Round Ireland tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Round Ireland tour

Postby patpalloon » 29 Jul 2014, 5:42pm

I'm back from my round Ireland tour. It was 3 weeks altogether including getting to and from home, with 17 days of cycling. I started in Rosslare and finished Belfast. I went clockwise around the coast - going along the south to Mizen Head. Then up the west coast to Donegal and Malin Head, then finally round the Northern Ireland coast to Belfast. I did a mixture of camping and B and Bs. All in all it was a great trip, weather wasn't too bad, only had a couple of really wet days.

The highlights were the southwest and Mizen Head, also county Clare was wonderful. Went off the beaten track and explored the Burren and saw the Father Ted house and filming locations. BnBs were generally good with a couple of exceptions and were ubiquitous. Campsites were of a high standard but rather few and far between compared with the UK. Irish drivers I found to be more careful and less aggressive than in the UK. Roads varied from excellent with good shoulders to cycle on to narrow and potholed.

I was going to go to Scotland and the Hebrides afterwards but ran out of time. I'll do that as a separate tour later. It would have been a bit of a rush and a word of warning to anyone considering using the Kintyre Express ferry from Ballycastle to Campbeltown. It's very unreliable - needs minimum of 4 to travel, max of 12, and sometimes gets booked out for private charter meaning no sailings. I did a tour of Spain in May as well. Definitely got the cycle touring bug!
I feel sure that the genius that did this, didn't even feel a thud as he drove by.

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Re: Round Ireland tour

Postby Spinners » 29 Jul 2014, 7:07pm

Nice one! I've never taken my bike to Ireland but we've had some great family holidays there. I'd like to do a similar tour one day.

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Re: Round Ireland tour

Postby Fasgadh » 2 Aug 2014, 11:54am

A word about the campsites. I have usually been blessed with traditional weather when touring in Ireland and the usual presence of a small kitchen or rest area in the campsites is a blessing. Hole up in there for the evening with endless brews (goan,goan, goan, goan.......) and a good book for a dry and restorative experience. Beats being stuck in a wee tent listening to the rain.

There are some very good campsites there.