The 2.5 mile family cycling trail in Castlewellan Forest Park is a circular route around Castlewellan Lake suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. This tour of the Antrim coast and glens combines very tough climbing with spectacular scenery. Photo: David Flanagan, Casla, Co. Galway. Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls, Website Design © JamJo. Pit-stop: There are dozens of places along the route to stop for a bite to eat or a coffee. Routes the whole family can enjoy. Share it with us in the comments below. Hit the trails with the kids. Every route has turn-by-turn navigation with voice instruction. The Great Western Greenway is the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in the country, it traverses Ireland’s Atlantic coast between Westport town and Achill Island and visits the picturesque villages of Newport and Mulranny. It follows roads, tracks and a few sections of rough path, so a mountain bike is ideal but a hybrid will manage the vast majority of the terrain. From 'Cycling in Ireland: A guide to the best of Irish cycling' by Three Rock Books. It follows the coast west from Dingle town around the spectacular Slea Head before returning via quiet backroads. You’ve got everything here from World Heritage sites to paradise for walkers and climbers; real-world Game of Thrones® locations to scenery that inspired Narnia; you can stand in the spot where Titanic set out or sleep in the house where George Best grew up. Five family-friendly cycles in Ireland. The Grand Canal. There is a nice playground and a family-friendly picnic area in the Park as well as The Red Stables which has a café and a gallery. Or a great one, for that matter. 5. Rain will turn the grassy sections into mud so a reasonably wide tyre with a good tread is essential. You will pass by Kylemore Abbey, Lough Muck and Connemara National Park on your way to view Ireland's only fjord. A gentle spin along the shore of Dublin Bay starts with a lap of Killiney Hill and finishes with a climb over the Ben of Howth. You can hire bikes in any of the four towns along the Greenway or bring your own. A lot of work has been put into improving the surface of the Royal Canal and in the near future it will be entirely paved (see waterwaysireland.org). See Northern Ireland from a different perspective. The Comber Greenway is a 7 mile traffic free section of the National Cycle Network which follows the old Belfast - Comber Railway line. These routes are a series of easy cycle rides aimed at families, offering helpful tips and advice about cycling for parents, with suggestions for places to cycle along traffic-free routes and quiet roads. You May Also Enjoy A Family Cycle Along the Great Western Greenway. At Lough Boora Discovery Park you will find a variety of car-free cycle paths with a tarred surface. Greenways in Northern Ireland Belfast has an expanding network of greenways with the Lagan and Lough Cycle Way and Comber Greenway, which provides a great community resource for walking and cycling. From the finish in the village of Thomastown, you can take the bus or train back to Dublin. Pit-stop: There are a couple of pubs and restaurants on the island. You May Also Enjoy 10 Great Family Walks in Dublin. It’s great fun to get the family out cycling but you want to have a safe place to do so. Wheelchair users, kids’ bikes with stabilisers, family groups on foot or bike can equally enjoy this loop. Be sure to stop at one of Dublin’s treasures, St. Anne’s Park, famous for its Rose Gardens. Note that cyclists are requested to follow the route around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction. The trail is under the tree canopy for most of its length and is reasonably sheltered. David Flanagan’s Cycling in Ireland: A Guide to the Best of Irish Cycling (€25) is available now from all good bookshops, including Easons and Dubray, as well as directly from the publisher, Three Rock Books, at threerockbooks.com. There are lots of interesting places along the route with beautiful coastline views, there’s a viaduct, a tunnel and even a spectacular gorge. The Royal Canal passes through a few towns, including Kilcock and Enfield, while the Grand will take you through Robertstown and Sallins. 3. The trail then follows a boardwalk to the duck pond and past cypress trees that are some of the oldest on the estate. Pit-stop: The coffee shop in the visitor centre has a timber deck where you can sit overlooking Loch an Dóchais and Boora Lake. From 'Cycling in Ireland: A guide to the best of Irish cycling' by Three Rock Books. Tell us a little bit about your brand or business now to see how we can help or call us on +353 1 254 4150. Looking for a day out with a difference? Cycle it in a clockwise direction, so that you are moving towards the best scenery and are on the sea side of the road. As each loop is slightly more difficult than the last, there’ s something for everyone, from beginners trying out mountain biking for the first time to experienced riders looking to test their endurance on the longer loops. Pit-stop: There is a café at the trailhead as well as plenty of other options nearby in Castlewellan village. The trail is under the tree canopy for most of its length and is reasonably sheltered too in case any rain threatens. 