Print this route

Lecale Cycle Route

A 37 mile circular route through the Lecale district of Co Down, starting and ending in Downpatrick. The route can be reduced by taking one of many alternative routes. The route visits many pre-historic and more recent buildings and artefacts. There is also the possibility to visit the golden beach at Ballyhornan. Tyrella Beach is also a very popular attraction which lies nearby.



Nearest Town


Route Type



Lecale Coast

Grid Ref (Start)



37 miles

OS Map

Sheet 21

Route Shape


On/Off Road

On Public road

Grid Ref (End)



Public roads and off road paths.

route description

The Lecale district of County Down, made famous in song by Van Morrison, is criss-crossed with a network of roads most of which are nearly traffic free. At 37 miles this route may appear long but it can easily be reduced by taking any one of the many alternative roads. The route meanders through an area abundant in pre-historic and more recent buildings and artefacts. Starting in Downpatrick close to Down Cathedral, you will pass close to the Racecourse and Ballydugan Lake before reaching Loughinisland and historic churches. Re-crossing the A25, you pass close to the mysterious Ballynoe Stone Circles before reaching the coast at Ballyhornan and its golden beach. Following the shoreline north to Kilclief Castle (open to the public) the route turns inland then southwards through the villages of Ballyculter and Ballycruttle before turning towards Downpatrick. Parts of this route are suitable for off-road bikes only.

getting to the start

From Belfast take the A7 to Downpatrick and follow the signs for Down Cathedral. From Newcastle take the A2 as far as Clough then take the A25 to Downpatrick and follow signs for Down Cathedral. From Ballynahinch take the B2 to Downpatrick.


Limited traffic on mostly minor roads.


Ample carparking, toilets and refreshments available in Downpatrick. Public toilets available in Ballynornan but opening times vary.

information for People with a Disability

Mostly minor public roads with some hilly sections.

available publications

Armagh & Down Cycling Guide

Tourist Information Offices in Newcastle and Downpatrick.

Cycle hire

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

Add your rating and leave a comment

Click to rate
(will not be published)

On the map


More images...

Recent comments

You can add your own comments below


i did an alternative of this route with a friend, going anti clockwise through ardglass to strangford and back. the section immediately after strangford is gravel, not really suited to road bike. there may be other sections that are not great for road bike, bascially take a spare tube. there are some lovely quiet roads and scenery though so....

G Skywalker

A great route for young & old. Offers great scenery & places of interest, best of all is that you're never more than 8 miles from Downpatrick.

Funders Outdoor Recreation NI Leave No Trace NIEA DoE HPA
Enjoyed this site? Why not check out...
Outdoor NILocal OutdoorsWalk NICanoe NIMTB NIDiscover Northern IrelandFacebookTwitter