Set on the picturesque shores of Clew Bay, WESTPORT is an agreeable, easy-going town that matches its location with some fine architecture. Its main visitor attraction is Westport House, a graceful, Georgian mansion now surrounded by a country park of rides and amusements, which separates the town centre from Westport Harbour. The centre itself was laid out in classical style in 1780 for the Browne family of Westport House by James Wyatt, who built a striking, octagonal square and canalized the Carrowbeg River, flanking it with the tree-lined Mall. More recently, the town has developed an artsy, cosmopolitan feel, attracting many visitors and residents from other parts of Ireland and Europe. During the summer, the place is abuzz, especially for the prestigious, ten-day Arts Festival in early October (wwww.westportartsfestival.com).

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