Ciara MacManusMech MonkeyNoelle Rohan
read more about the authors
Blog ethics

MTB Campervan Weekend in N.Ireland!

Posted on June 25, 2015 @ 12:29 PM in Mountainbiking

After visiting the Mountain Bike Northern Ireland stand at the London Bike Show, we were lucky enough to win flights, campervan, campsites and bike hire in Northern Ireland for a weekend. Not knowing much about the trails, but being impressed with what we saw at the bike show, we were excited about our weekend away!

rostrevor

After a short flight from Gatwick to Belfast City with Aer Lingus, we picked up our fantastic campervan for the weekend from Garry at Causeway Campers. On Friday evening, we took in the sights of Belfast and visited the famous Crown Bar.  A delicious dinner was had at Home restaurant, then off to our accommodation at the Shepherd’s Rest in Draperstown. During our pint at the on-site pub, we were lucky enough to listen to one of the other guest’s strike up a few Irish tunes!

We awoke to a beautiful blue sky morning, surrounded by rolling green farmland.  A quick “small fry” breakfast was had at the local greasy spoon and it was a short drive to the Davagh Forest Trails, where we picked up great Marin hire bikes from Dave at Outdoor Concepts

Davagh Forest Trails

The trail at Davagh Forest starts with some twisty singletrack, joining a fireroad, affectionately named the “Widowmaker” by locals.  Fortunately, the road didn’t live up to its name!  From there, we hit the red trails: “Big Wig Jig”, boasted flowy section of singletrack through dense forest, and not being able to resist, we headed back up the hill to do “Run Ragley Run”, again with beautifully crafted singletrack and incredible panoramic views! 

The 'Boundary Rock' trail was a highlight at the bottom of the hill, displaying unique terrain with huge boulders along the way, including a massive one that you can ride down.  

Boundary Rock

With the sun still shining, we drove to Castlewellan.  Along the way there was some breath-taking scenery, with lots of rolling green countryside.

castlewellan

The stunning Castlewallan Mountain Bike Trails are set around a beautiful lake with a castle overlooking it.  The campsite and great trail facilities are located very close to the trailhead.  After setting up camp, we picked up bikes from Life Adventure Centre, then rode the trails into the evening. What impressed us was the way the undulating trails snaked their way around the lake, allowing you to grab glimpses of the water.  After 20kms of trails in the evening, we happily tucked into our meals at the Maginns pub in the town.

The sun was shining the next day as we headed off to the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails on the shores of Carlingford Lough. 

Kodak Corner

Here there are 27kms of trails that wind around and over the hill. We picked up our bikes from East Coast Adventure and set off! An obligatory photo was taken at “Kodak corner”, named as such as there is picturesque view overlooking the lake, with the Republic of Ireland in the background. 

rostrevor

Overall, we were mightily impressed with the quality of the trails.  The scenery was spectacular, and a highlight was enjoying the local’s warmth and hospitality.  Will definitely be back again soon!

Tim Rickerby
Tim Rickerby  Commercial Lawyer

Tim is a commercial lawyer based in London, and is a keen mountain biker and runner. Originally from New Zealand, he is enjoying exploring all the trails that the UK has to offer.

2 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Sallie on July 5, 2015 @ 9:22 PM

What amazing scenery and challenging rides!

Posted by Steve miller on July 6, 2015 @ 5:59 AM

Looks great and will definitely pay a visit soon

Post a Comment

Name *

Email Address * (will not be published)

Comment *

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog outdoorni.com walkni.com cycleni.com canoeni.com