6. Here are some places around the country where you can cycle safely. From the seaside town of Ballycastle, head east over Torr Head, tackling a number of brutally steep climbs. Pit-stop: There are a supermarket and a few cafés in Achill Sound. There are picnic benches along the way and informational signage. On HARD routes, bring the above, but also consider cycling gloves, a proper jersey (that back pocket comes in handy) and an extra lightweight layer (something small that can fold into that back pocket). With cycling booming in popularity around Ireland, cyclist and author David Flanagan picks 20 of his favourite routes. You May Also Enjoy Experience These Top 10 Family Activities on the Blueways. The Waterford Greenway is the longest, dedicated off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. The soaring popularity of cycling is testament to its clean, green appeal. The route is very flat but it is still demanding, as the towpath, which is a mix of tarmac, gravel, mud and long grass, can be slow going. The first half is increasingly hilly, culminating in the tough climb over Torr Head, while the second half is much flatter. Do beware there is a small section along the A59. It can be as simple or complex as you like. 7 Amazing Cycles in Ireland: Fresh air for every fitness level! Away from the mountain-bike trails, there is plenty to entertain the kids including a pump track, maze and picnic area. Five of the best winter walks in Ireland - blow off the Christmas cobwebs! As both ends of the canal are on the Dublin-Belfast line, you can take the train back to your starting point. Family friendly cycle routes are dotted all over the country – and that they happen to be in some of the most scenic spots in the land doesn’t hurt either! It’s a gentle route, well suited to cycling, as there are so many places where you will want to stop and take in the view. Top 20 cycles in Ireland: From family spins to off-roaders and those who want a challenge There's never been a better time to cycle in Ireland, says the author of a new biking guide Renowned for its rugged mountains and wide sandy beaches, Achill is home to three signposted cycle loops, and this route combines sections of all three to create a long but reasonably flat (with the exception of the optional out-and-back to Keem Beach) cycling tour. Six of the best cycling routes in Ireland ... Encouraged by the Cycle to Work Scheme, more and more people are realising the benefits of commuting by bike. While very fit riders might complete the following routes in a day, mere mortals will need to spread them over a few days. Where can you find the best walks in Ireland? This loop through the mountains and along the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula is my favourite of the 80 routes in the book. Pit-stop: The nearby town of Belmullet has a good variety of shops, cafés and pubs. Top 10 places to see Irish wildlife - from whales in West Cork to puffins in Wexford, Walk the Cahore Point Trail in Wexford - a 5km loop that ends with perfect pub grub, 20 winter walks in Ireland you can do within two hours, Number of tourism businesses going bust will accelerate rapidly after Christmas, Fáilte Ireland boss warns, Got cabin fever? You May Also Enjoy Coillte Cycling Trails for Families. On weekends there is a Farmer’s Market. There is also a very family friendly cycle trail at Lough Key which is perfectly suited to families with kids bikes, bikes with child seats or tag-a-longs. There are plenty of really nice potential picnic stops along the route, too — look out for the picnic tables on the northwestern shore of Cross Lake. Pit-stop: There are plenty of good options in Ballycastle including Thyme & Co Café and the Bay Café. Top 10 family cycle routes in Britain. Further reading. It is a healthy, low-cost activity that can allow people to enjoy the outdoors and discover and experience new and exciting places. You May Also Enjoy 9 Sure Fire Tips for Bike Safety For Kids. There are now over 1,000 miles of National Cycle Network routes across Northern Ireland, many of which link to the Republic. This short, flat route starts in the small Gaeltacht village of Casla near Rossaveal and heads north through the bog on a series of tracks before returning along the rocky coast on quiet backroads. Did you know that Phoenix Park is over twice the size of Central Park in New York and that it is one of the largest designed landscapes in any European city? 5 Tips for Cycling Trips: Even if you haven't been in the saddle in ages, On yer bike! It’s a very worthwhile alternative to the Ring of Kerry, as it takes in many sights that aren’t on the Ring, such as: the Gap of Dunloe, the Black Valley, Ballaghbeama Gap, Ballaghisheen Pass, Coomanaspic and Valentia Island. Try Helen Fairbairn's 15 winter walks with a difference, 26 Christmas hotel breaks in Ireland for 2020 - a selection box of seasonal getaways, The Irish Bucket List: 30 amazing things to do in Ireland. Got a suggestion for us? Take the left turn just after the Fort Bridge into the Bohernabreena Waterworks. All Rights Reserved, Enjoy These Fabulous Family Cycle Routes in Ireland, Experience These Top 10 Family Activities on the Blueways, 10 Unusual Activities and Things to do at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Top Things to do with Kids in North County Dublin, 