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European Destination of Excellence 2011

A EUROPEAN DESTINATION OF EXCELLENCE

The Great Western Greenway – Mulranny - Co. Mayo has been designated a European Destination of Excellence. The award recognises the 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. Representatives from Mulranny Tourism, Fáilte Ireland and Greenway Landowners travelled to Brussels to accept the 2011 award on behalf of the Community of Mulranny, Greenway Landowners, Mayo Co. Council and everyone involved in the Regeneration of Mulranny’s tourism product.

This is the 5th year of the European Commission sponsored EDEN Awards (European Destinations of Excellence) and 21 winning destinations across Europe  have been selected for their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability and for reflecting the theme of this year:- “Tourism and Regeneration of Physical sites”.  EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence is a project promoting sustainable tourism
development models across the European Union. The project is based on national competitions that 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 region’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 re-emerged into the Great Western Greenway. Walk and cycling trail offering 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.

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