Cycling for families
When it comes to inclusive fun that every member of the family can enjoy, even Disney movies can’t hold a candle to cycling. 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!
Good for the mind and body, you’re unlikely to hear the good old “I’m bored” complaints too often – and find us children who won’t sleep soundly cycling the nooks and crannies of Ireland for the day.
So whether you’re choosing local routes, or you’re looking for a further-away adventure, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The below are some of the prime examples; with summer on the way, see how many you can tick off the list…
Lough Key Activity Forest Park
The Roscommon park boasts 8km of uninterrupted cycle trail through the woods, perfect for riders both little and big to explore. If you’d rather leave your bikes at home, they have plenty for hire; and if, for some reason, you don’t fancy working too hard, they’ve even got electric bikes on hand!
When it comes to a slice of nature in the middle of the urban jungle – this is the ultimate. If you’ve not visited, you might be surprised to learn that Phoenix Park spans across 14km of land, so there’s a fair bit to cover. Dublin Zoo is there too, if you fancy another attraction, and you could pop by Áras an Uachtaran to refill your water bottles (or not)!
Waterford Greenway – Dungarvan to Durrow
We’ve mentioned the relatively new Waterford Greenway amongst our recommended list of routes, but from a family perspective there’s a particularly suitable section; the 10km stretch which goes from Dungarvan to Durrow. It’s a straight cycle path, manageable for cyclists of all levels, while there’s plenty of rental options in Dungarvan if sudden temptation should strike!
Western Greenway, Mayo
It wouldn’t be fair for us to mention one Greenway without mentioning another – and this west of Ireland equivalent is another scenic masterpiece. This route runs though picturesque Westport town, as well as Newport and Mulranny. Taken as a whole, it’s actually the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in the country – so don’t try it all in one go!
Clontarf cycle path
At 3km, it’s the smallest route that we’re offering here, but it’s perfect for very small family members who maybe need to get a little bit more confidence on the bike before they can start moving up! With loads of spots to stop and enjoy beautiful views of Dublin Bay, there’s also coffee shops and a weekend farmer’s market, if you fancy making a day of it.
AND ONE LAST THING
Before you head off for a family fun day, consult this checklist to make sure your trip is as successful as possible!
- Check the condition of the bikes – especially if you’re renting them – and make sure they’re roadworthy.
- Unpopularity be damned – insist that everyone wears their helmets.
- While the rules of the road might be a stretch, try to make your kids aware of pedestrians and other factors that may come into play.