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in northern ireland

A great way to see Northern Ireland is

Long distance routes
Ballyshannon-Ballycastle Belfast-Ballyshannon Kingfisher Trail The Loughshore Trail

from a bicycle saddle. More roads, fewer cars and views to take your breath away await you and your bike when you come to this charming country for a cycling holiday.

4 5 6 7 236 231 230 110

miles/380 miles/372 miles/370 miles/184 km km km km

Four magnificent long distance National Cycle Network routes fully signposted and mapped mostly follow minor roads and traffic-free paths through parks, forests and canal towpaths. These include the figure-of-eight Kingfisher Trail encompassing County Fermanagh and the border counties, the B2B-Belfast to Ballyshannon route, the Ballycastle to Ballyshannon route via the north coast and the Loughshore Trail route around Lough Neagh, the UK and Irelands largest freshwater lake. Local high quality cycling routes have also been developed throughout Northern Ireland such as the Foyle Valley, the Newry Canal and the Mourne & Slieve Croob Cycle routes. In summary Northern Ireland has lots to offer both the experienced and novice cyclist. Good quality accommodation to suit every pocket is plentiful, and the routes outlined in this publication are always within reach of a good bed for the night and a hearty breakfast in the morning. Maps are available for all featured routes. Visit or contact the nearest Tourist Information Centre. Charges may vary, check when ordering.

Dayrides and other information

The Causeway Coast The Glens of Antrim Strangford Lough Mountains of Mourne Foyle Valley Cycle Route Newry Canal Way Northern Ireland Route Map Mountain Biking The Carleton Trail Lagan and Lough Cycle Way Belfast Guided Tour Sperrins Sprint Craigavon Trail Events 8 9 10 11 12 13 14-15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 27 46 60 25 21 20 miles miles miles miles miles miles /43 /74 /97 /40 /34 /32 km km km km km km

28 miles /45 km 21 miles /34 km 47 miles /76 km 32 miles /51 km

Organising your holiday

Need to Know Cycling Holidays Hire and Repair Useful Contacts TIC Network 23 24 25 26 27

Terrain Rating




Ballyshannon to Ballycastle
Distance: 236 miles/380 km plus Rossnowlagh 5-mile spur

Belfast to Ballyshannon
Distance: 230 miles/372 km plus extensions to Whiteabbey and Rossnowlagh

The Ballyshannon-Ballycastle cycle route takes you through many interesting towns and villages and opens up the wonderfully diverse natural landscapes typical of the north of Ireland, from the wide Atlantic ocean on the west side, lovely lakes, open moorland and wooded river valleys, to the dramatic headlands along the north Antrim coast. Ballyshannon (Rossnowlagh)-Pettigoe Starting from the beach at Rossnowlagh, a spur of the Kingfisher Trail brings you into Ballyshannon and Belleek. Follow the route as it criss-crosses the border to the north of Lower Lough Erne before reaching Pettigoe. Pettigoe-Newtownstewart Heading north, the route passes close to St Patricks Retreat at Lough Derg before commencing the slow descent on quiet laneways along the Derg Valley, through Killeter and Castlederg. From Castlederg it climbs up towards the forests and Baronscourt estate, past Harry Averys Castle, and so into Newtownstewart. Newtownstewart-Londonderry Continuing northward, the route follows the Strule River Valley with its famous old railway bridges before joining the Foyle Valley Linear Park at Strabane. Sion Mills is accessible via the swinging bridge over the Mourne river. After Strabane the route once again crosses the border at Lifford and continues north to Derry City. Enter the city by the traffic-free path on the route of the former Great Northern Railway line. A delightful riverside path takes cyclists through the city centre. Londonderry-Limavady Crossing Craigavon Bridge cycle towards Newbuildings before continuing south through the northern part of the Sperrin mountains and

villages of Claudy and Park. After crossing the main Belfast to Londonderry road the route slowly rises to overlook the Roe Valley before passing the Country Park Centre and enters Limavady by a traffic-free path. Limavady-Ballycastle Leaving Limavady youll enjoy the most scenically dramatic section of the cycle network.The route climbs towards Binevenagh from where there are magnificent views over Magilligan beach and the Atlantic ocean before descending once again to Coleraine via Downhill and Castlerock. After crossing the Bann at Coleraine take the cycle path through Portstewart and Portrush.The route then heads to the Giants Causeway before turning inland to Ballycastle. A spur takes cyclists to the beach at Whitepark Bay. The route ends in Ballycastle where cyclists have the option to continue to Rathlin Island by ferry or on towards Belfast through the Antrim Glens.

The Belfast-Ballyshannon cycle route runs from the industrial heritage landscapes southwest of Belfast on quiet roads and canal towpaths, across the wild Sperrin mountains, and down to the lakes of Fermanagh before bursting out upon the magnificent sandy beaches of Donegal. Whiteabbey-Belfast The route starts at Whiteabbey village, close to the entrance of the Glenavna Hotel, then follows cycle paths beside Belfast Lough, passing through Duncrue and the Clarendon Dock area to the Lagan Lookout and weir. Belfast-Portadown You then follow delightful riverside paths along the Lagan to Lisburn. Now continue along quiet minor roads through Moira to Oxford Island and on to Portadown. Join the towpath on the Newry Canal to Moneypennys Lock and Knock Bridge. Portadown-Tynan After leaving the towpath at Knock Bridge the route follows quiet minor roads through Clare, skirts Gosford Forest Park and enters Armagh City on the east side close to The Mall. From the city centre you are heading west along the Callan riverside path and the Navan Fort road towards Killylea and Tynan.

