spent a week with small kids in westport and newport.. and a few observations
- westport is terrific town.. westport house.. people .. restaurants all excellent for families.
- the Greenway is great but i cannot understand what on earth they were thinking opening it when par t of it leads onto treacherous winding primary roads?.. an absolute death trap with small kids.. hopefully tragedy wont make them realise to keep it all off-road.
- Newport residents and businesses need to improve dramatically their service levels and receptiveness towards the thousands of toursists the greenway is bringing.. it is a golden opportunity for the summer months but lots of things left us perplexed..
- most families are up at the crack of dawn to do the cycle or get out and about yet.. cannot get a coffee before 10am in the town
- when we sat down a t kellys tea house to buy coffees and sit outside with bikes.. a very rude lady asked us to leave when we had our own sandwiches with us (kids are fussy eaters).. we moved 2 yards to the steps beside it.. she viewed cyclists as an annoyance..
- toilets in a lot the pubs are filthy. foreign friends of ours refused to go into any of the pubs after that so we drank at home. Jesus.. I mean the irish pub is supposed to be one of our strong points right??
- the bike rental business at the bottom of the town is a goldmine yet the young guys in there will barely say hello or thanks.. they got our booking wrong (use scraps of paper to record).. left us waiting soaked in mulranny for 2 hours (versus 20 mins promised).. and then rang us to say we never returned our bikes..there is no system .. only confusion. the pity is that someone in Dublin or galway city will come down and blow a local business like this out of the water. my views are not biased. spoke to germans and english out in mulranny who had the same experience.. it could be so much better. Also, the bike guys should advise you not to cycle the "uphill" journey out to mulranny.. come the other way if you have small children trying to pedal their own bikes.. you are likely into the wind out to mulranny also..
- that pub Nevins off the greenway is a lovely place but overplays how accessible they are with their signs.. especially when u have kids on their bikes.. felt over 2k to get there.. bad hills.. the signs are incorrect in terms of distance and u have to go onto the very busy road.. so be wary.
anyway.. our 3rd year down there and westport is the location to stay in.. Newport actually seems to have deteriorated as a town rather than embrace and improve. We will always go back but Mayo tourist authorities need to be aware that some of the foreigners we met will not be back.