Western Ireland / Wild Atlantic Way

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  • We have flights booked to Dublin in July and are planning to go biketouring on the Wild Atlantic Way. Now we're trying to decide whether to go by train to Cork or Galway to start riding. Any recommendations? Now I have tho routes planned the North

    and the South

    but we'd adjust those to follow the WAW.

    And another thing is the camping. We'd like to bring the tent but are the lands totally privately owned and we should always ask the land owner's permission for a sleep over? Or should we just rely on the B&B's?

    Any good wild tips and links are more than welcome!

  • I did pretty much your second route as far as Cahersiveen a few years ago and would definitely recommend it. Really beautiful scenery. Seems to be becoming more cycle friendly too as they're currently converting the old railway line to a bike path. Supposed to be great further north too though! Sure you'd have a great time either way.

    Think you'd get away with camping if you got permission, I was staying with various relatives though.

  • Agreed, it's well worth the trip. I enjoyed riding in Cork (the county) but I found that all lot of the rural lanes were relentlessly hilly and badly surfaced, although I guess your route is just an approximation. Most of the R-roads are pretty good to ride.

    I would make time to visit some of the islands too. Cape Clear is pretty stunning (with a ridiculously steep hill out of the harbour) and has a youth hostel, I think, you could probably camp. The Skelligs off Portmagee are essential too.

    There are campsites, but I would camped occasionally out of sight and it wasn't a problem. I guess it depends how good you are at scouting out sites.

    Basically it's really good and you'll have a great time.

  • A couple of years ago we flew to Knock ( Co.Mayo) and rode to Cork. Connemara in Galway County , the Burren in Co Clare and the Dingle Peninsula in Co Kerry is stunning cycling country. West Cork aswell. Ye can cut out Limerick by getting the ferry in Killimer Co Clare to Tarbert in Kerry. 8 euro ish..thereby saving yourselves busy boring flat roads and getting to the good stuff.
    Camping is fairly relaxed but I would ask if ye can. Id go to Galway and ride south. Geniunely some of the best days Ive han on a bike.
    Yere going to have a ball either way.

  • Sorry to dredge up an old topic but i'd like to spend a week next year doing some of the Wild Atlantic Way. Can anyone recommend a specific section?

    I want instagrammable vistas and colourful local characters.

  • It's all good. Kerry is super scenic but also the busiest part. Kind of like the lake district. Still, it's possible to get away from the coast and find less tourist-saturated spots. Same sort of goes for Cork imho.

    If you want to be away from the tourists then north of Galway and into Donegal would be better bets. A l ot quieter but also less cafe stops etc.

  • If your looking for sick roads, lovely people and nice scenic photo!

    beara peninsula is possibly the best place in ireland, also have very little light pollution and is just generally amazing.

  • You can get a train to Sligo, and get from there to Galway in about 4 or 5 days depending on how much you do per day. My wife is from Mayo so my mate and I done Sligo to Ballina on day 1 with a short stop at the beach bar and a pint in enniscrone and the night in her parents house, Ballina to Achill Island on day 2, Achill to Clifden eco beach campsite day 3, and Clifden to Galway for a burrito and train back to Dublin on day 4. I spend a lot of time there so we didn't really hang about. If you've more time some of the coastline is amazing. Downpatrick head is worth a visit. The seaweed baths in enniscrone are ace too.

    I've ridden a bit in Donegal and it's stunning, but not the WAW roads.

    Best thing is that it's all signposted.

    Not ridden much in the south west of the country but believe its lovely.

    EDIT: just realised the first map in this thread is exactly the route a mate and i done a few years ago.

  • On a related note, although I drive home from London every xmas because we've a dog, Ireland is very cheap to get to. Rail and sail from London to Dublin is less than £50. You don't even need to go far for stunning riding, just head south of dublin into the wicklow mountains. The 98 tour went up the wicklow gap, which is a lovely climb. You'll be back in dublin for good guinness by tea time!

  • Thanks all you have given me some good starting points for further investigation.

  • I rode the Beara/Dingle/Iveragh peninsulas in September - about 600km all in and if you're lucky with the weather some of the nicest riding you can get - a drop dead gorgeous view round every corner, plenty of accomodation options and good pubs. Flew in/out of Kerry airport, so straight off the plane and into the hills.

    It's pretty easy to avoid most of the busy Ring of Kerry section by using the back roads which often hug the coast more. I'd recommend adding the Skellig/Valentia Island section, plus some of the more inland sections like the Black valley, Caragh lake and the Gap of Dunloe. The area itself is pretty small so it's easy to adapt a route on the fly and add in some detours. Can't recommend it highly enough, but then I've done three trips in the last two years and haven't seen a drop of rain!

  • Agree with what Balmain said. Take a good map and don't be afraid to head off the beaten track.

    Personally I would be prepared to get wet, but you might get lucky.

  • Typical Kerry weather...

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  • I have 12 days to get from Cork to Belfast, where can I go?

    The whole WAW/TAW is too long (would like to keep to a max of 100km/day - 80 ideally) so will inevitably have to skip some fjords and do a mix of coast/inland.

  • The west coast of Ireland has always been on my bucket list, hopefully I get there this year. No bike just switch off for 4 days with GF, see those dramatic Moher cliffs near Galway and the Aran Islands I keep dreaming about. Then one day bike tour the southwesty bit Bantry even a trip out to see the Luke Skywalker retreat on Skellig Michael.

  • Slowly up the west coast to the top of Connemara, then across, stopping for a day or two when you really like places ( Dingle, Galway etc. for example ). There will always be a headwind but there will always be guiness.

  • I actually live on the north west coast of Ireland now, in one of the hot spots along the WAW. If any lfgssers are passing through, hmu!

  • Slieve league? @Colm89

    Last time at Moher was at dawn in December a few years ago, having picked up my sister in law from Shannon. Empty, free parking, cool experience

  • Not quite that north, I’m in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo. Paradise, when the sun shines.

  • Ah my father is from Ballina. I had meant to ask you if you’d moved back. Quite jealous of your proximity to the ocean

  • Ballina is a nice spot, my wife is from there! We loaded up the car at the end of lockdown v1.0, put the house in camberwell up for sale and headed for home. Bought a wetsuit and get in for a splash about most days, we’ve bought a house on the pier road so it’d be rude not to given I can see the pier from the living room!

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  • Oh Christ... bite fist that’s outstanding. Congratulations. That seems like winning a game to me

    We drove a camper van over in between lockdowns, inc. the obligatory trip to downpatrick head, lunch at the ice house (my old man had always talked about it when when he was young, quite fancy now!), then up to Donegal.

    There is a really really great art museum in Ballycastle would you believe. They’ve had artists from all over so residences there, and take a piece in return, for some years. The museum is a recent open I believe. We were shocked how good it is.

    Spent a day hiking the burial mounds round Knocknarea on the way back - had never been to Sligo before that trip, it is quite beautiful!

    I’d really like to cycle the north west trail at some point too

  • Sligo I think is one of the most underrated counties in Ireland, I had never really been until I met my now wife, and even then it was just the occasional walk on enniscrone beach when we were home for Christmas, never dreamt of living here til Covid, and now I never want to leave.

    So yeah, if you ever do land here for a pedal, or a drive, hit me up!

  • Thank you mate, I may well

  • Me and my wife are planning on riding Sligo / Donegal to Kilarney in a few weeks time. We have about 10 days to do it so should be able to go at a nice relaxed pace.
    Normally our trip planning goes that she will do all the research on which spots we must see, then it's up to me to connect the dots.
    Looking forward to it!

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Western Ireland / Wild Atlantic Way

Posted by Avatar for tnts @tnts