There are plenty of guilty pleasures in life but a Guinness in the sunshine with a stunning sea view is high up there. It’s even more enjoyable when it’s a quick, cheeky pint as a reward for cycling 27KM and beating the rest of the group to Mulranny. Okay, so this is likely down to the fact that I used an electric bicycle as opposed to a regular one that everybody else hired, and my brother is an avid cyclist and we raced the final 2KM. That is the joy of The Western Greenway though; it’s a cycle and walking path for all abilities along the route of the renowned Westport to Achill railway, which closed in 1937.
With photogenic pit-stops and resting points in Newport and Mulranny House Hotel, it’s the perfect way to spend the day with options to pedal power the whole 42 KM to Achill Island and back, or just enjoy some of the route and be chauffeured back to the Knockranny House Hotel, like we did.
Having burned off most the calories from the generous breakfast on the cycle, Knockranny’s ‘Afternoon Delight’ is almost a guilt-free cake fest! Served in the Brehon Bar, with its panoramic views over Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick, the tiny treats are presented beautifully and taste even better. The morning’s activity clearly made us hungry as the open finger sandwiches, including traditional classics like Knockanore cheese, Knockranny’s own house-smoked salmon, baked ham and thyme-poached chicken, along with passion fruit cheesecake, delectable citrus fancies, and scones are all eaten with great enthusiasm.
I indulged in the afternoon tea a little too much, so I’m grateful for the chance to be horizontal for my one and half hour Knockranny Greenway treatment in Spa Salveo. Having cycled with gusto, my tired feet and lower legs appreciate the mineral-infused foot-soak and foot exfoliation, containing peppermint and wild orange big time. However, the vigorous full-body massage using Doterra’s Deep Blue Rub, formulated with natural plant extracts and designed to target the specific muscles most used during sport, is just what I need, and I find it hard to stay awake with the calming aroma of the essential oils.
This treatment costs €100, but worth every penny for the Zen-state you will feel as you sip on the fruity cocktail in the relaxation room afterwards. There’s also the option to unwind in the vitality pool or thermal rooms.
After the most delicious and artistically presented seven-course dinner – yes, seven, and still feeling wonderfully chilled after the spa, the comfy couches in the Brehon Bar induce the need to be bed-bound, so I saunter back to my welcoming room with the most comfortable bed ever and leave my brother to the banter in the bar. Westport Town shenanigans will have to wait for another visit!
The Greenway Getaway package includes two nights cosy accommodation for two adults and two children (under 10) with a hearty breakfast each morning and bicycle and helmet hire for one day with a delicious packed lunch for when you come across that perfect picnic spot around the magnificent Croagh Patrick or Clew Bay. It costs €185 per person and children under 10 stay for free!
See knockrannyhousehotel.ie or call 098 28 600 for more.