Kilcullen Seaweed Baths
This has become a firm favourite with our family. I don’t like to overstate it, but you feel so good after this experience that it is slightly transformational. I think it always feels better to head to the seaweed baths after a long bracing walk on the stunning beach at Enniscrone. We used to always book the twin room at the Bath House, and we would throw the kids in the baths with us. However, it is a gorgeous way for a couple to relax and have some fun together. A type of alternative date day option. It is imperative to use the Edwardian steam box in your room and alternate between it and your bath. The seaweed is harvested locally and honestly the experience couldn’t be more organic than it is. The therapeutic power of the Seaweed Bath is attributed to the high concentration of Iodine that occurs naturally in Sea Water and in Seaweed. The science behind it tells us that in its growing process Seaweed extracts this Iodine from the surrounding Sea Water and concentrates it in its fronds to such an extent that some seaweeds have up to 20,000 times the concentration of Iodine of the water in which they grow. It is seemingly excellent for your bones and for alleviating pains in your body, but I can confirm that it is also excellent for your skin as it feels like silk after your seaweed bath.
For over 100 years and into the fifth generation of ownership by the Kilcullen family, the Bath House is a therapeutic and charming experience and hasn’t changed much from its Edwardian beginnings.
Kilcullen’s Bath House is situated on the Pier Road in the picturesque village of Enniscrone, Co. Sligo, 20mins from Mount Falcon.
Foxford Woollen Mills
I always think it is lovely to have a unique shopping experience when you travel and visiting the Foxford Woollen Mills in Foxford village is just that.
This year the mill is celebrating 130 years since its establishment, and it is a testament to the innovative foresight and dedication to quality of owners Joe and Claire Queenan that it is still going as strong as ever.
We would highly recommend booking the mill tour which will walk you through the making of the famous Foxford throw. After the tour an hour of browsing is time beautifully spent and their café and deli is the perfect place to relax and chat and enjoy some delicious home-made fayre.
Foxford Jewellery is also situated within the Mills and is worth a visit and don’t hesitate to tell the lovely Michael and Claire at Foxford Jewellery that Mount Falcon sent you.
You probably won’t be able to leave the Mills without opening your wallet but as a guest of Mount Falcon you will benefit from a 10% discount. All you must do is show you’re staying with us.
The Woollen Mills are situated 10 mins from Mount Falcon.
Is there anything more invigorating than jumping into the pure clean Atlantic Ocean and letting it work it’s magic on your body. This part of the world has truly embraced sea swimming and there is the loveliest sea swimming community at Enniscrone Pier. In high season the Pier is busy with swimmers from early morning to dusk. High tide is the best time to swim especially if you enjoy jumping off the pier…which really is the best way of getting in!
I won’t lie, we wear wetsuits all year around as the children love to stay there for hours. We’re also guilty of picking up a fish & chip dinner from the local take-away and enjoying it by the pier as no one ever wants to leave.
And if you are whiling away a beautiful day at the pier there are two coffee vans parked close by, there are toilets and showers and a fabulous mobile sauna called Time and Tide Sauna. You can find them on Instagram @timeandtidesauna or call Tony on 086 3904052 to reserve your seat.
Now I’m going to let you in on another well-kept secret around these parts.
Poll Gorm (blue lagoon in gaeilic) in Easkey. A glorious saltwater pool etched out of the rocks on the stunning Easkey coastline.
The idea to build a back wall at Poll Gorm was the brainchild of Doctor Walter McGuire, he was aided and abetted in this mammoth task by Gerry Donagher, Willie Gordon and Marty Gordon. They failed in their attempts several times as the Atlantic swept away their efforts. But finally, they succeeded and on the50th anniversary of the original attempt, The LEAP Project decided to rejuvenate this beautiful facility, so that future generations can continue to enjoy and make new memories at Poll Gorm.
It is a stunningly beautiful and rugged place to swim, bring a picnic and make it even more special. Pudding Row in Easkey is the perfect place to pick up your picnic.
Just make sure the tide is out to swim in this magical place.
You have arrived in one of the best regions of Ireland to indulge in Water Sports. You have the Atlantic Ocean, the majestic River Moy and the vast and beautiful Loch Conn to explore and enjoy.
Paddle boarding is somewhat of a new phenomenon in the region, but it has firmly taken hold. Our number one recommendation is booking a personalised Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Experience with Dianne from Simply Sup. We hope to host sunset Paddle Boarding experiences on our own stretch of the river Moy with Dianne this summer however she is always available for sessions on Loch Conn. You will not find a more genial instructor than Dianne. If you are a seasoned paddle boarder, she will bring you on a stunning journey of Loch Conn, Ireland’s seventh largest lake and if you’re a beginner she will have you initiated and paddling like a pro in no time. She also runs wonderful classes for children and teenagers during the summer months. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to master this skill and to experience the world from the perspective of standing on water!
Dianne Slowey 00 353 87 9090625
Or find them on Instagram @simplysup
Mikee at Harbour Sup & Sail at Enniscrone Pier also runs a fantastic sup and sail club. The pier at Enniscrone is such a hub of activity, you will truly enjoy it. Mikee is a fantastic ambassador for supping and has everything you need to sup. They also run summer camps for kids which are fantastic fun. And if you’re lucky the dolphins might even grace you with an appearance this summer.
