There’s a long list of benefits to getting on your bike and putting the miles in – from the physical benefits to peace of mind, and from the breath-taking sights and sounds you’ll encounter to the feeling of accomplishment when you’re finally stepping out of the saddle.
There’s one more, though, that might be our favourite; being able to justify tucking into some top-notch food once it’s over!
Of course, it’s never better than when you find a route where you get the best of all worlds – which is exactly what this list is all about. Five fabulous cycling trails, located across the length and breadth of Ireland, with incredible grub factored in along the way; go on, treat yourself!
GREAT WESTERN GREENWAY
Already one of the most stunning routes in the country, the move by the Mulranny Park Hotel to create their “Gourmet Greenway” was, with pun entirely intended, the icing on the cake. Working with 18 local producers to showcase the best artisan products in the area, it’s the ideal way to round off the 43km trip which stretches from Westport to Achill Island; once you’ve taken your bike for the awe-inspiring tour, you can do the very same for your tastebuds!
Check out this useful brochure, which highlights each gastro experience along the way:
This scenic stretch of the sunny south-east links Waterford city with Dungarvan – and it’s moving in that direction that the discerning diner would be well advised to go! While the beauty of the Copper Coast will delight from the saddle, there might be no sight more welcoming than what awaits when you dismount in the seaside town’s Georgian culinary quarter, where award-winning eateries aplenty will deliver a refuelling beyond your wildest dreams! We recommend checking out Coach House Coffee! Mid way along the greenway route, this is the perfect cycling pit-stop.
KILLYKEEN FOREST PARK
With tranquil lakes and gently rolling hills, it would take something very special to prove more relaxing than a loop around this part of the country – but we reckon Farnham Estate might just have managed it. A renowned spa and hotel, it’s also a perfect option for an indulgent lunch midway through the popular 32km loop – although if you decided you couldn’t possibly go on without a treatment, a round of golf, or a luxurious night’s sleep, we don’t think there’d be too many people blaming you!
When it comes to escaping the hustle and bustle of the capital, there are few more appealing options that heading to the north of Dublin Bay – and whether you’re hugging the coastal road from Clontarf or taking in Sutton and Raheny on a loop of the head, there’s surely only one dining option on the cards. Whether it’s a slap-up meal, or a takeaway on a wall, some of the very best seafood in the country is served up in Howth village; any trip to the area would be incomplete without trying it! We recommend trying Beshoff Bros! What coastal route would be complete without stopping for fish ‘n’ chips along the way, and nobody does it better than Beshoff.
From multi-day slogs to leisurely saunters, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to cycling Ireland’s most south-westerly point – and plenty of refuelling options along the way, too. Ask any self-respecting veteran, though, and you’ll hear Helen’s Bar in Killmackogue spoken of in hushed tones; however sore your muscles are, you can be guaranteed that a bowl of Helen’s mussels will have you feeling right as rain in no time!