A Cycling Guide to Cork City

By We Love Cycling

A foodie paradise, a cultural powerhouse, and a community overflowing with character and charm, Cork is a beautiful city – charming and pretty, as the song goes. It’s also an ideal spot to traverse in the saddle, as the entire city is compact enough that there’s no site much more than a few minutes pedalling away!

Getting a taste of Leeside is all the easier with the ever-expanding presence of TFI bikes; with some 36 stations now in operation, it makes spinning through the city an absolute doddle. Whether you’re starting your trip fresh off the train at Kent Station, the bus along the quays, or you’ve been dropped straight into the heart of the city from the get-go, there’ll be bikes ready and waiting; all you need to do is download the app, get in the saddle – oh, and line up the sights to check out…

Heading westwards from the city will bring you to one of the most scenic college campuses in the country. Take in the gorgeous quad, the rich history of the Stone Corridor, and if the weather’s nice, find a perch at the amphitheatre and enjoy the feeling of not having a class to get to! If you’re of an artistic persuasion, the Glucksman is an excellent gallery for a free exhibition; if you’re not, then it happens to have one of the best cafés in town…

The next attraction is just a stone’s throw from the college – so you might want to head out the Straight Road to put a few miles in before you dismount once again! When you do, though, you’ll be greeted by a picturesque park long beloved of locals. Peep the ponds, smell the flowers, and have a bit of a wobble on the iconic Shakey Bridge; don’t worry about getting looks as you jump up and down, because everyone’s done it at one point or another!

No self-respecting tourist would leave Cork without exploring the Northside; its hilly nooks and narrow passages are the soul of the city. Leave the bike on Coburg Street and take the short stroll to ring the Shandon Bells, spot the next Banksy on the Victorian Quarter Art Walk, and then pick a spot to take the weight off your feet – because from excellent eateries and classy cafés to some of the most perfect pubs in Ireland, it’s the ideal place to get your energy back!

Once you cross the bridge, you’re really in what Corkonians consider ‘town’ – so it’s time to get your shop on! From gourmet goodies in the English Market and market bargains on Cornmarket Street to the seriously stylish boutiques of Oliver Plunkett St., you’ll find plenty to catch the eye, with the traditional thoroughfare affectionately known as ‘Pana’ running through the heart of everything! Just remember your bike doesn’t have a separate luggage compartment…

If you fancy venturing beyond the central hub, there are loads of options. The aforementioned Straight Road – the Carrigrohane Straight, if we’re being technical – is a must for big cycling fans, as it was the site of a sprint finish in the Tour de France back in 1998. Point eastwards, meanwhile, and attractions ranging from the Marina to the greenway running along the old Blackrock railway line await.

If you’re up for another city cycling adventure, check out our guide on cycling through Ireland’s capital.