9 Sure Fire Tips for Bike Safety For Kids, A Family Cycle Along the Great Western Greenway, 20 Fun Things to Do on the Wild Atlantic Way with Kids, Best Outdoor Places in Kerry for Families, Unusual Places to Visit in Ireland With the Kids, Learn How to Say Merry Christmas in 30 Different Languages, 20 Creative Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah for Kids, 18 Special Christmas Eve Essentials Perfect for Waiting for Santa, Tell us a little bit about your brand or business now to see how we can help. The forest friendly trail loops gradually around to bring you back to the car-park to where you began. The Derrygimlagh blanket bog is where pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown crashed-landed in 1919 after completing the world’s first transatlantic flight. Got a technical issue? Welsh cycling isn’t all mountain biking. This compact trail centre, which is set on the grounds of a Victorian castle, makes excellent use of the park’s modest hills, and each of the trails features plenty of flowing singletrack. Channel your inner Yeats as you cycle through Glencar. It has reasonably smooth surfaces with some loose stones and is wide throughout the trail which combines sections of wide and smooth forest road with sections of wide timber boardwalk. Best Cycling Routes in Ireland. Photo: David Flanagan, 'The stupidly steep road up Mount Leinster. A Global Comparison of Baking Mishaps + Skills Home Cooks Want... 25 of the Best Christmas Movies (and Where to Stream Them!). Take care in traffic. This gentle loop takes in a variety of terrain, including sandy beaches, tracks and very quiet roads. The Phoenix Trail runs for seven miles between Princes Risborough and Thame. Pit-stop: The nearby town of Kilfinane has a good range of places to eat and an excellent hostel (visitballyhoura.com). See loughboora.com. Routes by distance. The second half of the climb from the Nine Stones to the top is extremely steep (I certainly walked more than I cycled) but the views are excellent. With more and more official cycle trails being developed, a variety of off road greenways on offer and … We also have hundreds of miles of wonderful traffic-free and low-traffic routes thanks to the National Cycle Network. The Chestnut pathway which runs parallel to the Coast Road is a favourite with cyclists. This linear route follows the canal towpath between Newry and Portadown. (I'm an avid cyclist myself) Roads around the youghal area are main roads between cork and Waterford and are therefore busy with traffic. Family friendly cycle routes in Wales. Do take care when nearing car park areas where the cycling path bends and where pedestrians can walk out. Inspiring the next generation to be enthusiastic about two wheels is what our family cycling holidays aim to do! This figure-of-eight route starts and finishes in Coolaney (not to be confused with Collooney, just to the west) on the southern slopes of the Ox Mountains. It follows a variation of the Cross Beach Loop, which is signposted with blue arrows. Satnav Cycle Routes around Scotland using cycle paths and roads. Nicola Brady has you sorted. It combines a number of epic mountain passes with dramatic coastal scenery and quiet backroads. Today the location of the Marconi wireless station is home to a memorial cairn dedicated to the pair. have 25 Irish adventures to try before you die! For more information on travel and accommodation, attractions have a look at our brochures and maps. Leisure events for all levels. The Glenisca Family Cycling Trail is a great introduction to cycling, or for little kids not used to great distances. The Forest Friendly Trail at Portumna Forest Park in County Galway is a walking and cycling trail that leaves the main car park and brings you through mature forest. This route combines sections of three signposted trails into an anti-clockwise loop around the island. Alongside these routes, there are some exciting variations that experienced cyclists can add on to the cycle, while the rest of the family enjoy activities in the area. The route passes a number of restored buildings that offer an interesting insight into the history of the canal. Bring the family on your next bike ride. Bluestack Family Fun Cycle Distance 25 km Ascent 212 m Descent 210 m Donegal, Ulster, Ireland During the summer the island is busy but it can be quiet in winter. It’s flat and smooth, with seating every 500 yards, which make it one of the most family-friendly cycle routes in the country . Waterford Greenway. Ireland is mainly known for its rows of lush, green fields and rocky cliffs and is also called “the emerald island”. You can also continue onto the Bull Island bird sanctuary across the famous Dollymount wooden bridge to the Strand. Newsletter; Routes the whole family can enjoy. You May Also Enjoy Top Things to do in Offaly with Kids. Pit-stop: There aren’t any facilities on the route, but it passes close to Killeshandra and Milltown, both of whom have a number of shops and pubs (thisiscavan.ie). You May Also Enjoy Top Things to do with Kids in North County Dublin. Enjoy the benefits of cycling a whole route by following Sat Nav instructions without having to buy an expensive Sat Nav. 2. This circuit of Slea Head at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula is one of the most spectacular