Tynan-Ulster American Folk Park From Tynan a traffic-free cycle path leads through Dungannon Railway Park and afterwards you continue on quiet country laneways to Cookstown and through the Sperrins to Gortin. After Gortin the route drops down to the Folk Park north of Omagh. Ulster American Folk Park-Enniskillen The route then follows minor roads and trafficfree paths to Omagh and passes through small country towns and villages towards Enniskillen. Pick up the Kingfisher Trail with its distinctive brown signs at Ballinamallard and continue into Enniskillen town centre. Enniskillen-Rossnowlagh Stay with the Kingfisher Trail to Ballyshannon, passing Marble Arch Caves and through the villages of Blacklion and Belleek. From Ballyshannon a loop of the Kingfisher Trail reaches the Atlantic ocean at Rossnowlagh beach.
Follow the signs: Kingfisher Trail, Route 9, 91, 92 and 95 Map: - 5.99 (ex p&p) Links on to the Ballyshannon-Ballycastle route are possible at Strabane and Newtownstewart.

Follow the signs: Kingfisher Trail, Route 9, 91, 92, 95. Map: - 5.99 (ex p&p) Links on to the Belfast-Ballyshannon route are possible from Newtownstewart (through Gortin and Omagh) or from Strabane via Plumbridge.

OSNI 1:250 000

OSNI 1:250 000

Silent Valley

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Kingfisher Trail
Distance: 230 miles/370 km

The Loughshore Trail

Lough Neagh Cycle Way - Distance: 110 miles/177 km The Loughshore Trail is a 110 mile (177 km) bi-directional cycle route that encircles Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in Ireland and the United Kingdom. For the most part, Route 94 uses the network of quiet country roads adjacent to Lough Neagh and Lough Beg. However it also includes attractive traffic-free sections many of which follow the shoreline.The Loughshore Trail is also linked to other main Network routes in Northern Ireland namely Route 9 and 95 and the yet to be fully developed Route 96 (ToomeColeraine). The Loughshore Trail forms a link to a wide variety of sites of historical, cultural and natural interest as well as a host of other attractions and amenities that border Lough Neagh. These include the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre at Oxford Island in Craigavon, Cranfield Church and Holy Well or Crumlin Glen in the Antrim Borough. The Loughshore Trail caters for a wide variety of cycling types and levels. The majority of the route follows relatively flat terrain apart from a short section south-west of Lough Neagh at Drumcairne in the Cookstown District, where it rises to 100 metres above sea level and in so doing provides attractive views over the Lough. For more information on attractions and accommodation visit or contact the Tourist Information Centres in any of the larger towns bordering Lough Neagh.

The Kingfisher Trail was the first long-distance cycle trail to be developed in Ireland. Based in Fermanagh and Leitrim Lakeland, it follows a figure-of-eight through varied countryside around the lakes in this watery part of Ireland. The trail now partly coincides with both Route 95 and Route 92, so you may encounter cyclists heading from Ballyshannon to Ballycastle or going west towards Ballyshannon, nearing the end of their 230 mile ride from Belfast. Minor country roads criss-crossing the border counties of Fermanagh, Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, combine to create 300 miles of peaceful rural cycling. For further exploration choose an optional excursion such as the Atlantic Loop.

There are wild orchids, bluebells and banks of primroses along the country lanes and great-crested grebe, warblers and mute and whooper swans beside the lough.These lakes are also a haven for watersports enthusiasts and history buffs.You can opt for a gentle cruise on the lakes (day boats can be hired as well as more luxurious cruisers) and discover the secrets of Devenish Island,White Island and Inishcorkish. Fully mapped and signposted, the trail is suitable for independent or package tours.Alternatively the trail falls naturally into smaller sections for a mornings ride and family outings.
Vintage Cycle Museum, 64 Main St, Brookeborough

110 miles
Map: - 5.99 (ex p&p)

+44 (0) 28 8953 1206.

Link to Ballyshannon-Ballycastle route is possible at Pettigoe. Map: - 5.99 (ex p&p)

