Downpatrick Head and Keem Strand, Co Mayo, are included among the 15 Signature Discovery Points listed in Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, The Wild Atlantic Way.
The 2,500KM route, which stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork, has attracted substantial Government funding including a €10 million investing during 2014 from Fáilte Ireland.
The Wild Atlantic Way aims to attract more tourists from Britain, the US, France and Germany to the West coast of Ireland. It is also seen a powerful regional economic development tool for rural areas that can deliver additional jobs and grow the local economy.
The route was launched by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD who said it had “massive potential to bring more visitors and more jobs to rural communities right along the western seaboard. That’s why we will soon be promoting it even further afield in places like Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.”
Tourism boost for Ballycastle and North Mayo
The route offers the traveller a great amount to see and do including: over 500 Visitor Attractions; more than 1,500 activities to pursue; 580 festivals and events throughout the year; 17 trails and 50 looped walks; 53 Blue Flag beaches; and 120 Golf Courses including some of the best ‘links’ golf in the world.
Downpatrick Head, already one of North Mayo’s most famous tourist attractions, is located 3 miles north of the lovely town of Ballycastle which hopefully will see more tourists as a result of Downpatrick Head being included as one of the 15 Signature Discovery Points along The Wild Atlantic Way.
From Downpatrick Head, you look across the short distance to Dún Briste (The Broken Fort), the spectacular sea stack, that was separated from the mainland in 1393 as a result of high seas. It is 63 metres by 23 metres, 45 metres high and 228 metres from the shore and a nesting place for seabirds.
More Mayo beauty spots for the A-list
Achill Island, one of Mayo’s best-loved tourist destinations, has also received a considerable boost with beautiful Keem Bay also included in the list of 15 Signature Discovery Points on The Atlantic Way.
The bay is a perfect horseshoe and the Blue Flag beach is at the bottom of a steep incline, located at the head of a valley between the cliffs of Benmore to the west and Croaghaun mountain on the east.
Mayo has so many beauty spots the hope is that over the years more Mayo tourist locations will be added to the Signature Discovery Points list.
The Stags of Broadhaven, our magnificent lakes, Lough Conn and Cullin and Lough Mask; beautiful beaches at Doolough, Mulranny, Silver Strand, Killadoon, and Ceathrú Thaidhg are all worthy of mention.
Our historic sites, including the monasteries at Ballintubber and Rosserk, our Round Towers at Killala and Turlough; not to mention our wonderful natural woodland at Belleek, Ballina, and Brackloon, near Westport, have so much to offer visitors.
Feel free to add your favourite Co Mayo beauty spot to the list by sharing your comments below.
The Wild Atlantic Way 15 Signature Discovery Points are as follows:
• Malin Head, Co Donegal
• Fanad Head, Co Donegal
• Sliabh Liag, Co Donegal
• Mullaghamore Head, Co Sligo
• Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo
• Keem Strand, Co Mayo
• Killary Harbour (south), Co Galway
• Derrigimlagh, Co Galway
• Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
• Loop Head, Co Clare
• Blaskets View, Co Kerry
• Skelligs View, Co Kerry
• Dursey Island, Co Cork
• Mizen Head, Co Cork
• Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork