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Cycle NI - Your definitive guide to cycling in Northern Ireland
Antrim Town Loop
Route Location

Antrim Town Loop

Antrim is a great town for cycling with opportunities to explore the National Cycle Network and other traffic free paths. An excellent circular route exists around the town with traffic-free waterside cycling and walking the main attraction.

CountyAntrimDistance4.5 miles
Nearest TownAntrimOS Map14
Route TypeLakeland, Riverside, Urban, WoodlandRoute ShapeCircular
AONBOther AreaGrid Ref (Start)J135867
Public RoadsOff Public RoadGrid Ref (End)J135867


On the Rea's Wood section, blending in with the nature of this local woodland, the path may on occasions have some loose stones or be slightly uneven and care should be taken when cycling along it.

Point of Interest

Rea’s Wood National Nature Reserve lies at the north-east corner of Lough Neagh. The reserve forms one of the largest unspoilt areas of natural woodlands developing on land resulting from periodical lowering of Lough Neagh during the past fifty years. There is a rich and varied ground flora, succeeded by sapling growth of willow and alder. Several very rare invertebrates have been recorded. The path through the reserve, forms part of the Loughshore Trail. The next stretch takes you along the Six Mile Water river corridor, where nature was once the driving force behind industry. With this stretch of the Six Mile Water being a former home to a total of 23 mills, who knows what could be round the next bend in the river! Six Mile Water is a river that not only encouraged industry to thrive; it also provides a haven for plants and animals alike. Today, many of the man-made remnants support the local wildlife.

Route Description

From the car park follow the path into Rea’s Wood. Continue through Rea’s Wood, ignoring all tracks off to the right and left. After 750m you reach the National Nature Reserve. After a further kilometre, the path reaches an iron gate. This is the southern limit of the National Nature Reserve and there is no public access beyond this point. However, a path then veers off to the left, leading onto the Dublin Road. You can then cross over the Dublin Road and follow the signs for the Mill Race Trail along Kirby's Lane. From the Trail's car park area, follow the waymarkers signs on the left, where a lovely riverside path takes you back into Antrim passing along side the old mill race. Once in town turn left at the end of High Street and pass the Motte en route to Clotworthy House. Cross the river at the old stone bridge and follow the riverside path back to the Lough. An additional route leaves Clotworthy House on a cycle track to Randalstown on The Loughshore Trail, a 110 Mile Route around Lough Neagh.

Getting to the Start

To get there follow the signs to the Lough Shore Park off the Dublin Road in Antrim. On reaching the Park, turn left and continue to the car park that looks out over Lough Neagh. Rea’s Wood now lies to your left as you look out over the Lough.


From Reas' Wood, you need to cross the Dublin Road which can be busy and then follow Kirby's Lane down onto the Mill Race Trail, which can be rather narrow and bendy in places.


To enhance your enjoyment of the Trail, picnic tables, benches and bike stands are located along the route. The Loughshore Coffee House at the Lough Shore Park is open all year around for breakfast, light lunches and refreshments.

Information for People with a Disability

This route has accessible toilet facilities.

On the Rea's Wood section, the path may on occasions have some loose stones or be slightly uneven, so may be difficult for wheelchairs. The route is mainly flat and there are no steep gradients or obstacles to overcome, apart from having to cross a busy road.

Available Publication

Thanks to European Union funding through the Lough Neagh Strategic Fund, a leaflet has been produced entitled ‘Six Mile Water: A River Reborn’

Leaflet is available from both Antrim Civic Centre (028 9446 3113) and Antrim Information Centre, located at 16 High Street in Antrim


Cycle Hire

Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring
Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring, 15 Ballyknockan Rd, Saintfield
Phone: 028 9081 3200

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Maps and Downloads

The following downloads are available for Antrim Town Loop:

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