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheets 17, 18, 26 & 27

to Cookstown

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 14,19 & 20

to Donegal

Rossnowlagh Pettigoe Ballyshannon Bundoran Belleek Garrison



Kesh Irvinestown Enniskillen Airport Dromore Fintona


Lower Lough Erne


Lough Melvin

Clogher Fivemiletown


Kiltyclogher Manorhamilton


Lough Macnean


Lisbellaw Florencecourt Derrylin
Upper Lough Erne


6 A4






to Monaghan


Maguiresbridge Clones Newtownbutler


Lough Allen


A25 Newbliss
to Castleblaney

Drumshanbo Leitrim

Ballinamore Butlers Bridge



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The Causeway Coast

Distance: 27 miles/43 km

The Glens of Antrim Trail

Distance: 46 miles/74 km The route begins at Ballycastle with the roads rising into steep glen country before becoming gentler once the top of the Antrim plateau is reached. Cycling east from Ballycastle into Ballypatrick Forest is a relatively demanding ride but the roads are quiet and the scenery marvellously forested. Look out for the Vanishing Lake which is signposted and close by the roadside.The descent into Cushendun provides miles of downhill freewheeling check your brakes! The twin villages of Cushendun and Cushendall nestle into the hilly coastline and provide good provisioning stops before you climb back into the heart of the Antrim Glens from Cushendall to Armoy. Look out for fairy mounds and hills ancient neolithic burial grounds, sometimes topped with a perfectly round copse of trees. Torr Head route: Only seasoned cyclists should attempt the scenic route from Ballycastle to Cushendun via Torr Head. This is possibly the most dramatic coastline in Ireland. Roadside fuchsia hedges towering ten feet high, dry stone walls, isolated hill farms and cliffs which tumble down to the Irish Sea where it meets the Atlantic, make for a very satisfying cycle. Road very winding and steep in places. First gear is definitely required.
You can take your bike on the ferry from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island, a great cycling location as there are hardly any cars.Advance booking is advisable and return ticket for cyclist and bike is 10.60. (028) 2076 9299.Alternatively bike hire is available on the island from Soerneog View Hostel (028) 2076 3954. To visit the RSPB seabird viewing facility on the west end of the island ring in advance (028) 2076 3948.

This coast road has drama without steep inclines and is one of the great cycling routes of Europe. Views to the Scottish coastline across the Irish Sea, to Rathlin Island, to Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal and all the marvels in between. Noble headlands, impressive ruined castles and the myriad little bays and fishing ports all make for a ride of unparalleled variety. The trail starts in the bustling seaside resort of Portrush. Head east past the world-famous Royal Portrush golf course to Portballintrae on the curvy but not difficult A2. Once in this pretty harbour village take the minor road to Bushmills and follow the shared used path, adjacent to the miniature railway, to the Giants Causeway.

You could linger here all day but tear yourself away and continue on the B146 towards Ballintoy. A tough climb up from Ballintoy harbour is rewarded by marvellous views of Rathlin.To test your nerve on the Carrick-aRede Rope Bridge (in place May to September) leave your bike at Larrybane and walk along the cliff top. The B17 to Bushmills and back to Portrush is undulating but with very few steep inclines and descents.


Traffic can be busy along A2 but otherwise light. 27 miles.

Map: +44 (0) 28 2073 1855 - FREE


Very little traffic.

Map: +44 (0) 28 2073 1855 - FREE

46 miles.

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheets 4 & 5

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 5

Rathlin Island




Giants Causeway Dunseverick Castle White Park Bay Larrybane Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

to Coleraine



Causeway & Bushmills Railway


Torr Head
ay yR d en e sk sh

Ballycastle Forest Watertop Open Farm Loughareema Ballypatrick Forest

Dunluce Castle



A2 Ballyallaght



to Coleraine




Train to Londonderry and Belfast

to Ballycastle

eW Moyl e oll nav Drum







A2 9






Mo yle
ay W

Cushendun B92

to Coleraine Ballyhoe Bridge to Coleraine

to Larne/Belfast


to Ballymoney

to Ballymena

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Strangford Lough
Distance: 60 miles/97 km

Mountains of Mourne
Distance: 25 miles/40 km

once again for an easy cycle southwards along the A2 as far as Kilclief Castle. Head inland to meet Crew Road then northwards at the crossroads to Ballyculter, following signs for Saul and Downpatrick. While in Downpatrick why not visit St Patricks Grave and St Patricks Cathedral. From Downpatrick cycle to Inch Abbey then on to This circular route starts and finishes at the Tourist Killyleagh and then follow the country roads along the Information Centre in Newtownards.The route shore to Comber passing Castle Espie, which houses leads the cyclist along the coast roads and past many Irelands largest collection of ducks, geese and swans. sites of cultural and historical interest. Returning to Newtownards, turn left at the start of Start cycling inland from Newtownards, passing the the dual carriageway towards Scrabo Tower (built in National Trust property Mount Stewart, famous for 1857), which dominates the hilly Northern lough its spectacular gardens and head towards the little shores.The views of Strangford Lough are superb. sleepy village of Carrowdore. From here enjoy the From here its downhill all the way to Newtownards. gentle ride southwards along the peninsula road which takes you through the villages of Ballyhalbert Portaferry-Strangford ferry ticket: 1.60 return for cyclist plus bike. and Portavogie. Follow the coastal road to Cloghy, Ferries leave at half-hourly intervals (028) 4488 1637. Kearney Village and then onto the tip of the Ards peninsula at Ballyquinton Point. Portaferry is your TERRAIN RATING next port of call where youll find cafes, pubs and 2 shops to rest and stock up.The Exploris aquarium A2 very light beyond Donaghadee. 60 miles. and seal sanctuary is a fascinating way to appreciate No specific map available but detailed information available from what Strangford Lough is like beneath the waves. +44 (0) 28 9182 6846 Once youve caught your breath, hop on board the ferry to the little village of Strangford. Saddle up OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 21
Copeland Island

This scenic circular route, one of seven mapped routes in the area, starts and ends in the seaside town of Newcastle. Start at the northern side of the resort and cycle along the A50 towards the market town of Castlewellan. Before Castlewellan, turn left onto Tollymore Road and then right onto Middle Tollymore Road. As you continue you will pass through the quaint little village of Bryansford and cycle alongside Tollymore Forest Park, the first designated forest park in Northern Ireland. There is no doubt that the views of the Mountains of Mourne are spectacular throughout this route. And, as you cycle in the direction of Lough Reavy Reservoir, simply take in the stunning scenery. Continue along the edge of the reservoir towards Lacken Road and if needed, you can take a well-earned rest at the Slievenalargy Rare Breeds Farm, which is located on the left.

