This is the sort of family-friendly attraction that requires a deep breath before listing everything there is to do here. It’s all centered around an elegant late-18th-century residence—the home of Lord Altamont, the Marquess of Sligo and a descendant, it is said, of Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley (hence the bronze statue of her on the grounds). The work of Richard Cassels and James Wyatt, the house has a graceful staircase of ornate white Sicilian marble, unusual Art Nouveau glass and carvings, family heirlooms, and silver. The grandeur of the residence is undeniable, but during the summer months a large proportion of visitors come here without even setting foot in the building—just follow the whoops and cheers of a couple thousand excited children and you’ll find the sprawling Pirate Adventure Park. Here kids can burn off energy on the swinging pirate ship, log ride, go-karts, swan-shaped pedal boats, and giant bouncy castle. When that’s over you can all tour the gardens together in a Toytown-sized express train. Very young children can enjoy some slightly gentler fun at the Pirate’s Den play area (an extra €5–€7 per child, depending on age). Upping the ante even further, the Adventure Activity Centre is the latest addition, piling on bungee jumping, zip wires, tree climbing, archery, and a host of other high-adrenaline amusements. All activities at the Adventure Activity Centre must be paid for separately; prices start at €9 for a child’s zip-wire ride and rise to €28 for a couple’s water “zorbing,” which involves traversing a body of water while entirely trapped inside a giant bubble. You know, for fun! Note: At this writing Westport House planned to close for a new country music festival, Harvest Festival, over the last week in August. The jury’s out as to whether this will be a yearly event—so call or go online to check if you’re planning to visit around that time.
County Mayo› Attraction
The Westport Demense, Westport, Co. Mayo
Our Rating Hours House and Gardens: June–Aug daily 10am–6pm; Sept–Oct and March–May daily 10am–4pm; Nov–Dec and Feb weekends 10am–4pm (daily 10am–4pm the week before Christmas). Pirate Adventure Park: June Wed–Fri 10am–3pm, Sat–Sun 11am–6pm; July–Aug daily 11am–6pm. Adventure Activity Centre: June weekends 11am–6pm; July–late Aug daily 11am–6pm. Check online for off-season and school-breaks opening times Phone 098/27766 Prices House, Gardens, and Pirate Park: €21 adults; €19 seniors and students; €16.50 children; €60–€75 families. House and Gardens only: €13 adults; €10 seniors and students; €6.50 children. Web site Westport House
MapThe Westport Demense, Westport, Co. Mayo County Mayo
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.