cycles in the country. You can hire both regular and electric bikes, cost includes helmets. This is a very demanding route that tackles one of the longest road climbs in the country. This route explores Cavan’s unique glacial landscape, formed during the last Ice Age, when glaciers deposited large quantities of boulder clay that were moulded by the movement of the glaciers into oval hills, known as drumlins. Photo: David Flanagan. The Irish Adventure Bucket List: 25 days out to try before you die! Nicholas Roe suggests the best destinations for a … All of the park’s routes, except for the Finnamore Lakes and Sculpture Park Routes, are accessible on your bike. The following routes are relatively flat and are ideal for riders still building or looking to step up their cycling fitness. Traffic-free routes are a perfect day out for families with young children. Over 80pc of the route is on towpaths, which are a mix of tarmac, gravel and grass. A simple guide full of advice and information about how to start cycling with your family. Safety comes first on a cycle, no matter how easy. The Curragh Trail in the Park is a multi-use walking and cycling trail to suit occasional walkers and cyclists. 24 Hours in Cavan: A perfect day in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, The Causeway Coast in 12 Giant Steps: Our ultimate driving guide. Cycle routes. Dalby Forest in Yorkshire has the popular Ellerburn Trail, perfect for smaller children who can choose from a 1.7 mile route or a 2.8 mile route. Photo: Fáilte Ireland. Pit-stop: There is a shop, café and pub at the start/finish in Casla. Family Cycle Routes in Ireland Curragh Chase Forest Park, Limerick. The 10km stretch from Dungarvan to Durrow is a nice one for families to tackle. Co. Fermanagh The cycle track in Clontarf which runs along Clontarf Promenade is wide with a tarmacadam finish and is quite flat along the 3km stretch of the Promenade which makes for easy cycling for kids. This route traverses the coastline of Derry and Antrim linking Coleraine with Belfast. Pit-stop: There is a large café at Muckross House (heritageireland.ie) and the Dinis Cottage Tea Rooms near the midway point serves tea and coffee. The trail is made all the more interesting by its historical claims to fame. The green and blue trails are perfect for beginners, while the red trail and its black variations will test more experienced riders. Stop at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on your way and beside the Visitor Centre you’ll find a fun kids playground along with grounds to enjoy a picnic. There is a path alongside which is ideal for cycling with kids as it is closed to traffic, there are not too many pedestrians and there’s plenty to see along the way. There isn’t much traffic on either of the passes and the views are excellent. A varied loop around the coast of this small island, which lies just off the Connemara coast. The Derrigimlagh/Marconi loop near Clifden in County Galway is a five kilometre trail through an area of outstanding natural beauty within the Derrygimlagh bog. It’s open daily (weekends in winter). You May Also Enjoy 10 Unusual Activities and Things to do at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park. The route weaves its way through this maze of lakes and hills and, as you might expect, there are plenty of steep but very short climbs. While none of the following routes are particularly long, they all pack in plenty of climbing. On EASY routes, bring a phone (fully charged), helmet (every time — no excuses), high-viz vests, water and snacks, a mini bike pump and puncture repair kit/two spare tubes, sunscreen, shades and light waterproofs. Photo: David Flanagan, Lough Boora, Co. Offaly. It should be within the abilities of even the most casual of cyclists as it’s dead flat and mostly traffic-free; however, it isn’t ideal for very small kids due to the proximity of the water. As you cycle south along the beach, there are wonderful views over to the Inishkea Islands and the tiny island of Inishglora, the resting place of the mythical Children of Lir. Much of this cycle is away from motor traffic and in amongst the labyrinth and network of trails that scatter around the Killarney National Park. See discovernorthernireland.com or read our guide to driving the Causeway Coast here. Ireland is an island nation on Europe’s western border, where there are many wonderful cycling routes that you can explore with the help of the bike route planner. Pit-stop: The only facilities on this cycle are at the Kilgarvan Motor Museum (kilgarvanmotormuseum.com), which opens Tuesdays to Saturdays from April to October. We connect brands with parents. Looking for somewhere safe, simple and scenic to take the kids for a cycle? The trail leaves the Lake Trail and brings you through the forest following old estate drives for a while. The Waterford Greenway is a 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line between Dungarvan and Waterford. The trail starts from the car-park and winds gently through the forest to reach a viewing platform close to the shore of Lough Derg where you get nice views south towards Terryglass on the Tipperary shore. : 30 days out to try before you die to its clean, green appeal families to tackle country. 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