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Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Highlands, New...
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Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

I am busy planning my next trip to Ireland. I hope to come in mid-June and stay about three weeks, if possible. I want to focus on County Mayo, since it is The Gathering and that is where my grandfather is from. I plan to travel to Crossmolina, perhaps for a few days, to see if I can find out anything about my heritage and track down any distant relatives. I wonder if I am related to anyone from Hopkins butcher shop in the middle of town, as that is my surname and my grandfather's surname.

That being said, for the remainder of my itinerary, I'd like to wander the beautiful coast and find lovely, lively, relaxing places with good scenery, colorful local characters and traditional music. I'm looking for places that could cater to those over 50 who still like to act like kids. Here are some of the places I was thinking of visiting and perhaps staying for three days apiece: Enniscrone, Belmullet, Achill Island, Louisburgh, and Inishbofin Island. I might add a day or two at Westport, depending on how long I stay at the other places. Would the locations I mentioned suit my tastes? Are there any I should stay longer at, or some I should skip or spend less time at? Are there any that I have missed?

Is Inishturk worth an overnight visit or longer? What about Clare Island? From what I've read, it doesn't seem like there is too much there and may be more suitable for a day trip.

I will probably round out my trip in the Connemara or Galway area before heading back to Shannon Airport.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Keep in mind, I love beaches, traditional music pubs and colorful, local characters. My favorite places that I have been to in Ireland so far are Dingle, where I loved the bohemian vibe, and Clifden. Also, I'd like to mention that I am a single woman traveling alone.

Thanks a lot for any advice!

17 replies to this topic
Grayslake, Illinois
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1. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Will you have a car? Crossmolina is a small town in an isolated area - it would be better to base yourself in Ballina - from there, you can explore Crossmolina, Belmullet, Enniscrone, north Mayo.

Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Belmullet is nice, but a long way back. I agree Ballina would be a better base, Westport is good too.

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Hi chattylane,

I love that you are going to spend time in the area where your relations came from. By spending so much time in Mayo you are sure to get a real feel for what the area is like. I checked the Mayo phone book or you and as I thought Hopkins is a very unusual name, with only 6 being listed in the business directory and only 56 residential listings......probably some of whom you are related to!

eircomphonebook.ie/q/…

I would agree with the other posters and add that you might enjoy spending some time in Westport.

Will you have a car?

Edited: 31 January 2013, 22:32
Highlands, New...
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4. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Yes, I plan on getting a car. I was thinking of spending a few days in Enniscrone and Belmullet, in addition to Crossmolina. I'm not sure if I'll actually stay in Crossmolina or Ballina, or maybe just spend more time in Enniscrone and drive to Crossmolina from there. Plans are very fluid right now. Thanks for your response.

Highlands, New...
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5. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Thanks for the phone listings. I'm going to start ringing up all of them now and tell them I'm their long lost cousin coming for a visit.

Yes, I was planning to rent a car. I might spend a night or two in Westport. I was there three years ago, but only overnight before my brother and I drove to Crossmolina for an afternoon.

Thanks for your response.

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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6. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

In 1856-1857, there were 108 households in Co Mayo by the name Hopkins:

http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/

In the 1901 census, one family in Crossmolina South by the name Hopkins:

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie

In case you haven't accessed these:

http://www.crossmolina.ie

http://www.mayotowns.com

That part of north Mayo has a connection with The Titanic:

http://www.mayo-titanic.com

http://www.lahardane.net

Coverage from last year's commemorations:

irishtimes.com/newspaper/…1224314731069.html

telegraph.co.uk/history/titanic-anniversary/…

A couple of miles outside Crossmolina, in the direction of Ballina, you will find the Mayo North Family Research Centre:

discoverireland.com/us/…

heritageatenniscoe.com/family_history.html

This is a separate resource on Mayo Family History:

www.mayo.ie/dnn/Genealogy.aspx#.UQr_66VQWfh

Walks in North Mayo:

www.mayowalks.ie/WalkingTrails/NorthMayo/

www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php…

Good luck with your research and enjoy your visit.

Highlands, New...
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7. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Wow! Thanks for all the great links. I'm positive I will enjoy my trip.

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

You can search at www.thesession.org for pubs that have trad sessions. You may find music in out of the way pubs that you stumble on. In Westport, there is Matt Malloy's which will have lots of music and lots of people, but there are 3 other listings at thesession.org for Westport. In Galway, the Crane bar is a great place for music and Tigh Choili has some fantastic musicians.

John

Highlands, New...
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9. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

Thanks for the info. I've been to Matt Malloy's. I was thinking of just stopping in Westport for a night, but since I don't know of much music outside of there, maybe I'll make Westport my base instead of roaming around. I was hoping to find some trad off the beaten path, though. And I wanted to explore the oceanfront areas. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Western Ireland...
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10. Re: Trip to Mayo and surrounding areas

www.theloughinn.weebly.com

The Lough Inn in Partry (near Ballinrobe) have trad sessions on Friday nights.

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