Castlebar and Westport

From the point of Castlebar there is little to interest the traveller in search of the picturesque. Castlebar is a place of some stir and business, but having few attractions for the eye, tourists seldom stop longer in it than to procure a fresh car for Westport. After passing the small but beautiful Loch Dan, the road begins to descend towards Westport, and the scenery becomes exceedingly attractive. In no part of Ireland, says Fraser, is there such an extraordinary combination of scenery as is here displayed, nor is there any town in it, the view of which strikes the traveller so forcibly as does that of Westport, when first seen under a favourable light from many parts of this road. The country around the town is very highly cultivated; the bay stretches out before the eye, with the town set in its curve like a jewel in a tiara, and to the right and left stretch away the ranges of mountains, the majestic Reek rising directly from the shore, and towering nobly over the surrounding landscape.

The town of WESTPORT itself is embellished with a wall enclosing a stream, and running through the principal street; at the further end of this is a gate entering to the grounds of Lord Sligo, the principal proprietor of the country. The best hotel in the west of Ireland is Robinson's, at Westport, situated on the side of the wall. The lofty eminence of the Reek, or Croagh Patrick, which is the conspicuous feature of all the views in this neighbourhood, is celebrated as a place of religious pilgrimage. Its sides and summit, at certain seasons, are climbed by devotees from all parts of Ireland, who "perform stations" as they ascend.