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Ballyshannon to Larne

Please note that the RSPB Seabird Centre on Rathlin Island will not be open to the public during the 2014 season. It will re-open for business in April 2015. This is to facilitate an upgrade to visitor facilities at the centre.

Often listed in the world's top 10 road trips, the Antrim Coast is unrivalled in terms of attractions and scenery. Throw in the Sperrins, an Ancient Walled City and Atlantic beaches and you've got an unbeatable cycling holiday.

The complete route is 281 miles in length along mostly minor country roads with varying degrees of cycling difficulty. Whether completed in its entirety or in smaller sections every cyclist will enjoy a truely spectactular experience.

County

Antrim

Nearest Town

Ballyshannon

Route Type

Coastal

AONB

Antrim Coast & Glens

Grid Ref (Start)

G877616

Distance

281 miles (452km)

OS Map

OS 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 16 17 18

Route Shape

Linear

On/Off Road

On Public road

Grid Ref (End)

D414022

terrain

Tarmac roads

route description

Using a detailed map for this route is strongly recommended. These maps can be purchased from www.sustransshop.co.uk

Below is a brief summary of the route.

From Ballyshannon, the route travels through Fermanagh's lakelands to the solitude of the Derg Valley in the Sperrins and then along the Foyle River on the back-roads of Co Donegal toward Derry City. It's the only walled city in Ireland and Bernie says it's a must visit. "Such a unique city, we locked the bikes and spent an hour or more walking around the top of the City walls, soaking up all the history and had a great lunch before pushing on to the North Coast."

 

From Londonderry the route goes through the Roe Valley, eventually reaching the North Coast at Castlerock. Passing miles of sandy beaches, the Old Bushmills Distillery, Dunluce Castle and The Giant’s Causeway, you're not short of an excuse to dismount. From Ballycastle, where you can get the ferry to Rathlin Island, the route heads into the Glens. The road clings to the hillside and it is a challenge to reach Torr Head. However your efforts are rewarded by a magnificent view of the Mull of Kintyre and Scotland. The road then follows every twist and turn of the coast as it makes its way beneath the rising Glens toward Larne.

getting to the start

Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland Bus: www.buseireann.ie Train: www.irishrail.ie If starting from Larne, the Translink website has information about bus and rail services to Larne. Ferry servives also link Larne to Scotland with daily crossings.

traffic

Route follows minor roads with traffic-free sections. Busy through major towns.

facilities

Many towns along route providing toilet facilities, bars and cafes. Accommodation is also available at various locations along the route.

information for People with a Disability

Much of the cycling is along minor roads. More information on disabled access can be found in the main TIC's along route.

available publications

Ballyshannon to Ballycastle, Sustrans, NCN

www.sustrans.org

Cycle hire

Bushmills Cycle Hire
Rest-A-While Bushmills
Email: restawhile.net@gmail.com
Phone: 028-207-32869
Web: www.bushmillscyclehire.co.uk

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Larne to Ballyshannon,return viaSligo,Enniskillen,,Armagh and Belfast,what a fantastic journey,seascapes and countryside,did this on a 9 day trip 2010,doing again 2014

gordon robertson
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