If you build it, they will come.
That’s the cliche, and it has certainly proved true with Mayo’s Great Western Greenway. Since the 42km off-road cycling route was launched between Westport and Achill, tourism (and cycling) have been booming in West Mayo.
The Greenway itself is just the beginning. In 2011, the Mulranny Park Hotel gathered together 13 artisan food producers along the route to create the Gourmet Greenway food trail. Described by John McKenna as “one of the most brilliant innovations in Irish hospitality”, the community-based collective has shone a much-needed spotlight on great food and hosts around Newport, Westport and Achill.
It’s a super example of destination marketing from this creative hotel, contributing €1.5million to the local economy last year alone.
It isn’t resting on its laurels, either. This May, the Mulranny Park Hotel launches a newly updated Gourmet Greenway – featuring five additional producers.
Gourmet Greenway 2.0 will be launched with a Gourmet Greenway Week (May 5-9) featuring five days of organised trips and workshops with producers includine Kelly’s Butchers; Murrevagh Honey; The Greenway Farm; Carrowholly Cheese; Curraun Blue Trout Farm and Croagh Patrick Seafoods as well as Newport House, Café Rua and An Port Mór restaurant.
Participants can bake bread and scones with Helen at Mulranny Park; learn how to grow and harvest mussels & oysters on the shores of Clew Bay and discover the wonders of cheese making (while sampling with wines) with Carrowholly’s Andrew Pellan Byrne.
Evening entertainment includes talks by local historians on the hotel’s colourful past, and culminates with a seven-course gala dinner in the hotel’s Nephin Restaurant.
A package bundling four night’s B&B and three gourmet evening meals costs €269pps.
The Gala Dinner with bed & breakfast costs €99pps.