This Irish destination is a must for anyone wanting to make a pilgrimage to the famous shrine, as well as enjoy the scenery of the area...
The Knock Shrine is located in the village of Knock where in 1879 there was claimed to be an apparition of the Virgin Mary along with Jesus Christ, Saint Joseph and John the Evangelist. Since then, the shrine has built in importance to Catholics who visit in their thousands each year.
When you visit Knock car hire is ideal for getting around the countryside. Ireland West Airport (NOC) is close to the town and is an international airport with many vehicle rental outlets.
There are many things to do in and around Knock as well as see the Shrine and Knock Basilica...
Ballycroy National Park is nearby and great to visit for a picnic. Its 11,000 hectares of bog and mountains is home to otters, red grouse and golden plovers, among many other species.
Westport is a pretty town in County Mayo and the beautiful Westport House is open to the public. If you enjoy architecture then take in Mayo Abbey in the centre of the plains as well. Croagh Patrick, or The Reek, is just outside Westport and is the site of many pilgrimages, especially on the last Sunday of July when 15,000 pilgrims make their way to its peak.
As an alternative, you can walk or cycle along the Great Western Greenway. If you are a history buff or interested in arts and crafts, visit the Museum of Country Life, which has an ever-changing series of workshops and exhibits of traditional crafts.
Any visit to Knock and the surrounding areas will have something for everyone. Whether you are going on a golfing tour, heading to Castlebar (the capital of County Mayo) or on a pilgrimage, having your own vehicle will be invaluable.