Belmullet is the capital of the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region of Erris, an area that offers unspoilt beauty and glorious beaches and is the ideal place for that get away from it all holiday. Erris is famous for its rich fishing waters, and to date thirty nine species of fish have been caught locally. For the golfer Carne Golf Links offers a challenging experience and visitors are welcome. For those who wish to immerse themselves in Irish culture there are three summer schools in the Erris area. The Erris coastline has an abundance of beautiful uncrowded beaches, some of Blue Flag status ensuring clean water and safety. This EC quality status was awarded to Elly Bay and Mullaghroe, both located on the Mullet Peninsula, south of Belmullet.
Situated on the west coast of the Mullet Peninsula the islands are rich in amazing scenic, rare wild life and are also archaeologically and ecologically sensitive areas. The island is very important to birds; the mute swan, the peregrine and the endangered corncrake are some of the birds that benefit from the peace and protection of the islands. Half of the Irish wintering population of Barnacle geese make the islands their home. The low-lying coasts of the islands are home to large number of grey seal while sharp-eyed visitors can occasionally see dolphins and whales out to sea.
There is also quite a bit of history based on the island back in early Christian times. Saint Colmcille founded a monastery on Inishkea North, in the early Christian period and a purple ink which was used to illuminate the manuscripts was exported from here to other monastic sites. Saint Brendan the navigator had strong links with the island and the remains of monastic settlements that were founded can be still be seen today.
The Inishkeas were home to a thriving fishing community until disaster struck on 28th October 1927, when ten fishermen were lost at sea on that ill-fated night. Only two fishermen survived that disaster and the islands were deserted shortly after. Rusheen, a tidal island to the east of Inishkea South was once the site of a whaling station, set up by the Norwegians in 1907, the remains of which are still evident today. For more on the history of Iniskea visit Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre.
The keen angler has the choice of fishing inside the shelter of Blacksod bay, famous for tope, monkfish, and ray, also record size gurnard, huss, flatfish and cod. Experience the adventure of fishing under the majestic rising cliffs of Slievemore on the north of Achill Island for pollock, codfish, ling, hake, common skate, turbot and megrim or push out into the atlantic waters towards Blackrock.
Erris has some of the best sea angling in Ireland. Over thirty-six varieties of fish are known to inhabit the water, and the area holds a number of records of varieties caught.
There are boats available for charter with knowledgeable local skippers, who know the best fishing grounds.
Cross Lake located on the western side of the Mullet Peninsula is a spring fed lake, rich in nutrients, providing an excellent resource for trout fishing in the region. It opened in May 1995 and comprises both rainbow and brown trout. Both shore and boat angling is permitted - boat hire and permits are available at the lakeshore.
If you are looking for Clay Pigeon Shooting in Mayo, visit Mayo Shooting Grounds (formerly Doolough Shooting Grounds) set in the heart of the Erris peninsula amongst surrounding mountain ranges with beautiful views of the ocean.
The Erris Head Loop Walk is a 5 km long loop walk. It is part of a countrywide network of high-quality, where the walker can walk spotting spectacular views and discover the rich and varied wildlife of Erris.
This walk goes from Newport to Bangor Erris, a distance of 22 miles. The Trail is well sign-posted at both ends and is an exciting challenge to walkers. Mayo County Council has published an excellent guide to the Bangor Trail, which has maps and information in great detail. The book is available in local shops and newsagents.
The Dun Caochain Walks goes through various landscapes such as spectacular cliff scenery, dunes and beaches. These walks stretch westward from Belderrig to Porturlin, Portacloy, Benwee Head, Cornboy and further west to Rossport. Guided or self-guided tours are available with local transport; accommodation and meals all organised.
The Western Way is a major walk developed all along the Western coast starting in Connemara and going all through Mayo and Galway. The route is well documented and well mapped. The Western way continues from Bangor Erris through Sheskin and on into Belderrig and Ballycastle. The book and detailed maps called 'The Bangor Trail' is available in all good book stores.
Erris is fortunate to have a modern Adventure Centre where Watersports are taught in a safe and secluded environment.
Check out these Belmullet clubs and organisations