The surrounding area of Polranny
The Polranny Pirates’ homeport is located on the Atlantic Ocean amidst countless bays, islands and inlets. It is a rugged area with grand vistas, mountains and sandy beaches.
The House is situated between the Polranny Mountain and the tidal waters of Black Sod Bay. Each of these names describes the respective places to perfection: Polranny (or Polraithní in Gaelic) means ‘valley of ferns’ and Black Sod Bay refers to the peat moorland that has been worn away by sea erosion along the coastline.
Achill Island and the supermarket at Achill Sound
The name of Achill Island is derived from the Gaelic Accail: Sea Eagle. It is located about 1.5 km from the House, and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. This place and the adjoining village are known as Achill Sound, its name describing the narrow waters between the Island and the Corraun Peninsula as ‘the strait of the sea eagle’. Achill is Ireland’s biggest island and juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its high mountains that rise vertiginously out of the sea and its golden, sandy beaches. Since the beginning of aviation, the cliffs of Achill are the last you will see of Europe before embarking on the crossing to North America. At the end of the bridge is a supermarket and hardware store.
Polranny, where the House is located, lies on the peninsula of Corraun, but is part of the Achill Sound village. This area has been inhabited for the last five thousand years and has a rich history that is unique and completely unlike Europe’s cultural mainstream.The best walking area for miles around is literally on your doorstep, and encompasses both Polranny Mountain and the Corraun Peninsula. Here, you will encounter lakes, rocks, forests and blanket bog, and often without a soul in sight. On a clear day, the view from Polranny Mountain extends across the country for one hundred kilometres in every direction. Rumour has it that a sea eagle is breeding again in the Corraun Mountains, after a long period of abscence.
The House also provides easy access to the Greenway, a first-rate walking and cycling path. It connects Achill Sound to the local town of Westport, a journey of approximately 50 km.
Before reaching Mulranny on the way to Westport, you can take a turn around Bellaghrager Bay (Smugglers’ Bay), northwards which takes you through Ballycroy where another residence of Polranny Pirates is located.
Mallaranny is a local seaside resort, looking out on Clew Bay, 14 kilometers east of Polranny and connected to it by the Green Way. Apart from safe and beautiful beaches, it has a public golf course and an illustrious, historical hotel, the Mulranny Park Hotel. It is known for the high standard of its cuisine, its fitness and beauty centre and heated indoor swimming pool. You can even admire the stunning view of Clew Bay from the comfort of the Canadian hot tub!
Westport is the most popular local tourist town. It’s a charming place and has plenty to offer both young and old. For example, Matt Molloy’s pub is famous for its traditional Irish music. Matt himself was a member of the legendary Chieftains and is a world-class flautist.
Castlebar is the county town of County Mayo. It is modest in size but is the main shopping centre for the entire district. There is a cinema complex, an arts centre (the Linen Hall) and plenty of nightlife as befits a college town. Wherever you go, County Mayo is full of prehistoric and early Christian history along with the memories of the long and turbulent struggle for Irish independence. Between Westport and Castlebar you will find some fine examples of the many inland lakes of County Mayo.