The log flume ride at Westport House.

Plans for exciting new adventure park at Westport House

AFTER nearly 50 years and millions of visitors, Westport House is bidding farewell to its famous Pirate Adventure Park at the end of this season.

Next year Westport House will welcome a brand-new, active and exciting adventure park which will include the largest net park in Ireland.

It will also feature two 100m zip lines, a multi wall climbing zone with a double sided, see-through wall, giant swings propelling you over the quarry wall as well as many new outdoor attractions.

Visitors will also be delighted to hear that a new slippery dip-esque slide complete with humps, curves and even corkscrew slides has also been planned.

The Browne family decided to invite the public to Westport House in 1960. Through their determination, passion and willingness to develop with the times, it became clear that opening the house was only the first step in creating a successful visitor attraction.

The commercial development of estates in the UK were accelerating at an extraordinary pace at the time of Westport House’s opening to the public, all thanks to the addition of family attractions.

The first ride installed at the estate was the lake-side train, and then came the hugely popular slippery dip. While the slide only ceased operation last year, it helped to forge the beginnings of the Pirate Adventure Park of today, the centrepiece of which is the log flume ride.

In 2017, Westport House was bought by the Hughes family, who have continued to look after and carry on the story of Westport House. Recognising the importance of Westport House in terms of tourism for Westport and the entire Mayo region, they are significantly investing into the estate, helping to create hundreds of jobs and developing one of the finest tourist attractions in Ireland.

While the decision to close the Pirate Adventure Park was not an easy one, what comes next in the form of a new adventure attraction which will be even bigger and better and promises to be a truly exciting and momentous project.

What’s next?

In June 2021, Westport House was awarded Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth grant for heritage and cultural attractions. Worth €20.2 million, the funding is part of an overall vision to reimagine the entire offering within the 433-acre grounds as part of a €75 million strategy, including the redevelopment of Hotel Westport.

This ambitious masterplan will transform Westport Estate into a world-class tourism destination and visitor attraction which will benefit the overall region.

One of the key areas supported by the grant will be the creation of some very different and uniquely Irish landscape experiences.

Created in partnership with internationally acclaimed Irish gardener and landscape designer Mary Reynolds, the experience will connect the earth with Irish heritage and Celtic mythology.

Developed especially for Westport House, Mary has created a ferociously wild yet beautiful project rooted in Irish heritage, offering visitors a multi-layered, full sensory experience with nature, while exploring ancient Ireland through a series of accessible wild and natural spaces.

In addition to this, next year Westport House will welcome its new adventure park.

Additionally, this summer the new glamping village complete with gorgeous five-metre bell tents, freshly made beds and new private decking is ready and waiting to welcome guests from June 1.

A new attraction will also be opening this June where the world of digital gaming meets sports and active play.

Designed for all age groups and abilities, visitors are invited to experience a life-sized video game in the futuristic interactive gaming zone.

As the Pirate Adventure Park opened on on April 1 for its final season, CEO Barry O’Connor reflected: “‘The Pirate Adventure Park has been an immensely popular and much-loved aspect of the Westport House story. Steeped in nostalgia, memories and countless years of fun, the Pirate Adventure Park has become a summer tradition for generations of families, and we are immensely proud for all it has achieved during its almost 50-year operation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our visitors who supported the Pirate Adventure Park, as well as the ride operators who safely and successfully oversaw the management of the park. A special thanks to the Browne family who created such a wonderful experience for so many and whose passion, drive and imagination we bring with us as we begin this new project.

“While we share our visitor’s sadness that the park will be closing, we are very excited about this new chapter.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our final Pirate Adventure Park visitors this year and hope they will continue to return and carry on creating those magical summer memories in our brand-new adventure park.”