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Cycle NI - Your definitive guide to cycling in Northern Ireland
Ballyshannon to Larne
Route Location

Ballyshannon to Larne

Route DetailsItinerariesOffersDay/Short Breaks

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.

CountyAntrim, Fermanagh, Londonderry, TyroneDistance281 miles (452km)
Nearest TownBallyshannonOS MapOS 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 16 17 18
Route TypeCoastal, Hill, MountainRoute ShapeLinear
AONBAntrim Coast & Glens, Causeway Coast, SperrinsGrid Ref (Start)G877616
Public RoadsOn Public RoadGrid Ref (End)D414022


Tarmac roads

Point of Interest

Lough Erne
Derry City
Causeway Coast
Glens of Antrim

Route Description

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

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



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.


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


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

This route has accessible toilet facilities.

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

Available Publication

Ballyshannon to Ballycastle, Sustrans, NCN


Cycle Hire

Life Adventure Centre Castlewellan
Life Adventure Centre, Grange Courtyard, Forest Park, Castlewellan
Phone: +44 (0)2843770714
Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring
Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring, 15 Ballyknockan Rd, Saintfield
Phone: 028 9081 3200
Bushmills Cycle Hire
Rest-A-While, Bushmills
Phone: 028-207-32869

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