Hillside Cottage, Achill Island

Some Things to Enjoy About Achill

Achill Island
What to Do in Achill
Achill is a destination for those who love the beauty of the outdoors, whether to be active yourself or to just enjoy the view.
Achill Tourism has a wealth of information on the local providers of activities and services, on where you can enjoy a meal or a drink and on all the events and festivals currently running. We advise checking their website before your visit to get the most out of your stay.
The "What's on in Achill" app is also most useful.

Summer Camps for children are run in Achill in various disciplines and for all ages throughout the months of July and August: they include surfing and other watersports and outdoor skills, horse riding, dance, soccer, gaelic sports, music and crafts.

Remember also that adults can "Give it a Go" also... in Achill you don't have to be a child, nor does it have to be summer, to take classes in art, music and writing, or to enjoy a day out learning how to surf, kite-surf, paddle board, kayak or horse ride, among others!

And don't worry too much if the sun doesn't shine - Achill always has something to offer - be it a day on the beach dressed for the weather, a view of spectacular waves crashing on the cliffs, or an invigorating walk in the misty rain followed by a relaxing pint by a cosy fireside.
Achill is a perfect location for enjoying all manner of outdoor activities: surfing, kite-surfing, sea and lake kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, hillwalking, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding, golf, walking, running and of course, trips to the beach.

For the more relaxed visitor, Achill has ample opportunities to enjoy and learn about music, dance, art, literature, history and archeology.

Achill has many festivals and events throughout the summer months and at other times of the year, for everything from sports, literature, music, culture, agriculture, holistic and marine, to specific Achill celebrations for St Patricks Day and New Year. 

Getting Around Achill
Having a car in Achill is ideal due to distances, lack of dedicated cycle paths and the changeable weather, but it is not necessary for all visitors. However, if you do not have a car, a bicycle will be your best friend if you are a guest at Hillside Cottage!
If you arrive in Achill by bicycle from the Greenway, you have just one mile to go to Hillside Cottage from the end of the cycle track.
The areas of Cloughmore, Derreens, Ashleam and Dooega, and also Saula and Cashel, are easily accessible by bicycle by anyone fit enough to cycle the Greenway. Access to and from lower Achill from Hillside Cottage is easiest by car due to lack of a dedicated cycle lane beyond Cashel, but experienced road cyclists may find it a welcome distance. 
There is a very reliable taxi service in Achill if you come without your own car.
If you are coming to Achill by train, the nearest stations are in Westport and Castlebar, both a 40 to 50 minute drive from Achill. Onward travel to Achill from train stations would be by bus, taxi or by cycling the Greenway. Availability and times for bus and taxi services should be investigated online or by phone in advance of your journey.
To travel right into Achill by bus, please consult websites for services which come all the way to Achill. The main bus stop in Achill Sound is one mile from Hillside Cottage.
Eating and Drinking
The closest places to Hillside Cottage to eat out are the places in Achill Sound, a couple of minutes drive or a half hour walk from the cottage. If you wish to choose a different location for an evening meal, driving or a taxi are necessary.
You will find other great places to eat and drink on the island in the villages of Keel, Dooagh, Dugort, Dooega, the Valley, Dookinella and Cashel.
The closest pubs to Hillside Cottage are in Derreens and in Achill Sound - a half hour walk. Some of the pubs on the island offer a bus service home to customers.
For your self-catering needs, there are two supermarkets in Achill Sound and one in Keel. There are local butchers, a fish shop and occasional markets selling local produce. All of your requirements should be available locally, unless you are in need of special dietary requirements which may only be available from specialist stores. There are larger supermarkets in both Castlebar and Westport.

Explore close to Home
Explore the Island
Explore off the Island
The Shraheens to Cloughmore road, part of the Wild Atlantic Way, passes through quietly populated village areas with little nuggets of beauty, interest and history, such as the Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley's lookout tower, the old cemetery at Kildownet, the Lifeboat Station and the working fishing pier at Cloughmore.
The beach at Cloughmore is a great place to walk your dog off-lead or let your children explore. The historic Coffin Walk, the Grainne Mhaol Walk and other easy and amazing hill walks are accessible from this road. Pier-jumping at Cloughmore's small pier is possible at high tide. Sea-kayaking, small craft sailing and jet-skiing are also possibilities in areas along the Sound where tide and conditions allow.
The pier at Achill Sound bridge is a start location for many yawl races in the summer months, and the boats can often be seen racing in the Sound from Hillside Cottage.

From Cloughmore one can travel on to Achill Beg or Clare Island or take a fishing or boating trip. 
After Cloughmore it is a couple of beautiful miles along the Atlantic Drive to Dooega and Minaun Heights. The small beach at Dooega is great for children, especially for swimming, sea-kayaking or rock pooling. 
You cannot come to Achill without heading "down the island" to experience the wealth of activity and opportunities for enjoyment in the area, be it beaches, sports, food, crafts, scenery or culture.
 it is approximately ten miles down the main road from Hillside Cottage to Keel and lower Achill. The most popular beaches are located in Keel, Dugort and Keem. Keel Lake is a centre for many watersports. There are golf courses in Keel and Dugort.
Art galleries, craft shops, historical sites and interesting diversions are everywhere!
Achill is a great base from which to visit and enjoy other areas of Mayo: The location of Hillside Cottage lends itself to journeys off the island, at only one mile from the bridge. The start of the Great Western Greenway is only a mile cycle from Hillside Cottage.. soon to be less as it extends.
Some other places of interest outside of Achill which are between fifteen minutes and an hour's drive of Hillside Cottage are: Ballycroy National Park; Mulranny; Burrishoole Abbey; Clare Island; Newport; Westport; Clew Bay; Croagh Patrick.
​Castlebar and Westport, both approx 45 minutes drive from Hillside Cottage, have all the major stores and supermarkets as well as specialist and craft shops, swimming pools, a cinema and some indoor play centres.
It is worth searching online for local festivals and events in these areas as well as Achill before your visit.