Ballyhaunis, the first town in Co. Mayo as you travel west, stands at the gateway to a county rich in heritage and scenery but still relatively undiscovered.
Centrally positioned in the heart of Connaught, the town is only 1 hour’s drive from the bustling towns of Galway, Westport and Sligo.
At the heart of this historical town is the Augustinian Friary, which was established in 1348 and is the only abbey in Ireland to have remained in continuous use as a place of worship for hundreds of years, until its closure in 2002.
There are a number of other places of archaeological interest in the vicinity of the town, including two Ogham stones, megalithic tombs, holy wells, ring forts and stone forts.
The town is within easy reach of many other attractions, including Knock Marian Shrine, Clonalis House, Ashford Castle, Lough Key Forest Park and Delphi outdoor adventure centre.
For the golfing enthusiast, there is an abundance of golf courses in the vicinity. Ballyhaunis has one of the finest 9-hole courses in the country, with a terrain that facilitates golfing all year round.
Other courses in the area include Ballinrobe, Claremorris, Enniscrone, Castlebar and Westport.
The area is renowned for both coarse fishing, with excellent stocks of pike, perch and roach, and also game angling for salmon and trout.
A short drive adds the option of sea angling for pollock, ling and mackerel or deep sea fishing for shark.