Originally a market town, Castlebar has kept this tradition and is renowned for its variety of interesting shopping areas. Castlebar also offers a great variety of activities, both indoor and outdoor. The regenerated Lough Lannagh consists of a wonderful lake which is easily acessible from the town centre. There is a walking route which circumnavigates around the lake and is incorporated with a children’s play area. The adjoining park also contains several species of wildlife.
Walking and Cycling is a popular way to take in some of the sites of Castlebar, as there are some walks by local guides which take you on a historical walk of the town. Most walks are likely to commence at The Mall, the Town Park which a focal point for visitors to Castlebar. Located just off The Mall is Mayo’s County Library on John Moore Road. This facility contains many books and publications relating to County Mayo and houses details of many of the historic events which have taking place in Castlebar over the past couple of centuries. Adjacent to Mayo General Hospital on the Westport Road, the Castlebar Campus of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology offers third level college courses in careers ranging from Nursing to Business. The Campus is located on the grounds of the former Saint Mary’s Hospital.
Castlebar is an ideal location for outdoor pursuits, with Golf and Tennis among the sports to have clubs in the town environs. Watersports are also catered for with Castlebar Swimmming Pool, while west of the town, Clew bay and Achill Island are among the best places in Ireland for water activities.
There is plenty of night-time entertainment including traditional Irish music in local pubs and top quality dining at a wide variety of restaurants to suit all ages. The Royal Theatre in Castlebar attracts some of the best national and international acts to Mayo while the Linen Hall Arts Centre has become a thriving cultural centre offering the best of Irish music, dance and art.
Indoor activities are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, especially during the winter period. Mayo Leisure Point in Castlebar provides the visitor with an option to go Bowling, playing Snooker or Pool at their spacious arena in Moneen. There is also an area which caters for children while at the same location Mayo Movieworld is a multi-screen cinema which offers the latest releases from Hollywood.
Heritage and history are important topics in Mayo and the National Museum of Country Life is located at Turlough, just over five kilometres from Castlebar. This Museum contains many artefacts which relate to Ireland’s bygone days and there are usually craft displays and exhibitions taking place throughout the year.
Back in Castlebar, the Mayo Peace Park is situated opposite the Harlequin Hotel, beside the old cementery. The Park commemorates all of the people, men and women, who served and died in the major conflicts which have taken place over the past 100 years. The Wall of Remembrance contains the names of those who were killed during the course of action. Irish soldiers have lost their lives while serving with American, Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand and South African forces, while there has being a number of fatal casualities among Irish soldiers serving with the United Nations.