Breathtaking natural landscape of Connemara mountains in Ireland

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Knock is a village in County Mayo, in the north-west of the Republic of Ireland. Most renowned for being the location of the Knock Shrine, the area boasts some of Ireland's most beautiful scenery and many sites of historical interest.

Why go?

A popular pilgrimage site, Knock also has atmospheric cliff walks and easy access to the attractions of north-west Ireland.

Many visitors take a flight to knock in order to visit the Holy Shrine. The shrine was developed after an apparition of the Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist, St Joseph and Christ, as the Lamb of God, appeared to the congregation of the parish church in 1879.

Set in a glorious garden landscape dotted with churches, Knock is a centre of prayer and pilgrimage for Roman Catholics, with around 1.5 million pilgrims each year visiting the shrine. Pope John Paul visited in 1979 to celebrate the centenary of the apparition and the village continues to be an important place for both religious and secular visitors.

There is a museum in Knock with exhibitions on many aspects of local history, particularly the shrine and the events that led to its development within the context of the history of the area. Knock itself and surroundings would be the perfect place to find accommodation if you're on a pilgrimage yourself or a holiday looking at religious sites. Sites of interest around Knock include the Ceide Fields, the world's oldest field system, and the remains of the 13th century Roscommon Abbey.

County Mayo is particularly rich in festivals and other cultural events, especially in the warmer months. Each spring, there's an Irish music and song festival. Ireland's links with the building and fate of the Titanic are explored in the Mayo Titanic Cultural Week. There are also walking festivals and many more musical festivals. Galway, too, has a huge variety of annual and special festivals and events, from music to literature with something for every taste. Hotels, naturally, are booked up in advance for these popular times of year, so book early if you wish to attend.

How to get there?

Knock is around a one-and-a-half hour flight from the UK mainland.

Ryanair operates the most flights into Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC), with daily departures from the London airports Luton and Stansted, as well as Glasgow Prestwick and Liverpool, Bristol and East Midlands airports.

The Irish carrier Aer Lingus also flies in from London Gatwick Airport.

To find cheap flights to Knock use the TravelSupermarket tool to search the market for the best deals.

Getting to and from the airport

With limited public transport in this part of Ireland, you may want to pre-arrange your onward transport.

Bus Eireann operates services from Knock airport to Galway, Sligo, Donegal and Mayo, with onward connections to Belfast and Dublin.

Local taxi companies have desks at the airport, and there's a taxi rank outside the terminal.

If hiring a car, pre-booking will save on walk-up costs.

If you need to connect with train services, the nearest station is 22km away, at Ballyhaunis, on the Dublin line.

Where to stay?

Accommodation in and around Knock ranges from B&Bs through to larger hotels catering for groups of pilgrims.

If you prefer a city break but would still like to see the countryside sights around Knock, then you might enjoy staying in a hotel in nearby Galway. The third largest city in Ireland, after Dublin and Cork, it's a thriving, vibrant city. There's a good variety of night life, from traditional pubs with good Irish music to quieter evenings out, theatres and night clubs. During the day there are museums, galleries and a huge variety of shops to explore. It's a convenient location to get to all the local tourist attractions.

Those who enjoy more active holidays will enjoy staying near some of the prime walking, climbing and hiking locations, such as Benbulben, a popular climbing destination in the Dartry Mountains. Walkers might also enjoy Glencar Waterfall and Glenveagh National Park.

Compare the price of hotels in Knock and County Mayo using TravelSupermarket`s tool and save money by booking in advance.