The next section of the cycle route leads you onto Ballygreehan Road after which the novice cyclist may wish to dismount as the route becomes more strenuous. As you continue, the village of Leitrim will come into sight and Slieve Croob will rise before you. Heading towards Leitrim, turn off at Ballyaginty Road, from the top of which you will be afforded views of Dundrum Bay, the Mourne Mountains and Newcastle.The return journey back to Newcastle is somewhat steep so be sure to check your brakes!

Traffic very light on weekdays but can be busy at weekends. Long cycle with steep sections. 25 miles.
Map: +44 (0) 28 4372 2222 - FREE

OSNI 1:50 000, sheet 29

to Banbridge

0 A5

Castlewellan Forest Park Castlewellan Lake


Belfast City Airport



Lough I l d R L h Island Reavy Reservoir





A5 0



1 A2
2 A2

Donaghadee Millisle


Trassey Bridge

Tollymore Forest Park Fofanny Dam S



Ballycopeland Windmill Mount Stewart

Slieve Donard


Spelga Dam

3 A2




ay Ulster W



Abbey B5


N Deers UMeadow



Ben Crom Reservoir







t r a ng fo rd L ou g h




1 A2

Portavogie Cloghy Kearney








Castle Ward



to Newcastle



Ballyquintin Point

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1 A2

Silent Valley Reservoir

9 A4



7 B2



Foyle Valley Cycle Route

Distance: 21 miles/34 km

Newry Canal Way

Distance: 20 miles/32 km

This award-winning, twentyone mile cycle route connects the historic walled city of Derry to the border towns of Lifford and Strabane and is a mixture of traffic free paths and quiet country roads and lanes.The route starts close to the Tourist Information Centre in Derry City and runs parallel to the River Foyle toward the border with Donegal. This section uses the track bed of the former Great Northern Railway. It's shared with pedestrians so be prepared to give way. From here, minor roads lead to the villages of Carrigans and Saint Johnston with great views over the Foyle and Hills of Donegal. After reaching Lifford the route crosses the Foyle River into the market town of Strabane finising at the town's Tourist Information Centre.

Attractions along the way include: 17th Century City Walls of Derry, Foyle Valley Railway Museum - situated on the cycle route, Cavanacor Historic House - Ancestral home of US President James Knox Polk, 'Begin the Dance' - sculpture located between Lifford and Strabane, Grays Printers Museum - housing 19th century presses and artefacts.

The Newry Canal Way route stretches from Newry Town Hall to the Bann Bridge in Portadown and is a 20 mile trip on part of route 9 of the Network.The route follows the towpath on the western bank of the now nonnavigable Newry Canal. The Canal operated for more than 200 years and provided employment and generated wealth for the many towns and villages nearby. The Canal was the first summit level canal in the British Isles and has 14 locks between its entrance at Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh. Most of these can be seen along the way. Dotted along the entire length of the route are historical landmarks, notably around Steensons Bridge. This particularly scenic stretch of the Canal has a plethora of wildlife. A short distance from Steensons Bridge is Goragh Wood, which was the principal railway station for Newry and also served as a customs post up until the 1960s.This was the last train stop before crossing the border into the Irish Republic.

Art pieces can be seen along the route including some Millenium Mileposts and a series of specially commissioned pieces which reflect the former work and nature of the Newry Canal. After exploring the town of Newry it is well worth exploring the rest of the district in the Ring of Gullion. A circular route, known as the Poets Trail, follows country lanes and minor roads in the beautiful Ring of Gullion. The Trail, which starts from the village of Mullaghbane and finishes in Creggan, leads you to a tour of the home of the poets of South Armagh, providing an insight into their homeland and the rich inheritance of the areas monuments, history and culture.


21 miles.
Map: +44 (0) 28 7126 7284 - FREE


OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 7 & 12

20 miles.
Map: +44 (0) 28 3026 8877 - FREE

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 20 & 29






Saint Johnston


B4 0

A5 0


8 A2

Lifford Ballybofey Clady Victoria Bridge Castlederg

B16 5


Sion Mills

9 B4




B2 7









B1 13

B5 0


h ug Swilly
A2 A2

Lough Foyle
City of Derry










Plumbridge Douglas Bridge







Foyle Valley Cycle Route Other NCN Routes

Rostrevor Annalong


Crossmaglen Forkhill


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National Cycle Network Route maps are available on-line from Sustrans at or 0845 113 0065 price 5.99 each (ex.p&p). A Special Offer pack including all four National Route maps for Northern Ireland and leaflets covering dayrides, accommodation and places of interest in Northern Ireland is available - cost 18.00.




