out to Croagh Patrick, is Tóchar Phádraig, the ancient pilgrim path. Every year hundreds of pilgrims walk this 35km path.

Ballintubber Abbey

10. Mayo North Heritage Centre

The North Mayo Heritage Centre is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of the region.

The centre provides genealogical research for the North Mayo Diaspora with access to over 1.2 million records.

Visitors should not miss the chance to visit the certified Organic garden which sells fresh produce, one of the oldest in the country. The Centre also delivers an annual Cultural Programme of events, workshops and exhibitions throughout the year.

Mayo North Heritage Centre