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West Coast

South Coast

Irish Marinas

This page is
excerpted from:

Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way

SSCA Cruising Station

OCC Port Officer

Trans Ocean

The Inner Bay

A relatively secure anchorage lies off Inishlyre, just past Inishgort with its brilliant white lighthouse. Dorinish nearby has the distinction of having been owned by John Lennon. The best all around shelter is found off Collanmore. One can visit the Glenans sailing centre on Collanmore where there is a bar open to sailors in a rustic setting or the Mayo Sailing Club in Rosmoney which is open on days when regattas are taking place. MSC has showers and toilet facilities at the clubhouse, and the bar is open after regattas, usually Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Both clubs host major sailing events and have fleets of racing teams that have made their marks around Ireland and on the international circuits throughout Europe. As it is a good 15-minute drive into Westport from here, additional facilities are only accessible by car, but taxis are plentiful in town ( +353 87 222 6227).

Thes angling grounds of Clew Bay are recognised as being among the best in Europe. The inshore waters of Clew Bay offer excellent shallow water angling. In fact nearly every known species of fish existing in Irish waters has at some time being recorded in Clew Bay.

Westport and Newport

Everything one needs is available at one end of Clew Bay or the other, though it’s not really easy to get to either by cruising sailboat so bringing what you need with you is the easiest way to visit. There are towns in the north-eastern and south-eastern corners of the bay, where provisions can be obtained. Restaurants and pubs abound in both, but there are no on-the-water facilities specifically catering to visiting yachts. There are no marinas on all of Clew Bay. Underwater dive services, towing, and some boat repair facilities are available from Clew Bay Marine (Padraig McCormack, 087 257 0021 Peter MacDonagh 087 248 9098 email: peter (at)

Westport, in the south-eastern corner, was once a shipping port but is accessible now only at high water. It is a truly picturesque place, but best visited by land. The quay, however, provides access to some amenities alongside it (water, convenience store, restaurants/pubs, supermarket, fishing supplies shop) and to the town centre which is about a mile distant. It is possible to tie up to the quay which does dry out at low water or anchor out and come in by dinghy. Westport House, the estate of the Marquis of Sligo, is a short walk from the quay and today is the site of a children’s amusement park.

The town centre of Westport, one of Ireland’s Tidiest Towns, is on the Carrowbeg River about one mile from the quay. It has numerous shops, supermarkets, butchers, a bakery, chemists, pubs, restaurants, hotels, a cinema, a chandlery, a boat repair shop, fuel service stations, hardware store, sporting goods stores, banks, a library, churches, and more. However, access to many of these would be realistically limited on foot, so a bicycle or car is rather useful. There are no marinas or boatyards on the Bay itself, but there is a boat shop and chandlery in the industrial centre on the Newport Road outside of Westport (Clew Bay Boats T: 098-50633 M: 087-3230499 There has been some progress.

Newport, in the north-eastern corner, is a one-main-street town on a tidal river by the same name. It dries at low water. There is a dinghy dock on the southern shore for access into town which is mostly on the other side of the river. The old railway bridge is a spectacular feature with the Catholic Church towering above the town. Newport House, a Relais and Chateaux fishing manor, is right on the river. Apart from the pubs, the amenities are limited – hotel, restaurants, supermarket, convenience store, chemist, two butchers (Kelly’s does their own butchering and makes world renown sausages) , bakery, hairdresser, post office, shoe store, hardware store, and a couple of service stations for fuel. There is no bank but there is a cash machine in the supermarket. It is possible to anchor in Rockfleet Bay between Rossturk Castle and Rockfleet Castle – another O’Malley tower. There is a pier for access to shore at Rossyvera but there are no facilities there. One can conceivably dinghy into Newport although it is quite a distance.

About half way between Westport and Newport is Rosmoney, ehwre you will find the Glenans sailing center as well as Mayo Sailing Club. The latter of these has guest moorings for visiting yachts. You may access this area by entering the islands just south of Inish Gort Lighthouse.


Louisburgh on the southern side of the bay has a commercial ferry harbour but no secure anchorage. Mulranny on the northern shore does not have a secure harbour but does have a spectacular links golf course open to the public and beaches galore. Mulranny is the gateway to Achill, Ireland’s largest island. The sound between the island and mainland is shoal for most of its length. It is supposed to provide access to Blacksod Bay but the new swing bridge opened in 2009 has not been operational since its opening.

Clew Bay Home - Clare Island - The Inner Bay - Water Activities - Westport - Newport

Clew Bay area Activity Map (1.2MB pdf)

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