The Carleton Trail

Distance: 28 miles/45 km

Go off-road and on to muddy lanes and tracks with your mountain bike.
Whether you're into gentle rides around forest tracks, or full-on downhill racing, Northern Ireland has the mountain biking experience for you. From the Mourne Mountains in the South East to the Sperrins in the North West, wherever you're staying there will be quality mountain biking nearby. With purpose built family trails in development and long x-country trails in the pipeline, the MTB scene is only getting better. There are currently two designated MTB areas in Northern Ireland, Moneyscalp Wood, near Newcastle County Down and Gortin Glen Forest park, near Omagh, County Tyrone. Check out the following websites for trail details and events:

The three trails are clearly signposted and start and finish in Clogher not far from the childhood home of William Carleton (17941869) who described in his books this pretty countryside of low hills, valleys and hedge-lined country roads. There are many interesting places to stop and all three routes are attractive to cyclists who prefer a gentle ride. The Red Route, which is now the Carleton Trail Waymarked Way, includes rides through woods and past St. Patricks Chair and Well, Carletons Cottage at Springtown and wonderful views from Knockmany Hill and Lumfords Glen.Where the Red Route is on rough ground and therefore unsuitable for cycling, an alternative route for cyclists is signposted.
to Pomeroy to Dromore

The Green Route passes through heather-clad blanket bog. Gentle, quiet lanes and country roads mean the sounds of bird life and insects are amplified making this trail particularly serene. The Black Route is the shortest and takes in Carletons birthplace.


Traffic generally light. Black Route - 8 miles Green Route - 28 miles Red Route - 28 miles
Map: +44 (0) 28 8776 7259 - 1.00 (ex p&p)

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 18

to Omagh



to Dungannon Killymaddy

B8 3
d re

ute ro

Knockmany Forest

B16 8


te ou kr ac bl


red /bl

Clogher Cathedral

to Aughnacloy

Carnagat Forest

route en gre

te ou kr ac

B8 3
Carletons Cottage




St. Patricks Chair and Well

Brackenridges Folly Fardross Forest

Round Lough

Lough More Fardross Forest


to Maguiresbridge Alderwood

Moneyscalp Mountain Bike Trail, near Newcastle, Co. Down

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Lagan and Lough Cycle Way

Distance: 21 miles/34 km

Belfast by Bike - Guided Tour


Macedon Point

Belfast and the bicycle go back a long way. John Dunlop invented the worlds first inflatable tyre behind the City Hall in 1888 for his sons bicycle - so what better way to see Belfast. Lifecycles Bike Shop in the heart of Belfast city is the ideal starting point for both novice and experienced cyclists wishing to explore this historic city. The guided tour heads first to the west of the city through both the Shankill and Falls roads and offers an opportunity to see the famous murals documenting the city's political history. Return to the city centre and take in its architectural landmarks - City Hall, Law Courts, Customs house and St Anne's Cathedral before cycling south toward Botanic Gardens, through Queen's University and on to the Lagan Valley Regional Park at Stranmills - a traffic free towpath along the River Lagan. Return to the city centre on the cycle path through the newly developed docklands, over the Albert Bridge, past the Waterfront Hall and on towards the Titanic Quarter, where the famous ship was built, before returning back to base. This 21/2 hour guided tour includes map, cycle hire, helmets and a single pannier for carrying cameras, waterproofs, lunch etc. Cost 16. Contact (028) 9043 9959.

The Lagan and Lough Cycle Way is a twenty-one mile, level, mostly traffic-free cycle ride or walk connecting Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown.The route is suitable for novice and family cyclists of all ages and abilities and passes along the Lagan Towpath and Belfast Lough. It can be split easily into shorter sections by using the train.There are a number of stations along the route. Start the route either at Jordanstown or Lisburn at the Union Locks. From Lisburn the cycle way passes through 11 miles of the Lagan Valley Regional Park to Stranmills near Belfast. From here travel through Belfast's Laganside area where you can enjoy fantastic views over the river Lagan past the Waterfront Hall and Odyssey Complex.The Harland and Wolff shipyard, birthplace of the Titanic, also lies on the route. From Belfast it's on to Jordanstown along the Belfast Lough.


Peters Hill



eet is Str Div

City Hall Waterfront Hall Central Station

Albertbridge Road

ad Grosvenor Ro

Gt Victoria Street

Gt Victoria St. Rail Station/ Europa Bus Centre

Dub lin R oad

l Pass Donegal
Ormeau Park

City Hospital

oad eau R Orm

Queens University

University St.

Ravenhill Ro ad

Botanic Gardens

Lis bu rn Ro ad

Ulster Museum

Road millis Stran

d Roa eau Orm

Ma lon eR oa d


ent km ban Em ale nad An

Stranmillis College

Shaws Bridge

ad illis Ro Stranm

Outbound Return


Little to no traffic. 21 miles.

Map: +44 (0) 28 9024 6609 - FREE


OSNI 1: 50 000, sheets 15 & 20

Belfast by Bike - a useful guide to cycling in Belfast is available to download This highlights safe routes, cycle parking, NCN routes and places of interest. Alternatively +44 (0) 28 9024 6609 for a copy.

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The Sperrins Sprint

Distance: 47 miles/76 km

Craigavon Trail
Distance: 32 miles/51 km

A scenic and wonderfully trafficfree route through mid-Ulster, this is one of the most romantically wild areas in Ireland.The Sperrin mountains are both rugged and curvaceous with many stopping places of interest particularly for those with an interest in neolithic stone circles. From Cookstown, which has the widest main street in Ireland, take the B162 for long but gentle inclines up the slopes of Mt Sawel.The real fun begins with the descent along the picture-postcard Glenelly Valley.A stop at the Sperrin Heritage Centre with its excellent teashop and home-made scones is a must. Stay awhile to pan for gold. At Oughtboy Bridge cross on to a minor road and follow the river along its south bank until a T-junction signposted Plumbridge to the right and
to Londonderry

Gortin to the left.Take a left here to join the B48 and follow the trail until another left turn before crossing the Owenkillew river. You are now on part of Route 95, a section of the Network. The route follows the Owenkillew river eastwards and climbs back into the Sperrins before descending into the wider valley of the Ballinderry River and on to Cookstown. The cycle up the Owenkillew Valley is a great ride with easy gradients and good views. Recommended are off-circuit trips to pretty Plumbridge and down to Gortin Glen and the Ulster American Folk Park.Wellbrook Beetling Mill provides an insight into just how hard it was to make genuine Irish linen in the old days.

