This 5.5km pleasant walk is suitable for all the family and leads you to Westport Quay from the town centre. The walk once was the old track of the rural railway line running to Newport along the shores of Clew Bay.
Nowadays it is a section of the Westport Greenway. You can walk back the same way or follow the path along the Quay Road to town.
You can start your walk from ‘The Octagon’ and continue up Peter Street and Toberhill. Reach and cross Leenane road, then follow the path down to the old track. The walk directions are simple: follow the path all the way to Westport Quay.
You can shorten your way by turning right at the housing estates. Also the route can be used in both directions, but, if you wish, you can return to town centre by Quay Road keeping to the footpath.
Westport Quay was a busy port for many centuries from Grace O’Malleys time to recent years and has enjoyed recent rejuvenation, as a major tourism base.
Historically the two centres have been linked by the railway line opened in 1874 to facilitate the movement of goods such as timber, coal and livestock from the quay to the town and further inland.
Livestock and eggs were exported while timber, grain and coal were principal imports.
The fine stone buildings, nowadays turned into shops, galleries and hotels, were once a busy hub of import and export business. Sailing into the deep channel of water ships could dock and deliver goods.
The line closed in the 1970’s.
The most important feature on The Octagon is the Monument erected in the memory of George Clendining, a local banker, in 1845.
During the Civil War, Irish Free State Troops were housed in the town hall. The statue was used for target practice and the head was shot off.
In 1943 the Union District Council removed the statue, crests and inscription from the monument.
In 1990 Clendining was replaced by a statue of St Patrick, made of Portland stone by the sculptor Ken Thompson. Matching panels were inserted depicting scenes from the saint's life.
Westport is an estate town planned and built by the Browne family commencing in 1750. It was designed in Georgian architectural style by James Wyatt, an English architect (1746-1813), in 1780.
Westport’s original site was adjacent to Westport House and its Irish name was Cathair na Mart (the stone fort of the beeves).
The little village was destroyed in 1588 and the new houses were built on the hill where the Clock Tower, erected in 1947, is today. The Clock replaced an old fountain.