Harbour Sup 00 353 86 0315737
Or find them on Instagram @harboursup
Enniscrone is also quite famous for it’s Surfing Schools. It really is the perfect place to learn which is a wonderful thing to do as a couple, a family or indeed sign your children up for one of their Summer Camps while you stay with us.
The schools we recommend are:
North West Surf School 087 959 5556
7th Wave Surf School 00 353 87 971 6389
And finally Kayaking along the coast here can be fabulous. For seasoned Kayakers Mayo boasts the longest stretch of coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way and to truly experience the nooks and crannies of this great coastline I would recommend travelling to Portacloy or Rinroe Beach and take to the sea from there and experience the drama of all the cliffs and the craggy inlets.
For the rest of us I would recommend contacting Paddle & Pedal and they will guide you along the coast or indeed along the river Moy. They will also teach you how to kayak and supply all the equipment. Another great way to discover this beautiful part of the world from the water.
Paddle & Pedal +353 (0) 876808955
Lizzy at Iceford Stables is a great horsewoman. We know her well as she is our daughter’s instructor, so we are very confident recommending these stables. So, if you’re children are horse mad the pony camps at Iceford will be perfect for them. With an all-weather indoor arena and an outdoor arena, Iceford is equipped for all our west of Ireland weather. They also have a wide array of horses be it in stature and temperament. They also bring their young riders for a trek through the fields under the watchful of eye of Nephin Mountain. And for the mature rider Iceford offer an array of countryside treks.
The Iceford Stables, 20 mins from Mount Falcon.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Connacht Distillery
If you have an interest in whiskey or how it is crafted, we highly recommend you join the team at our local working distillery, The Connacht Distillery.
The Connacht Distillery sits on the banks of the beautiful River Moy where the river widens into the Moy Estuary in Ballina, County Mayo.
Connacht Whiskey only began distilling here in Ballina in 2016 but they are very proud members of the local community and warmly welcome visitors and tour groups. The visitor centre is open 10:30am to 6pm, Wednesday to Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 5pm.
In the distillery’s Mullarkey Bar guests can sample whiskey, gin, poitín, and vodka, including signature cocktails. A unique blend of old and new, the comfortable room overlooks the gentle flow of the River Moy. The bar itself was hand-crafted from repurposed timber flooring recently removed from Dublin’s Boland Mills, floors upon which Irish patriots stood and battled British soldiers during the 1916 Easter Rising.
Although young, The Connacht Distillery is already making a name for itself in the dynamic whiskey market and their strongest desire is to create a whiskey that is reflective of the unique characteristics of this region.
The Ballina Greenway: Discover the Monasteries of the Moy
The Ballina Greenway Monasteries of the Moy is the perfect cycling route for a family and for curious explorers who are hungry for nature and history.
Indulge yourself on a scenic cycle, following a quiet country road along the River Moy. Get a taste of an Irish monks life while exploring the Rosserk Friary and Moyne Abbey.
For seconds continue on to the small port village of Killala for a portion of history on the Irish-French connection.
This cycle follows a classic ‘there-and-back’ route. If you want the full discovery experience but a shorter route, arrange for a drop off in Killala and explore the Monasteries of the Moy Greenway on the way back to Ballina. Ballina Bike Hire offers a convenient delivery service for their rental bikes with complimentary cyclist transfer.
To cycle the Greenway is an adventure for all ages. If you want to cycle further I recommend extending your cycling route to Downpatrick Head.
To arrange Bike Hire or if you need a guide we highly recommend contacting Rachel from Ballina Bike Hire +353 (0)85 260 6205
Rachel Nolan is the most avid cycling and touring enthusiast we know. In her own words ‘I simply love exploring and the bicycle. It’s a beautiful world out there and there couldn’t be a better way to explore than on two wheels’.
If you would like to broaden your horizons and see more of this stunning county, we recommend you contact Aiden Sweeney of Broadhaven Irish Tours and let him take you off the beaten track to enjoy a very unique Mayo experience.
Just let him know you’re a guest at Mount Falcon and he will pick you up at the door.
Broadhaven Irish Tours 087 602 9322
Travelling with Children?
Best Free of Charge Activity? I can’t tell you how much fun we have had fishing for crabs at Enniscrone Pier. We bought our crab fishing lines at Toymaster in Ballina and from McGreevy’s Toy Store in Westport who simply posted them out to us. They cost around €2.50 and give you hours of fun and squeals. We highly recommend using ham as bait as these rapacious crustaceans simply can’t resist it. You will also need a bucket of seawater to keep them alive and we have always returned them to the sea at the end of the day…in fact we normally race them on the slipway at the pier to see who makes it back to the ocean first!
Turlough Park Playground: Turlough Park houses the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. The museum is lovely as is the walk on its beautiful grounds, but the playground is fantastic. Definitely our favourite local playground. Our second favourite is the playground set in the sand at Enniscrone. You pay into this playground, but it is well worth it as the children can enjoy the go-carts there without an extra charge. They also have a small crazy golf course next door. And our third favourite playground is Tom Ruane Park in Ballina Town. It is a beautifully laid out park on the banks of the river Moy. Perfect for bringing a picnic and the Ice-cream truck makes numerous daily stops there in high season.
Top 5 Beaches in the region:
Kilcummin Back Strand
Ross Back Strand
Enniscrone Beach… the main beach for long walks and the more secluded beach by the Pier for a day in the sun (less wind!!).
The beaches on Iniskea Islands
But honestly, there is a beach at the end of almost every boreen in North Mayo. They are all beautiful.