Why not choose a coastal bike adventure this autumn? Imagine yourself cycling along the rough cliffs, breathing in the salty aroma of the sea, uncovering secluded coves and unspoiled beaches, all while listening to the natural symphony of the powerful waves which surround our island. Ireland’s shoreline is a rich mosaic of breathtaking scenery and charming villages, each with stories as old as the terrain itself.
Every turn unveils a vista more breathtaking than the last, from the wild beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way to the serene tranquility of the Causeway Coast. Add to that the warm-hearted locals ready to share a story (or two!) over a pint of the black stuff, and you’ve got an experience that’s not just a ride, but a soulful journey. So, don your helmet and let the emerald isle’s coastlines sweep you off your wheels!
Ballinspittle to Courtmacsherry (40km)
Kick off your cycling journey in the charming village of Ballinspittle, Co. Cork and let the winding path lead you around the picturesque River Arigideen Estuary. Feel the breeze as you pedal past the stunning Harbour View Beach, then weave your way alongside the riverbank, taking in the sights of Timoleague before landing in the delightful town of Courtmacsherry.
While in Courtmacsherry, stop off for a bite to eat in The Lifeboat Inn, where they serve seasonal favourites, sourced locally from both the land and the sea. Meanwhile, there’s plenty to see and do along the way, with a bird sanctuary and a Blue Flag beach to explore in Timoleague. And the best part? The return trip gifts you a second chance to soak up these idyllic coastal views.
Carlingford Greenway (7km)
The Carlingford Greenway is a gem tucked away in the heart of Co. Louth. Starting from the bustling Carlingford marina, this trail hugs the southern and western edges of the lough, leading you right into the quaint village of Omeath. Along the way, you’ll weave through lush farmlands, past ancient castles, and even stumble upon saintly shrines. Need a photo break? Make sure to pause for a moment and drink in the panoramic vistas of Slieve Foye and Carlingford Lough.
If you’re feeling a bit peckish after your 7km cycle, pop into RockSalt Café in Carlingford, as they have an incredible brunch menu. Meanwhile, the Táin Taproom restaurant at the Carlingford Brewing Company serves stone-baked wood-fired pizzas, sure to fill the gap!
A blissfully traffic-free zone, it’s the perfect escape for families. So, whether you’re a newbie on two wheels or bringing along young cyclists-in-the-making, this greenway promises an adventure that’s as safe as it is scenic.
Malahide to Clontarf via Sutton (30km)
If you’re keen to explore Dublin’s breathtaking coastline, then dive into a route that marries sensational views with a heart-pumping ride. Starting along the shimmering seashore on the Coast Road in Malahide, weave your way through the vibrant vibes of Portmarnock, before cruising comfortably in the cycle lane spanning Baldoyle Bay. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll be itching to capture the jaw-dropping panoramas that unfold!
Continue along the coastal path via Sutton and Clontarf before gracefully looping back to where your journey began. Need to refuel before your return trip? Make a pitstop at Surge Coffee in Clontarf and dig into one of their drool-worthy toasties or order a cup of beautifully blended coffee. Set aside a leisurely 2.5-3 hours and embrace this ride, perfect for the casual cyclist in all of us.
Whether you’re coasting along serene loughs or pushing your limits on cliffside trails, Ireland’s seafront pathways promise memories that last a lifetime. So, this autumn, don your cycling gear, let the crisp Irish breeze guide your journey, and discover the magic of Ireland from the saddle.
Why not opt for a cycling staycation this autumn? We take a look at what to do and where to stay across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands – the ideal destination for a cycling holiday you won’t forget!