This easy-going trail passes through a landscape of waterways and along picturesque old coaching roads, with over a third of the way on traffic-free paths. Before pedalling off call at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre for an insight into the ecosystem and history of this huge inland sea.

respectively. Look out for swans and, if you're lucky, the flash of a kingfisher. At Moneypenny's Lock there is an exhibition in the restored lightermen's bothy and stables.

Little to no traffic. 47 miles.

Map: +44 (0) 28 8676 6727 - FREE

At Knock Bridge the route links to the old Lurgan-toNewry coaching road, passing Blackers Mill linen factory, some traditional mud-walled cottages, the Red Cow coaching inn, Lisnamintry Rath and 17th-century Lynastown Quaker burial ground. On to Bleary and Ballydougan Pottery, through Waringstown, and north to the Lagan Canal You are on Route 9 of the National Cycle Network, on near Aghagallon, and back to Oxford Island for refreshment a minor road for a short while, then paths through the at the Discovery Centre's excellent restaurant. City Parks past the famous man-made Craigavon Lakes. TERRAIN RATING 2 A road leads into Portadown centre and on to Edenderry Bridge across the Bann river. Soon you are Traffic-free paths for 12 miles, minor roads with light cycling on the Bann Boulevard beside the river. traffic. Can be busy in Portadown on the half-mile stretch from Carrickblacker Rd to Edenderry Bridge. The Point of Whitecoat is where three waterways 32 miles. meet: the Bann, the Cusher River and the Newry Canal, the first inland canal in the British Isles.The towpath is used by walkers and cyclists and is also known as The Newry Canal Way and Route 9
Map: +44 (0) 28 3832 2205 - FREE

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 13

to Feeny Derrynoyd Wood

OSNI 1: 50 000, sheet 20


Sp errin M o u


B1 2

Sawel 678m

Oxford Island START
National Nature Reserve

n ga al La an C

Train to Belfast

Sperrin Heritage Centre









Oughtboy Bridge The Six Towns


Glenelly Valley


Beaghmore Stone Circles

Lough Fea

Slieve Gallion

Tannaghmore Gardens Craigavon Lakes

Watersports Centre



iv e


Gortin Glen Forest Park

Creggan Visitor Centre

9 A2




r Ow e




to Moneymore

Wellbrook Beetling Mill

A2 7

Lisnamintry Rath Ballydougan Pottery Blackers Mill


0 A5 n n Ba er

6 A2

h er

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to Ballygawley

to Dungannon


Ulster American Folk Park


2 A3

Drum Manor Forest Park

Knock Bridge Brackagh Bog Nature Reserve

Moneypennys Lock & Lockhouse

ry New al Can


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22 Micro Trek 35 mile Balnamor Enniskillen Contact: Events Team, Co-operation Ireland +44 (0) 28 9032 1462 E-mail:



Portaferry Three Day Cycling Race 4 stage race based in and around Portaferry. Racing licence holders only. Contact: Alastair Martin +44 (0) 28 9041 4435 Route 95 Cookstown Drumcairne Forest Stewartstown. (12 miles) 10 per person, bikes, locks and helmets provided. Contact: Cookstown Tourist Information Centre +44 (0) 28 8676 6727 E-mail:

Airports fly to Northern Ireland from: Cardiff, East Midlands, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Stanstead, Gatwick, Isle of Man, London Luton, Bristol, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gatwick, Guernsey, Glasgow, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, New York, Paris CDG, Prague, Southampton, Malaga, Nice and Alicante. Ports sail to Northern Ireland from: Troon, Stranraer, Douglas, Cairnryan, Fleetwood and Liverpool. No bike carriage from Birkenhead. Packaging bikes All major airlines require your bike to be boxed, either hard cased or in a cardboard bike box. Your local bike shop should be able to supply either. Early check in is advised to guarantee carriage. For smaller airlines contact well in advance of travel as space on smaller planes cant be guaranteed. Airline bike policies can be found at Left Luggage Bike boxes and excess luggage can be stored in Lifecycles bike shop in Belfast city centre. +44 (0) 28 9043 9959 in advance of travel. Public Transport Translink are the body responsible for all public Transport in Northern Ireland. Bikes can be carried on all Goldliner buses and NI railways for quarter adult fare, tandems can be carried on trains but not buses. Contact Translink +44 (0) 28 9066 6636 for a copy of Bike it with Translink. Maps OS maps 1: 50 000 or 1:250 000 depending on route are available from All National Cycle Network maps are available from Smaller day rides are available from and regional Tourist Informaiton Centres. Currency Sterling is the currency in Northern Ireland. is accepted in most towns and stores ask before purchasing. Passport No passport is required travelling from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. Weather Temperatures average 17C in summer with darkness falling between 10-10.30 pm. for 5 day forecasts.

