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County Town: Castlebar
Population: 123,648
Area: 5,397 sq km
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Mayo - 10 places to stay

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County Mayo has appeared on the tourism radar over the last few years but is still way behind the well-worn trail of the southern counties. It won’t remain undiscovered for long. Bordered by Galway to the South, Roscommon and Sligo to the East and the battering Atlantic to the North and Northwest, it offers a wealth of dramatic scenery with mountains, waters and bleak expanses of bogland. There are many stunning routes around the county but perhaps one of the most spectacular is the drive from Louisburg to Leenane through the wildly beautiful Doolough Valley. Off the west coast of Mayo is Achill Island. Joined to the mainland by a bridge, Achill is the largest offshore island in the country. With mountains and beaches and a lively social scene in the summer months, it is well worth a visit.Castlebar is Mayo’s county town, yet far more appealing is the town of Westport in the south of the county. It’s postcard pretty but was designed that way, with the River Carrowbeg neatly dissecting the town and presenting many opportunities for leisurely exploring. Towering to the west of the town is the imposing Croagh Patrick. Legend has it that from the top of this mountain St Patrick performed his snake-expulsion act, ridding Ireland of venomous serpents to this day. The 765m holy mountain is a popular pilgrimage site.

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Women want love to be a novel, men a short story. - Daphne du Maurier
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On this day:
Henry VI Crowned as Henri II in Paris - 1431, Oliver Cromwell becomes 'lord protector' - 1653, The 'Bill of Rights' established - 1689, Boston tea party - 1773, Battle of the Bulge Begins - 1944
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