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Cycle NI - Your definitive guide to cycling in Northern Ireland
North West Trail
Route Location
 

North West Trail

Route DetailsItinerariesOffersDay/Short Breaks

Day Trip Itinerary

Distance: 54 miles / 87 km linear
Traffic: Route follows minor roads. Busy through towns.
Map: “The North West Trail” - www.sustransshop.co.uk
Start/Finish: Strabane/Enniskillen

 

It seems the further west in Northern Ireland you travel, the more laid back the people and the pace of life gets. You'll find that laid back quality through the counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh as you cycle this stretch of the North West Trail a route with varied terrain including some hilly sections. Push off from "Let the Dance Begin", Strabane's landmark sculpture on the Donegal/Tyrone border and pick up the distinctive North West Trail signs on flat, fast rolling back-roads and traffic-free sections south to Newtownstewart.

Let the Dance BeginWoodrow Wilson's Ancestral Home lies just off the route, where the period rooms and buildings perfectly capture Irish life in 18th century Ireland. The distinctive towers of Harry Avery's Castle sit among the folding countryside outside Newtownstewart and The Ulster American Folk Park, a few miles further on, is a living museum, giving a fascinating glimpse into the emigration from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Get back in the saddle and push on through the rolling countryside towards County Fermanagh. The high hedgerows by the roadside guide your bike through the picturesque villages of Fintona and Trillick into Enniskillen town – a town with a long, rich history built on one island on Lough Erne.

Further options upon arriving in Enniskillen include the Castle to Castle cycle route taking you from the Castle museums, over to Castle Coole , widely regarded as one of Ireland's architectural masterpieces. Park the bike and take a waterbus out to Devenish Island, a secluded monastic site on Lough Erne. Climb the ladders inside the round tower for some unforgettable views across the Lough. Feeling really adventurous, then hire a canoe and explore the Lough at your own pace.

Finally, round off a memorable journey by cycling out to Florence Court Estate in the shadow of Cuilcagh Mountain. Explore the estate on forest tracks before climbing up through the foothills to the Marble Arch Caves where you can take a magical boat trip deep inside the mountain.

 

Experts are on hand to help you plan your day along the North West Trail. Contact for more information:

Short Break Itinerary

Newtownstewart2

Duration: 5 days
Distance: 202 miles / 325 km circular
Traffic: Route follows minor roads. Busy through towns.
Map: “The North West Trail” - www.sustransshop.co.uk
Start/Finish: Sligo

 

Day 1 - Sligo - Ballyshannon (42 miles / 68 km)

Push out of Bustling Sligo town toward Drumcliff Bay where W.B. Yeats' grave lies in the shadow of brooding Benbulben. Pedal on toward the coast and follow the huge breakers up Donegal Bay through the seaside resort of Bundoran before arriving in Ballyshannon.

 

Day 2 - Ballyshannon - Ballybofey (39 miles / 63 km)

Just north of Ballyshannon is Rossnowlagh, one of Ireland's best beaches and a world renowned surf centre. Take a surf lesson or just a dip before trekking along the coast to Donegal Town, the beating heart of the county.  Push up through a monumental Barnesmore Gap on your way to Ballybofey.

 

Day 3 - Ballybofey - Omagh (40 miles / 64 km)

Leave the mountains behind and cycle through the Finn Valley into lush open countryside. Pass "Let the Dance Begin", a huge sculpture in Strabane and call into President Wilson's Ancestral Home. The Ulster American Folk Park lies between Newtownstewart and Omagh and recreates Irish life during the Great Famine when millions emigrated to America. Park up in Omagh for the night.

 

NewtownstewartDay 4 - Omagh - Blacklion (54 miles / 87 km)

Spin through the Tyrone and Fermanagh countryside on quiet back-roads into Enniskillen town. With so much to see it's worth parking up and exploring the town's rich architectural heritage or taking a boat out to Devenish. Leave town and pedal through fantastic Florencecourt Estate on forest tracks before the tough climb up to the Marble Arch Caves for a subterranean boat trip.

 

Day 5 - Blacklion - Sligo (36 miles / 58 km)

The past is still very much present on the back-roads of County Leitrim. Megalithic tombs, castles and promontory forts dot the landscape around Lough Gill and the Garvogue river back into Sligo Town.

 

If you're up for the challenge but maybe put off by your lack of experience, then relax and let an expert organise your holiday and possibly even guide you along the route. For more information contact: 

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