Photograph: D McSp adden

Bangor 100k

Cycling Events
Bangor 100K Coastal Challenge Annual coastal challenge around the Ards Peninsula. 07767 2722033 Derry Cycling Festival Contact: Eamon Brown +44 (0) 28 7136 5151 www: Belfast Week of Cycling Contact: Events Team Belfast City Council +44 (0) 28 8902 70345 E-mail: Bike Week Contact: Nick Harvey +44 (0) 1243 543888 E-mail: 10 mile cycle along the National Cycle Network Route No. 93, Belfast to Hazelbank. Contact: Janet Coleman +44 (0) 28 9052 2095 Lifecycle Coleraine/Derry 15 mile cycle starting and finishing at Coleraine County Hall. Contact: Janet Coleman +44 (0) 28 9052 2095 Border Trek 200 miles Enniskillen to Sligo. Contact: Events Team, Co-operation Ireland +44 (0) 28 9032 1462 E-mail: Mini Trek 50 mile Omagh to Bundoran. Contact: Events Team, Co-operation Ireland +44 (0) 28 9032 1462 E-mail:

Pedal and Picnic Along the Lough Shore Trail Ballyronan Arboe Cross and return 16 miles Contact: Cookstown Tourist Information Centre +44 (0) 28 867 66727 E-mail: Sperrin Cycle Beaghmore Stone Circles Davagh Forest Lough Fea. 10 per person, bikes, locks and helmets provided. Contact: Cookstown Tourist Information Centre +44 (0) 28 8676 6727 E-mail: Cycle the Towpath Loughview Carpark, Stranmillis to Union Lough, Sprucefield, Lisburn. 3 options, 20 mile and two 10 miles. Contact: Colum McDaid +44 (0) 28 9049 1922 Fax: +44 (0) 28 9049 1922 E-mail:

Cycling Discovery Trial From Drumbridge Carpark. Contact: Colum McDaid +44 (0) 28 9049 1922 Fax: +44 (0) 28 9049 1922 E-mail: For further details of these events and many others, contact the nearest Tourist Information Centre.

Useful Telephone Numbers Police, ambulance, fire service: Dial 999 Emergency bike problems 028 9043 9959 The Northern Ireland Dialling Code (028) or (28) is used as a prefix when dialling from outside the region, or when making internal calls using a mobile phone.
Always contact the organiser before you set off.

Safety Always cycle on the left in Northern Ireland and do not cycle on pavements. Remember insurance. Cycling helmets are not compulsory - the choice is yours whether you wear one or not but wearing a helmet may reduce the risk of head injury.

Recommended publications Lonely Planet - Cycling Ireland. Collins - Cycling in the North of Ireland.



Fully Inclusive Cycling Holidays

Operators offer a variety of cycling holidays. There is something for everybody however fit you are, wherever you wish to go. Packages offered usually include cycle hire, luggage transfer and accommodation to suit all budgets. Check all details with the operator.
ARDCLINIS OUTDOOR ADVENTURE High St, Cushendall BT44 0NB. +44 (0) 28 2177 1340 Contact: Dave or Anne Bowen Tailor-made cycling and walking tours of the Antrim Glens and Causeway Coast. Package includes accommodation and meals plus guide and back-up transport.Airport/seaport transfers available. Bike pickup. FIVE COUNTIES HOLIDAYS LTD Ardmourne House, Castlederg, BT81 7YF. +44 (0) 28 8167 0291 Fax: +44 (0) 28 8167 0933 Contact: Joe McElhill Tailor-made cycling holidays based around the five counties of Tyrone, Fermanagh, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. Packages include accommodation and transfers to/from Belfast International and City Airports. IRISH CYCLE TOURS AND WALKS 27 Belvoir View Park, Newtownbreda Rd, Belfast BT8 7BL. +44 (0) 28 9064 2222 Fax: +44 (0) 28 9064 0405 Contact: Brian or Lyla Thompson Specialise in weekend, short-break and seven-day cycling tours. Guided, self-led and customised tours available. Package includes bed & breakfast accommodation, bicycle, maps, route notes, luggage transfer, back-up support and guide, Belfast City cycle tours are also available. WILD ROVER ADVENTURE TOURS +44 (0) 28 4372 2186 4 Kinghill Avenue, Newcastle, County Down, BT33 ORU. Contact: Martina Hawkins We offer Multi-Day Tours - End to End and Ulster tours as well as weekend breaks and day trips.We will arrange accommodation to suit your budget. IRON DONKEY SELF-GUIDED BICYCLE TOURS 15 Ballyknockan Road, Saintfield, BT24 7HQ. +44 (0) 28 9081 3200 Fax: +44 (0) 28 9081 3310 Contact: Tony Boyd Iron Donkey tours are aimed at experienced, independent cyclists who are looking for incredible scenery, exhilarating biking and a challenge, along with the opportunity to experience the Irish countryside in the best way possible. The routes, which are unique to the Iron Donkey tours, have been developed over several years by a veteran of the saddle who knows exactly what the serious biker is looking for in a tour. PEDAL POWER CYCLE IRELAND +44 (0) 28 9071 5000 10 Joanmount Pk, Belfast, BT14 6PE. Contact: John Cartmill Spend 23 days, 22 nights cycling the most beautiful coastline of the island of Ireland.Your 23 day tour will comprise of 4 nights in Belfast, 2 nights before your cycle trip commences with a further 2 nights once your trip is complete. Included in the price will be everything from airport pick-up to drop-off, baggage transfers, all accommodation, and all meals for the duration of your tour as well as an end of tour meal in Belfast City. MOURNE ACTIVITY BREAKS 28 Bridge Street, Kilkeel, BT34 4AD. +44 (0) 28 4176 9965 Fax: +44 (0) 28 4176 4390 Contact: Pamela Houston Guided or self-guided cycling breaks in the beautiful Mourne Mountains designed to suit every ability and budget. Choose from hotel, B&B, self-catering cottages or hostel accommodation.

