Just a short drive from Westport city center is Westport House, a privately owned home with historic roots. The owners of Westport House are descendants of the legendary Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley. You can find a statue of the Pirate Queen in the gardens of the home. Visitors can tour inside the home and can view all of the beautiful antiques and detailed furnishings. Perhaps appreciated more by the adults in the family, I feel it is always good to expose my children to new things and teach them to respect places that connect to history. Visitors can also tour the lovely gardens around Westport House. For more information about Westport House go to www.westporthouse.ie.
The grounds at Westport House also offer some exciting adventures. We made plans to try a couple of the activities on the property that are organized through a company called Adventure West. Though there are many fun activities from which to choose, including swan boat rides and kayaking, I tried zip lining and zorbing for the first time. For those who don’t know, I am a little afraid of heights so when I was told that I was going to zip line for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive. We were pressed for time as it was starting to get darker so I just had to go for it! I got suited up for the zip lining and put on a safety helmet – always a scary sign that danger is ahead! Before taking off from the top, our cameraman, Jordan, attached a Go Pro camera to my jacket so that he could video my reaction to the experience. The crew all had a good laugh at me when we viewed it. The producers make me do all kinds of things like this against my will, but I took one for the team! In the end, I am always glad that I do these crazy stunts!
I didn’t realize how long the zip line was from the top of the hill to the landing pad at the bottom. It was FAR! I screamed the entire way down to the end of the line.
An orb is a huge plastic ball that seats two people. Basically, you strap into the ball across from one another and roll down a hill. The reaction was so great to the Go Pro footage from the zip line that the cameraman thought it would be a smart idea to do the same with the zorbing experience. What did I get myself into?
Our audio mixer, Jon, was recruited to strap in across from me and record all of my reactions. You can be sure that we will have that footage on the website! It was 30 seconds of somersaulting. I felt like my girls’ hamster, Nugget, as I rolled downhill. I thought it would never end! It was a great experience that I think kids would really love.
Westport House is the perfect place for all generations because it offers culture, history, beauty and a whole lot of fun! Plan to spend a good part of the day there to take advantage of all that is offered. It is well worth the visit and the whole family will enjoy the many aspects of the property.