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The Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way

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Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way

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Trail stats

Distance
82.08 mi
Elevation gain
4,350 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
3,852 ft
Max elevation
1,203 ft
TrailRank 
45
Min elevation
-31 ft
Trail type
One Way
Time
5 days 43 minutes
Coordinates
8851
Uploaded
May 10, 2022
Recorded
April 2022
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1,203 ft
-31 ft
82.08 mi

near Newport, Connaught (Ireland)

Viewed 286 times, downloaded 6 times

Trail photos

Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way Photo ofThe Western Way: Part 2 Newport to the start of the Sligo Way

Itinerary description

I walked "The Western Way" as a possible section of the E2 European Long Distance Path, as well as for its innate beauty. This is part 2 of the route, it differed in places from an older GPX track I had downloaded from waymarkedtrails.org. Part 1 is here https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/the-western-way-part-1-oughterard-to-newport-102259348 .

Between Newport and Ballycastle there are no facilities and at least two days is needed to cover the distance. This stretch begins with a quiet road to the "Nephin Wilderness", a forestry plantation but with aspirations to become something more natural. After the "Wilderness" there is a road across the bog leading to a busy main road. Beyond that is a long length of conifer plantations, mostly following forest tracks, but with one section of boardwalk. Finally, quiet lanes lead into Ballycastle, where there are shops etc.. From Ballycastle to the end of the Western Way, the route is largely on quiet roads by green fields visiting a beach, the village of Killala with its curious round tower, Belleek woods and the town of Ballina.

More details can be found in my blog https://johnpone2.blogspot.com/search/label/Western%20Way .

You can continue crossing Ireland on the Sligo Way which starts close to where The Western Way ends. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/sligo-way-ireland-102443719 (or in a German guide to the route https://www.conrad-stein-verlag.de/buecher-shop/wanderfuehrer-irland-western-way-fernwanderweg/ ).

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Waypoints

PictographWilderness hut Altitude 480 ft
Photo ofAltnabrocky shelter

Altnabrocky shelter

A shelter with a platform for sleeping in similar to those on the Appalachian Way.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofBallina

Ballina

Ballina is a small town with shops, supermarkets, hotels, cafes and a tourist information office. It lies on the River Moy.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 153 ft
Photo ofBallycastle

Ballycastle

Ballycastle is a village with a shop, bar and cafe.

PictographBridge Altitude 251 ft
Photo ofBellacorick and the musical bridge.

Bellacorick and the musical bridge.

Bellacorick has the air of an settlement abandoned when the local peat burning power station was closed, however it does claim a musical bridge. Apparently if you run a pebble along the parapet, the gaps between the masonry blocks produce musical notes.

PictographCastle Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofBelleek Woods and Castle Photo ofBelleek Woods and Castle Photo ofBelleek Woods and Castle

Belleek Woods and Castle

I was not sure if this was officially part of the Western Way, however, walking through the woods is strongly recommended. In addition to a pleasant walk among the trees there is a part of the Famine Wall, various dogs graves, the castle (with its attached cafe) and the unusual concrete ship in the Moy estuary.

PictographReligious site Altitude 164 ft
Photo ofCemetery by Gortmore. Photo ofCemetery by Gortmore. Photo ofCemetery by Gortmore.

Cemetery by Gortmore.

This is one of a few cemeteries I came across with ruined chapels. An atmospheric place.

PictographCar park Altitude 128 ft
Photo ofLetterkeen - Car Park and Bothy

Letterkeen - Car Park and Bothy

This is the main access point to the Nephin Wilderness. There is a car park and bothy. When I was there a one-way system was in place, which led me away from the Western Way along a hillside, before joining it farther north.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 0 ft

Newport

A town where you can stock up on supplies before heading to the Nephin Wilderness.

PictographWaypoint Altitude 0 ft
Photo ofStart of Sligo Way Photo ofStart of Sligo Way Photo ofStart of Sligo Way

Start of Sligo Way

This waypoint is a kilometre or so along the road from where the Western Way officially ends. My track brings you to the start of the Sligo Way at Lough Talt.

PictographProvisioning Altitude 42 ft
Photo ofKillala Photo ofKillala

Killala

A village with accommodation, bar, café, harbour and a curious round tower.

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