Mulranny – A Hidden Treasure
Mulranny and The Great Western Greenway was formally designated a European Destination of Excellence in 2011. The award recognises outstanding locally driven achievements, including the opening of the Great Western Greenway, the sensitive restoration of the stunning Mulranny Park Hotel, and the regeneration of Mulranny’s Victorian Causeway and Look Out Hill Walk. Combined with a truly spectacular location these developments enhance an already remarkable place.
It was the 5th year of the European Commission sponsored EDEN Awards (European Destinations of Excellence) and 21 winning destinations across Europe were selected that year for their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability and for reflecting this year’s theme:- “Tourism and Regeneration of Physical sites”.
EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) is a project that promotes sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. National competitions take place every year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country.
A decade of community-led regeneration was to undo a century of decline when the area’s decaying built railway heritage was sensitively renewed for future generations to enjoy. The former Mulranny Railway hotel was reopened in 2005 inspiring a community led initiative to redevelop the Mulranny Causeway and the Victorian walking trails into a high amenity loop walk accessing three European-designated Natura 2000 sites. Finally, 73 years after closure, the Great Western Railway Line was re-born as the Great Western Greenway. The walk and cycling trail offers stunning panoramic views over the vast seascape of Clew Bay, its archipelago of drowned drumlin islands, the vast Nephin mountain range and Bellacragher Bay. The 42 km Great Western Greenway offers an exhilarating and safe experience for all the family with gentle gradients, through some of the most spectacular landscapes and seascapes in Europe.
Ireland’s Five European Destinations of Excellence
Scattery Island off the Coast of Clare is the latest designated European Destination of Excellence winning the Award in 2017. This unspoilt island offers a unique visitor experience and joins Cavan Town, The Burren Food Trail, Clonakilty District, Carlingford, The Cooley peninsula, The Sheeps’s Head Way, Loop Head Peninsula and Mulranny along with The Great Western Greenway as some of the most spectacular and unspoiled destinations in Ireland and in the whole of Europe.