Bike Hire and Repair

The following operators repair and rent out bikes to visitors on an hourly and daily basis. In addition to mens and womens touring bikes, some outlets also have mountain bikes, road bikes, tandems, childrens bikes and trail bikes plus bicycle accessories. Belfast Lifecycles McConvey Cycles County Antrim Antrim Bike Centre Ardclinis Outdoor Adventure John M Hanna Cycles Gibsons Soerneog View Hostel County Armagh Brownes Bikes Craigavon Watersports Centre County Down Roy Burns Cycles Ross Cycles Quinn Cycles McCumiskey Cycles Mike the Bike Mourne Cycle Tours Ross Cycles MK11 County Fermanagh Corralea Activity Centre Marble Arch Cycle Hire Lough Melvin Holiday Centre County Londonderry Roe Valley Cycles Happy Days B&B and Cycle Hire North West Cycle Hire County Tyrone US Grant Ancestral Homestead An Cregan Visitors Centre Conway Cycles Gortin Hostel Bgawley Creggan Omagh Gortin (028) (028) (028) (028) 8555 8076 8076 8164 7133 1112 1258 8087 Limavady Derry Derry (028) 7776 6406 (028) 7128 7128 07792 842 313 Belcoo Florencecourt Garrison (028) 6638 6123 (028) 6634 8320 (028) 6865 8142 Banbridge Newcastle Kilkeel Newry Newtownards Newcastle Newcastle (028) (028) (028) (028) (028) (028) (028) 4066 4372 4176 3088 9181 4372 4372 2863 5525 2654 8593 1311 4348 5525 Armagh Craigavon (028) 3752 2782 (028) 3834 2669 Antrim Cushendall Lisburn Newtownabbey Rathlin Island (028) (028) (028) (028) (028) 9446 2177 9267 9036 2076 0073 1340 9575 5843 3954 Belfast Belfast

(028) 9043 9959 (028) 9033 0322



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Useful Contacts
Bed & Breakfast Association N.I. Northern Ireland Self Catering Holidays Association

+44 (0) 28 7082 2765

Belfast and Beyond

+44 (0) 28 9077 6174

Northern Ireland Hotels Federation


Countryside Access and Activities Network

+44 (0) 28 9035 1110 +44 (0) 28 9030 3930 Fax: +44 (0) 28 9062 6428 E-mail:
Cyclists Touring Club Northern Ireland


Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

+44 (0) 28 9025 5755

Fax: +44 (0) 28 9025 5735 E-mail:
Rural Cottage Holidays Ltd

Contact: Cathy Francis +44 (0) 28 9020 8727

Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure

+44 (0) 28 9024 1100 +44 (0) 28 9025 8825

Fax: +44 (0) 28 9025 8831 E-mail:
Hostelling International


Sustrans - National Cycle Network

+44 (0) 845 113 0065


+44 (0) 28 9032 4733

Northern Ireland Farm & Country Holidays Association

Rail and Bus information +44 (0) 28 9066 6630

Ulster Cycling Federation

+44 (0) 28 8284 1325

Fax: +44 (0) 28 8284 0019

Contact: Frank Campbell 07712 186 910 E-mail:

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in northern ireland
For further tourist information, call the office for the country where you are based: Belfast and Northern Ireland Welcome Centre 47 Donegall Place, Belfast +44 (0) 28 9024 6609 F: +44 (0) 28 9031 2424 E: Northern Ireland Tourist Board 16 Nassau St, Dublin 2 (01) 679 1977 CallSave: 1850 230230 F: (01) 679 1863 E: TOURISM IRELAND UK 0800 0397000 USA 1800 223 6470 Canada 1800 223 6470 Germany 069 668 00950 Switzerland 01 210 4153 Austria 01 501 596000 Netherlands 020 504 0689 Belgium 02 275 0171 France 01 70 20 00 20 Italy 02 4829 6060 Spain 091 745 6420 Portugal 021 392 94 40 Australia 02 9299 6177 New Zealand 09 977 2255 Denmark 806 01518 Finland 0800 41 969 Norway 80 03 50 18 Sweden 0200 15 91 01 South Africa 011 339 48 65 Japan 03 5363 6515
This document can be made available on request in Braille, audio, large print, computer disk and pdf. Sustrans and the Cyclists Touring Club assisted in compiling this brochure. Front cover, clockwise: Moneyscalp, County Down; Lough Erne, County Fermanagh; Barnes Gap, County Tyrone; Belleek, County Fermanagh. NITB. Published by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, 59 North St, Belfast BT1 1NB. +44 (0) 28 9023 1221. Fax: +44 (0) 28 9024 0960. Textphone: +44 (0) 28 9089 5512. E-mail: Printed by Commercial Graphics (N.I.) Limited ISBN 1 86193 137 9
This publication has been part funded by contribution through the EU Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme for Northern Ireland. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the compilation of this brochure. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board cannot, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions but where such are brought to our attention, future publications will be amended accordingly.


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