Mizen to Malin

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
outsideman
Posts: 1
Joined: 3 Sep 2011, 8:47pm

Mizen to Malin

Postby outsideman » 3 Sep 2011, 8:53pm

Planning on doing this trip soon but its only available (as a supported tour by the company Bike Adventures) upto the middle of September. I'm looking to go in the October Halfterm so does anyone know a good route or have route cards/hotel info that they could share ?

Cheers now

gordonyoung
Posts: 16
Joined: 16 Sep 2009, 10:44pm

Re: Mizen to Malin

Postby gordonyoung » 4 Sep 2011, 10:05pm

At that time of year you will have no problem with accommodation on the trip

Spudh
Posts: 42
Joined: 11 Aug 2011, 10:42pm

Re: Mizen to Malin

Postby Spudh » 5 Sep 2011, 12:53am

outsideman wrote:Planning on doing this trip soon but its only available (as a supported tour by the company Bike Adventures) upto the middle of September. I'm looking to go in the October Halfterm so does anyone know a good route or have route cards/hotel info that they could share ?

Cheers now


I can help you out on the Southern stretch from Galway down or Limerick down depending on which route you choose from Malin, along the West Coast through Connemara and then the Burren or along the Shannon. They're both beautiful but I'd go West through Connemara if it was me. The only trouble with taking advice from me is that I've never cycled any of this, just driven it so I won't be conscious of gradient.

Here is the best route planning website I know of:

http://www.ifigis.ie/WFDFishMap/

When you zoom in it goes to Discovery series (1:50,000) mapping and you can quickly measure route lengths using the draw and measure facility (just make sure you tick the 'show measurements' box in the measure window).

Here is another good viewer which gives you 3D relief on the Discovery series mapping. Its a bit phaffy to set up (you have to install silverlight) but its really good and when you zoom in past the discovery you're on aerial photography (2005) for the whole country. http://maps.biodiversityireland.ie/#/Map
The 3D relief is handy cause the whole South West corner of Ireland you're heading for is nothing but hills.

For me I'd be heading from Malin to Donegal and on to Sligo through Ballyshannon and Bundoran. from Sligo I'd then go to Castlebar then Westport. Aim to stop in Westport because from there to Oughterard there's SFA places I know about to spend the night. From Westport take the N59 as far as Leenaun, its a stunning road and you'll be able to pick up a bite to eat in Leenaun. From Leenaun you could follow the N59 to Clifden but I'd recommend the R336 along Joyce's River in the heart of Joyce's Country. Follow the R336 until you get to Maum. Take a right over the bridge, staying on the R336 heading for Maum Cross. At Maum Cross turn East again onto the N59 heading for Oughterard and Galway. There are a few places to stay in Oughterard and Breathachs Bar is a top place to eat but depending on your age group you might be better off heading in to Galway to experience probably the city with the greatest craic in Ireland. There is accommodation in Galway to suit every pocket from hostels to the G hotel.

From Galway take the N18 heading for Limerick/Ennis but at Kilcolgan take the N67 west for Kinvarra and Ennistimon. Follow the N67 as far as Ballyvaughan. There you can make a choice to go coast road R479 or go direct to Lisdoonvarna. Again at Lisdoonvarna you can make a choice to go the coast road through Liscannor (R478) or go direct to Ennistimon and Lehinch. Lehinch is a great surf spot (as is Bundoran in Sligo) if you're into that, the water will still be warm in October and there will more than likely still be places to rent a wetsuit and board. If you've taken the N67 to Ennistimon, stay on it to go through Lehinch and Miltown Malbay. You're in the heart of traditional Irish music land in this area so there's a good chance you'll stumble across a music festival or two along the way, well worth googling. From Milltown Malbay you'll be heading ultimately for the Killimer car ferry to Tarbert, County Kerry. The most direct way is to turn off the N67 3.6km after Quilty onto the R483 heading for Creegh and on to Kilrush but the spin down from Quilty to Kilkee through Doonbeg is nice. From Kilkee you'll be staying on the N67 through Kilrush onto the Kilimer ferry Terminal. I haven't mentioned anywhere to stay along this section as there are just too many. Take your pick of Lehinch, Milltown Malbay or Kilkee (or almost anywhere in between!). There's not much in Kilrush and nothing in Kilimer, you either make the ferry onto Listowel (ferries from Kilimer in October are IIRC hourly, on the hour. First ferry 7.00am, last ferry 6.00pm(I think, but it might be 7), crossing takes about 20 minutes) or you stop before Kilrush .

The Ferry lands in Tarbert, County Kerry. There's SFA in Tarbert so just follow the road into the village and then take the N69 south to Listowel. Listowel is a lively little town, best place to stay is the Listowel Arms Hotel but again there is no shortage of accommodation to suit most pockets. The next town is Tralee, the capitol town of Kerry, my home town. Due to ferry times you're not likely to need to stay in Tralee but there are 4 bike shops (if you include Halfords) if you're stuck for anything and its a good shopping town in general. You'll be coming in the N69 from Listowel, just follow it the whole way in until you meet the first high rise building at the train station. Turn left there (you'll still be on the N69) and follow that road to the next roundabout. Keeping left at this will bring you onto the N21 heading for Limerick. This road will bring you straight out of the town via a plethora of roundabouts (which after 20 years in place people still don't have a clue how to use, so be careful) each one of which you go straight through until you come to one about 3.2km out of town where you turn south onto the N22 heading for Killarney.

Killarney is the no.1 tourist destination in Ireland so I won't dwell on it, its a bit expensive but there is accommodation to suit everybody there. If you've time it well worth a night spent knocking around. Here is where you need to make a decision on how much climbing you're up for. You're heading for Kenmare. If its micturating down rain just take the N22 to Cork as far as the Kilgarvan turnoff at Clonkeen, 17km out of Killarney, onto the R569 to Kenmare, its pretty flat all the way. Its still a beautiful spin but you'll have missed out on something special. If the weathers nice and the legs are up to it then there is no better cycle in Ireland than to take the N71 through Molls Gap to Kenmare. Its a 230m climb over about 8km so nothing radical but if its pouring down it might be a bit depressing and there's another tough climb from Kenmare to Glengarriff ahead.

Kenmare is a great town, plenty hotels and B&B's, great life in the pubs with plenty of good food to be had, a must stay. It'll also put you in good form to face the cycle to Glengarriff in the morning. From Kenmare you head out along the N71 over the oldest concrete suspension bridge in Ireland across the stunning Sheen river. You've a choice then of staying on the N71 or taking the Beara Way. I'd recommend the latter, they join again at Bunane anyway but you'll have less traffic to deal with. At Bunane you should go back onto the N71 to go over the mountain. Its a gorgeous drive involving old stone tunnels and the drop back down into Glengarriff is other worldly. Just watch out for the Kamikaze sheep on the descent. The feckers have grown oblivious to cars and if its a hot day they'll be asleep in the middle of the road like giant furry lizards :shock: . Since you'll have just climbed over 350m you'll fully deserve a pint in the 'Blue Loo', one of my favorite pubs in Ireland. From Glengarriff you'll be sticking with the N71 through to Bantry. Bantry is another lively town with a couple of nice hotels and one or two good rowdy pubs like 'The Anchor Bar'. Its probably a good place to stop before your last push to the Mizen.

From Bantry you've a choice of staying on the N71 and going to Ballydehob across the aptly named Barnageehy (literally translates to 'the high windy place) and then onto the R592 to Schull but my preference would be to take the R591through Durrus about 3.8km out of Bantry. Durrus is a picturesque little village with a fab drive out of it heading west towards Dunmanus and Toormore. If the weather is nice stay on the local roads along the north side of the peninsula, its an amazing vista, if the wind is howling you'll want to be anywhere else! Those local roads will bring you around to Ballyvoge Beg which is where you'll need to turn onto to get your final destination, Mizen Head :D :D

Once you're down that far, don't dare go home without stopping into Crookhaven, a truly beautiful part of the world. You've plenty of options with accomodation in that area betwen Crookhaven, Goleen and Schull. Plenty of craic in the pubs down in that area too.

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Mizen to Malin

Postby iviehoff » 5 Sep 2011, 8:56am

gordonyoung wrote:At that time of year you will have no problem with accommodation on the trip

In the sense that places shouldn't be full up. But my experience of travelling in the west of Ireland at that season of the year is that quite a lot of places just aren't open. In the South-East, the Wexford Opera Festival creates a large demand for accom in that part of Ireland, but you won't be near there unless using the Rosslare ferry.

johnb
Posts: 793
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 8:05am

Re: Mizen to Malin

Postby johnb » 5 Sep 2011, 12:03pm

Spudh wrote:
outsideman wrote:Planning on doing this trip soon but its only available (as a supported tour by the company Bike Adventures) upto the middle of September. I'm looking to go in the October Halfterm so does anyone know a good route or have route cards/hotel info that they could share ?

Cheers now


I can help you out on the Southern stretch from Galway down or Limerick down depending on which route you choose from Malin, along the West Coast through Connemara and then the Burren or along the Shannon. They're both beautiful but I'd go West through Connemara if it was me. The only trouble with taking advice from me is that I've never cycled any of this, just driven it so I won't be conscious of gradient.

Here is the best route planning website I know of:

http://www.ifigis.ie/WFDFishMap/

When you zoom in it goes to Discovery series (1:50,000) mapping and you can quickly measure route lengths using the draw and measure facility (just make sure you tick the 'show measurements' box in the measure window).

Here is another good viewer which gives you 3D relief on the Discovery series mapping. Its a bit phaffy to set up (you have to install silverlight) but its really good and when you zoom in past the discovery you're on aerial photography (2005) for the whole country. http://maps.biodiversityireland.ie/#/Map
The 3D relief is handy cause the whole South West corner of Ireland you're heading for is nothing but hills.

For me I'd be heading from Malin to Donegal and on to Sligo through Ballyshannon and Bundoran. from Sligo I'd then go to Castlebar then Westport. Aim to stop in Westport because from there to Oughterard there's SFA places I know about to spend the night. From Westport take the N59 as far as Leenaun, its a stunning road and you'll be able to pick up a bite to eat in Leenaun. From Leenaun you could follow the N59 to Clifden but I'd recommend the R336 along Joyce's River in the heart of Joyce's Country. Follow the R336 until you get to Maum. Take a right over the bridge, staying on the R336 heading for Maum Cross. At Maum Cross turn East again onto the N59 heading for Oughterard and Galway. There are a few places to stay in Oughterard and Breathachs Bar is a top place to eat but depending on your age group you might be better off heading in to Galway to experience probably the city with the greatest craic in Ireland. There is accommodation in Galway to suit every pocket from hostels to the G hotel.

From Galway take the N18 heading for Limerick/Ennis but at Kilcolgan take the N67 west for Kinvarra and Ennistimon. Follow the N67 as far as Ballyvaughan. There you can make a choice to go coast road R479 or go direct to Lisdoonvarna. Again at Lisdoonvarna you can make a choice to go the coast road through Liscannor (R478) or go direct to Ennistimon and Lehinch. Lehinch is a great surf spot (as is Bundoran in Sligo) if you're into that, the water will still be warm in October and there will more than likely still be places to rent a wetsuit and board. If you've taken the N67 to Ennistimon, stay on it to go through Lehinch and Miltown Malbay. You're in the heart of traditional Irish music land in this area so there's a good chance you'll stumble across a music festival or two along the way, well worth googling. From Milltown Malbay you'll be heading ultimately for the Killimer car ferry to Tarbert, County Kerry. The most direct way is to turn off the N67 3.6km after Quilty onto the R483 heading for Creegh and on to Kilrush but the spin down from Quilty to Kilkee through Doonbeg is nice. From Kilkee you'll be staying on the N67 through Kilrush onto the Kilimer ferry Terminal. I haven't mentioned anywhere to stay along this section as there are just too many. Take your pick of Lehinch, Milltown Malbay or Kilkee (or almost anywhere in between!). There's not much in Kilrush and nothing in Kilimer, you either make the ferry onto Listowel (ferries from Kilimer in October are IIRC hourly, on the hour. First ferry 7.00am, last ferry 6.00pm(I think, but it might be 7), crossing takes about 20 minutes) or you stop before Kilrush .

The Ferry lands in Tarbert, County Kerry. There's SFA in Tarbert so just follow the road into the village and then take the N69 south to Listowel. Listowel is a lively little town, best place to stay is the Listowel Arms Hotel but again there is no shortage of accommodation to suit most pockets. The next town is Tralee, the capitol town of Kerry, my home town. Due to ferry times you're not likely to need to stay in Tralee but there are 4 bike shops (if you include Halfords) if you're stuck for anything and its a good shopping town in general. You'll be coming in the N69 from Listowel, just follow it the whole way in until you meet the first high rise building at the train station. Turn left there (you'll still be on the N69) and follow that road to the next roundabout. Keeping left at this will bring you onto the N21 heading for Limerick. This road will bring you straight out of the town via a plethora of roundabouts (which after 20 years in place people still don't have a clue how to use, so be careful) each one of which you go straight through until you come to one about 3.2km out of town where you turn south onto the N22 heading for Killarney.

Killarney is the no.1 tourist destination in Ireland so I won't dwell on it, its a bit expensive but there is accommodation to suit everybody there. If you've time it well worth a night spent knocking around. Here is where you need to make a decision on how much climbing you're up for. You're heading for Kenmare. If its micturating down rain just take the N22 to Cork as far as the Kilgarvan turnoff at Clonkeen, 17km out of Killarney, onto the R569 to Kenmare, its pretty flat all the way. Its still a beautiful spin but you'll have missed out on something special. If the weathers nice and the legs are up to it then there is no better cycle in Ireland than to take the N71 through Molls Gap to Kenmare. Its a 230m climb over about 8km so nothing radical but if its pouring down it might be a bit depressing and there's another tough climb from Kenmare to Glengarriff ahead.

Kenmare is a great town, plenty hotels and B&B's, great life in the pubs with plenty of good food to be had, a must stay. It'll also put you in good form to face the cycle to Glengarriff in the morning. From Kenmare you head out along the N71 over the oldest concrete suspension bridge in Ireland across the stunning Sheen river. You've a choice then of staying on the N71 or taking the Beara Way. I'd recommend the latter, they join again at Bunane anyway but you'll have less traffic to deal with. At Bunane you should go back onto the N71 to go over the mountain. Its a gorgeous drive involving old stone tunnels and the drop back down into Glengarriff is other worldly. Just watch out for the Kamikaze sheep on the descent. The feckers have grown oblivious to cars and if its a hot day they'll be asleep in the middle of the road like giant furry lizards :shock: . Since you'll have just climbed over 350m you'll fully deserve a pint in the 'Blue Loo', one of my favorite pubs in Ireland. From Glengarriff you'll be sticking with the N71 through to Bantry. Bantry is another lively town with a couple of nice hotels and one or two good rowdy pubs like 'The Anchor Bar'. Its probably a good place to stop before your last push to the Mizen.

From Bantry you've a choice of staying on the N71 and going to Ballydehob across the aptly named Barnageehy (literally translates to 'the high windy place) and then onto the R592 to Schull but my preference would be to take the R591through Durrus about 3.8km out of Bantry. Durrus is a picturesque little village with a fab drive out of it heading west towards Dunmanus and Toormore. If the weather is nice stay on the local roads along the north side of the peninsula, its an amazing vista, if the wind is howling you'll want to be anywhere else! Those local roads will bring you around to Ballyvoge Beg which is where you'll need to turn onto to get your final destination, Mizen Head :D :D

Once you're down that far, don't dare go home without stopping into Crookhaven, a truly beautiful part of the world. You've plenty of options with accomodation in that area betwen Crookhaven, Goleen and Schull. Plenty of craic in the pubs down in that area too.



An excellent and informative post.
The lead Greyhound never has to look at another Greyhounds derrière.

ruffstuffbob
Posts: 74
Joined: 5 Jul 2007, 7:07pm

Re: Mizen to Malin

Postby ruffstuffbob » 5 Sep 2011, 4:39pm

Hi, I have recently come back from the Miz to Malin, in fact I decided to keep going and did the full circle from Dun Leary to Dun Leary in 3 weeks [Aug] .Brilliant!! Lovely people, scenery and no prob. with accommodation only one night camping and one night B.& B. the rest in Hostels. I tended to cook for myself as meals can be expensive and you can eat more of what you like. Hostels cost from 13E[Killarney] up to 26E [ Galway.]. Camping was free [pitched tend on a village green after chatting with a local butcher who must have felt sorry for me and who also gave me a couple of free sausages]. The one B & B cost me 45E but I did see some advertized for as little as 25E. In some of the hostels I was completely on my own. Check with www.Hostels-Ireland.com [Independent Hostels] or www.anoige.ie [IYHA] for brochures. If you want to e-mail me [rmjohnston2005@yahoo.co.uk] I could send you them as I have just fished them out of the waste paper basket. I could also list my route. Good luck. Bob. J.