Page 1 of 2

Ireland E2E

Posted: 21 Mar 2019, 10:26pm
by island girl
Hi, are the N roads safe to cycle on in the Irish Republic. I am thinking in particular of the N71 between Bantry and Kenmare.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 21 Mar 2019, 11:39pm
by Norman H
The N71 is OK but it wouldn't be my first choice. It can get busy at times, mornings and evenings, and at holiday times. It's quite a scenic ride as it crosses the Caha mountains on the Cork Kerry border and there are two or three short tunnels.

A better route in my view would be to leave the N71 about 5 miles outside Bantry and about a mile beyond Ballylicky, and cross the Cork Kerry border via Priest's Leap. Wonderful views from the top, looking south into West Cork and North to the Kerry mountains.

I'd also avoid the N71 from Molls Gap into Killarney, if you were planning to go that way. The Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe is a nicer route, especially if you can avoid the worst of the tourists by travelling early morning or late evening

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 7:43am
by pwa
I did cycle up Moll's Gap a couple of times at low traffic times and it was pleasant and safe, but that was from Kenmare. I turned left at the top. The problem section would, I imagine, be the section between the top and Killarney, which twists its way through woodland and could be oppressive when traffic is dense.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 8:30am
by Norman H
pwa wrote:I did cycle up Moll's Gap a couple of times at low traffic times and it was pleasant and safe, but that was from Kenmare. I turned left at the top. The problem section would, I imagine, be the section between the top and Killarney, which twists its way through woodland and could be oppressive when traffic is dense.



Yes, The N71 onwards from Molls Gap is probably the busiest section of this road. It's part of the Ring of Kerry, a tourist route popular with both cars and coaches. It's narrow in places with many blind bends. Killarney is also a tourist hot-spot and I would give it a miss unless I had accommodation there. Incidentally there's a good hostel in the Black Valley, situated just before the climb to the Gap of Dunloe, an early morning start from here would give you the best experience of the GoD.

Mizzen to the Black Valley Hostel is a little more than 60 miles I'd guess. Given the amount of climbing it would be a reasonable first day.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 9:11am
by bikepacker
island girl wrote:Hi, are the N roads safe to cycle on in the Irish Republic. I am thinking in particular of the N71 between Bantry and Kenmare.


Hope you are taking the detour to climb the Healy Pass. One of the best climbs in Ireland.

I did the Ireland E2E in 2012 and if it is any help my diary notes are here: http://www.bikepacker.co.uk/irelandtour.html

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 11:27am
by island girl
Thank you so much, that’s a great help for my first day. Will get back to you for future days.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 3:07pm
by Norman H
One final point. Presumably you are starting your End to End at the Mizzen Visitor Centre. The most obvious route is to head east to pick up the R591 at Goleen and on to Toormore before crossing the peninsular towards Durrus and joining the N71 about 5Km from Bantry. There's a much nicer route on quieter roads along the south shore of Dunmanus Bay.

Briefly, when you leave the Mizzen the road continues alongside the lagoon at Barley Cove. About 500 metres after the causeway that heads towards Crookhaven take the next left and cross to the other side of the peninsular here. It's a longish climb but not too steep and offers spectacular views of Dunmanus Bay. The route passes Dunmanus Harbour and joins the R591 Durrus road shortly after.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 3:19pm
by landsurfer
So is there an official or most used route for the Ireland e2e ... could some one point me at a WIMP type route .. ie least climbing

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 22 Mar 2019, 8:56pm
by island girl
Thank you again..busy plotting my route from Mizen Head. Norman H would you recommend the Priest Leap road or the road further east that comes out at Kilgarvan.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 23 Mar 2019, 6:48am
by Norman H
You're spoilt for choice in that part of the world but I would take the road over Priest's Leap and follow the minor roads all the way to Kenmare. The route via Kilgarvan is a fair bit longer and in my view is not quite as nice. They both involve a fair bit of climbing but the view from the top is well worth the effort.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 23 Mar 2019, 6:53am
by Norman H
landsurfer wrote:So is there an official or most used route for the Ireland e2e ... could some one point me at a WIMP type route .. ie least climbing


Much like the UK E2E, there is no official route, although there are a number of published ones, many of them from companies who run organised tours.

As for wimps routes, there are no wimps in Ireland only Leprechauns. Have you considered a tour of the Netherlands? :) :wink:

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 23 Mar 2019, 1:10pm
by HobbesOnTour
island girl wrote:Hi, are the N roads safe to cycle on in the Irish Republic. I am thinking in particular of the N71 between Bantry and Kenmare.

Hi, It's 30 years since I rode those roads :cry: , so I can't answer your question specifically.

However, there is the "Wild Atlantic Way" tourist route in existence for the last few years (not just for bikes, though)
I'm not sure, but I think a lot of it overlaps with the Atlantic cost Eurovelo route https://www.biroto.eu/en/cycle-route/eu ... rt00001110

Or for more specific info: https://www.thewildatlanticway.com/stages.html

It's not a direct route but may give some inspiration!

Good luck!

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 25 Mar 2019, 8:32pm
by island girl
Thank you all. I have another question, is anyone familiar with the side road between Castlemaine and Tralee, west of the N70 ? Thinking of road surface and if it is a recommended short cut. Local information is just great !

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 26 Mar 2019, 6:32am
by Norman H
I've not used that particular road but from a quick look on street view It seems fine. It climbs to over 1000' so should offer some nice views.

I've got a a cousin in Co Clare and friends in West Cork. My preferred route when heading from the Gap of Dunloe towards the Tarbert ferry is to continue north on minor roads, cross the N72 and R563, and then pick up the minor road to the west of the N22 that runs arrow straight virtually all the way to Tralee.

Re: Ireland E2E

Posted: 26 Mar 2019, 10:08pm
by island girl
Thank you Norman H . I have plotted the road from Kenmare to Ballyheigue using the back road into Tralee that you recommended.
A huge help. :D