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Inspired by the Giro? Then check out CycleNI’s Favourite Cycle Routes

Posted on April 29, 2014 @ 2:45 PM in Cycling

With the Giro d’Italia coming to Northern Ireland next week the whole country is turning pink and getting out on their bikes. If the Giro has inspired you to get out cycling, has picked out a few of their favourite routes to suit a range of abilities, both on and off road.

Co. Antrim

  • Lagan Towpath & Barnett Demesne Mountain Bike Trail – Cycle from Shaw’s Bridge along the green and blue trails of the new mountain bike trails, finishing off with a short cycle along the Lagan Towpath (total amount of cycling is around 5 miles) to the Lough Keepers Cottage for a well earned coffee and one of their gigantic tray bakes!
  • Giant's Causeway to Benone (22miles) - For a stunning road cycle along the North Coast, follow National Cycle Network Route 93 between the Giants Causeway in the east and Benone in the west, passing through the resort towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock.

Co. Armagh

  • Newry Canal Towpath – This very popular, traffic free towpath runs from Portadown to Newry, is 20 miles in length and follows the Western bank of the Newry Canal. Sections of the towpath can be cycled if you don’t want to cycle the full 20 miles.
  • Newry to Slieve Gullion Courtyard – This 10 mile route starts on road in Newry and connects with the Newry Canal Cycle Trail. Once outside Newry it follows minor country roads passing by historic places, archaeological monuments and stunning scenery within the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Once at Slieve Gullion be sure to call into the Grounded Coffee Shop in the courtyard to taste one of their many delights.

Co. Derry ~ Londonderry

  • Beech Hill – Enjoy up to 3 miles of cycling in the historic grounds of Beech Hill Country House Hotel exploring the connections the site has with World War II. Finish off the day with a visit to the Ardmore Restaurant located within the grounds of the hotel.
  • Downhill to Magilligan Point – A 13 mile road route offering some of the best kept secret views on the North Coast. On National Cycle Network 93 from Downhill Estate via Bishop's Road and onto the Martello Tower at Magilligan Point and the mouth of Lough Foyle.

Co. Down

  • Comber Greenway - The Comber Greenway is a 7 mile traffic free section of the National Cycle Network which follows the old Belfast - Comber Railway line and is very popular with walkers and cyclists.
  • Castle Ward Boundary Trail – The Castle Ward Boundary Trail is just over 8 miles in length and follows the boundary of the estate. It combines multi use trials with some swooping singletrack to get the fun going. After your bike ride relax with a cup of coffee or refuel with a bite to eat in the stableyard tea-room.

Co. Fermanagh

  • Crom Estate – Saddle up for this 3.5 mile trail at Crom Estate and discover one of Ireland's most important Nature Conservation areas passing through ancient oak woodland with views of Upper Lough Erne. Don’t miss the Crom Tea House, where it was once customary for the family of the estate to take refreshments.
  • Kingfisher Trail - The Kingfisher Trail has been named after the kingfisher, a bird long associated with the lakes, fishing and the tranquillity of the rural setting. This is a beautiful rural area of quiet country roads well suited to cycling as there is very little traffic. This 230 mile trail was the first mapped and signed long distance cycle route in Ireland and is still regarded as one of the most enjoyable.

Co. Tyrone

  • Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trails and Pump Track - Located on a private estate in the picturesque Clogher Valley, this unique trail centre caters for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities with a range of wide flowing blue trails, perfect for families and more technical red trails suitable for more experienced riders.
  • Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trail - The Davagh Forest Trails are located in the stunning Sperrin Mountains and offer exciting cross-country mountain bike trails with a number of hair raising rock features thrown in for good measure. With the choice of gentler green & blue circular trails, Davagh Forest should suit all abilities.

For even more routes and also to see what events are happening around the Giro coming to Northern Ireland 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!

2 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by malachy rafferty on May 10, 2014 @ 4:30 AM

great info as always, we have a strong ladies cycling for leisure team whom i train and they are keen to get out more and visit the trails - gentle ones that is - always look forward to a great informational e zine

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