Nathan KingerleeGareth FullertonMandy Collie
read more about the authors
Blog ethics

Easter grows closer…

Posted on March 22, 2010 @ 3:09 PM in Cycling

A few days off work coupled with some good weather (fingers crossed!) gives us all a chance to get out on our bikes…even if it is just an excuse to get it out of the garage – where my bike has been sitting for quite a while!

Here are a few ideas below to whet your appetite!

The most popular cycle rides on

  • Lagan and Lough Cycle Way – a 21 mile traffic free cycle route from Lisburn to Belfast and onto Whiteabbey. Cycle it all or try out short sections. A popular stretch is from Lisburn to Lagan Meadows stopping at the Lock Keeper’s Cottage for a cup of tea!
  • Comber Greenway – a 7 mile traffic free path from Belfast to Comber. There are plenty of options to take a break in Comber.
  • Newry Canal Towpath – a popular cycle route following the River Bann stretching from Portadown to Newry totalling 20 miles in length. If you want to cover the whole route, a good stopping point is the Scarva tea rooms. If you want to cycle shorter sections of the route, facilities exist in all the main towns. 
  • Belfast Lough – a 7 mile traffic free cycle route, taking in fantastic views over Belfast Lough, starting at Whiteabbey and finishing in Belfast. Highlighted along the way include Hazelbank Park, Clarendon Dock and Lagan Weir.
  • Craigavon Lakes – this 6.5 mile purpose built mountain bike trail creates a challenging and also scenic riding experience. Craigavon Watersports Centre is at the start and end points of the route to stop off and grab something to eat.

Download maps for these routes on

Lagan and Lough Cycle WayNewry Canal Towpath









For those looking something a bit longer and tougher why not try some of the following… 

  • Ballycastle - Rathlin - Cushendall (35 miles/56 km)
    This section uses part of the 425km route from Larne to Ballyshannon. Catch the boat out to Rathlin Island where an almost traffic free, 12 mile cycle trail takes you from its famous bird sanctuaries over to its seal colonies. Back to the mainland and off toward Torr Head, one of Northern Ireland's most infamous climbs by bike. Coast into Cushendall for a well earned break.
  • Cookstown - Omagh (42 miles/68 km)
    Start off in Cookstown on the Belfast to Ballyshannon route which totals 390km. The Sperrin Mountains steal the limelight as you pedal through one of Northern Ireland's great unspoiled wildernesses. From Wellbrook Mill, Beaghmore Stone Circles and down the valley into Gortin, the endless landscapes and rich colours repay all the effort. As always, a warm welcome awaits you in Omagh town.
  • Portaferry – Comber (41 miles/66km)
    The Strangford Lough Cycle route follows quiet country lanes and coast roads, making this a great introduction to cycle touring. At Portaferry wheel your bike onto the ferry and cross the surging water to sleepy Strangford village. A short pedal from here takes you to Downpatrick… Saint Patrick's town. The last 10 miles of the trip brings you past Castle Espie, an important wildlife centre where walkways and hides get you right up close to nature. Park up at Comber, grab a cuppa and with your appetite whetted, plan your next cycle trip in Northern Ireland.
  • Giants Causeway - Benone (22miles/36km)
    For a stunning cycle ride along the North Coast, follow NCN Route 93 between the Giant’s Causeway in the east and Benone in the west, passing through the resort towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock. Significant stretches of the route are along traffic-free paths.

Belfast to BallyshannonStrangford Lough Cycle Trail









Either bring your bike with you or hire a bike when you get here.

Bike Hire is available throughout Northern Ireland, please click here for a list of providers.

For longer or shorter options please visit



Beverley Magowan
Beverley Magowan  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads across the country!

4 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by heather stewart on June 6, 2010 @ 8:07 PM

having only in the past year discovered a love of cycling i would like to encourage other ladies of a "certain age" to give it a go. I and a few othe ladies meet every saturday morning and we are now regularly clocking up 30-35 miles ( the coffee stop midway is a very important part of our morning ) and we have been known to manage to complete 60 miles and more on organised cycle events. we have great craic , have made new friends and discovered parts of our little province that we previously never visited and despite the coffees and scones we have even managed to shed a few pounds! What more could you ask . As they say in these parts " you couldn't beat it with a big stick".

Posted by Heather McMullan on July 1, 2010 @ 5:06 PM

Hey, where are you from. I love cycling but always have to go out on my own and would love company and go out with other ladies.

Posted by Heather Stewart on July 7, 2010 @ 10:21 PM

Hi Heather, sorry only reading your reply to my blog now, We are part of an Armagh based cylcle club called "Steady cycle club" I am not sure of the exact website address but if you google Steady C C. or cycle clubs in Armagh I think you should come across us

Post a Comment

Name *

Email Address * (will not be published)

Comment *

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog