Leisure Activities in Ballina in Co. Mayo
The River Moy, on which the town of Ballina is built, is one of the most famous salmon angling venues in the world. A variety of fishing on the river Moy is available for all tastes, abilities and budgets, including top class fly water, spinning and worming. The most popular and sought after salmon angling spot is the Ridge Pool which accounts for approximately one-third of the total annual Moy Fishery rod catch. Sea Trout and Brown Trout can also be caught in the Moy.
The salmon angling season usually commences on 1st February and ends on 30th September. Loughs Conn and Cullin are excellent for catches of Brown Trout and this season usually runs from 15th February - 10th October. Detailed information can be obtained from The North Western Regional Fisheries Board, Abbey Street, Ballina.
Sea angling is an added attraction in the Ballina region with opportunities for top class boat and shore fishing within easy reach. The main deep sea angling centre adjacent to Ballina is Killala and boat and skipper hire is available for an enjoyable day's fishing. There are many recognised shore angling spots and some of the best piers, beaches and rocks are signposted.
Golfing is very popular in Ballina and Ballina Golf Club is one of the most scenic 18 hole parkland (par 71) courses in the west of Ireland. Within easy reach of Ballina there is a choice of many other excellent championship courses, most notably two of the top links courses in the world at Carne (Belmullet) and Enniscrone.
County Sligo Golf Club (Rosses Point) is another of Ireland's great championship links courses and is only a short and pleasant drive from Ballina. There are also a number of pitch and putt courses in the general Ballina region.
Ballina has it's own Public Swimming Pool (just off Cathedral Road) which caters for children and adults. Enniscrone Beach is only 6 miles away and there are many nice safe beaches along the nearby coastline from which to swim or paddle.
The Moy Valley is an ideal walking venue, featuring several theme walks with a Great Famine Walk at Bonninconlon, the Sculpture Trail which starts in Ballina, The Western Way and the Foxford Way. One can also enjoy the Historical Tour of Ballina (leaflets available from the Tourist Office).
Belleek Wood, situated along the banks of the river Moy, is 200 acres of woodlands and trees with up to 6 miles of forest pathways in an area of immense peace and tranquillity. Take a relaxing walk through Belleek Wood where the only sounds you will hear are the rustling of the trees, the lapping waters of the river Moy and the songs of the birds.
The Monasteries of the Moy Greenway
In July 2016 Phase 1 of “The Monasteries of the Moy Greenway” has been officially opened by Mr Michael Ring, T.D., Minister of State for Regional Economic Development at Belleek, Ballina. The 4km long Phase 1 runs through the magnificent Belleek Woods and finishes at Knockitanole. It is suitable for walkers, cyclists, joggers and dog owners alike.
When complete, the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway will be a 12.5 km cycling and walking route winding along the Moy western bank from Ballina to Killala and reaching some ancient abbeys and historical sites including Moyne Abbey and Rosserk Abbey. The project is to be developed on a phase-by-phase basis.
The Greenway, the second route of its kind in County Mayo, will offer stunning views along the Moy Estuary and north Mayo coastline taking in sites with rich ecclesiastical heritage.
Tír Sáile - The North Mayo Sculpture Trail
North Mayo has one of the greatest concentrations of Stone Age tombs (megaliths) in Europe. It is now known to possess the intact farms of the tomb builders, preserved beneath the bog which covers the region. Tír Sáile has created a trail of permanent sculpture from the Moy Estuary to the Mullet Peninsula marking in a contemporary way this ancient landscape.
Enjoying a strategic position close to the Atlantic coastline of Mayo, Ballina is an ideal base for visiting the many beaches and strands in that region of North Mayo. Rustle up a picnic, pack the swimming togs, the buckets and spades and take the short journey to Ross Strand, Lacken Strand or Enniscrone's sandy dunes .... fun for all the family!
The Ballina Arts Centre, located on Barrett St in the town, has a year round programme of art events and activities for all age groups, as well as many music, theatre, dance and literary events. Many times during the year there are workshops and programmes for children and adults in a wide variety of the arts.
Ballina's Yew Tree Theatre Company are a professional company who perform locally and also tour the country with new Irish and international plays.