Author Topic: Northern Ireland Coastal Route  (Read 1168 times)

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Offline XCaTel

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Northern Ireland Coastal Route
on: October 22, 2019, 08:35:38 PM
I spent a long weekend (Friday to Sunday) on a round trip covering 1050 kilometres from Kildare in the South up and around the Northern Irish Coastline. It is a great run and gets good from about Larne and on up the "Mourne Coastal route". If you ever decide to do Ireland from Scotland get the Ferry to Larne and turn right when you get off! Don't skip NI and head straight west, you'd be missing great roads. At Belfast the coast road turns into the "Causeway Coastal Route" and it gets even better.

If you're into stops and sightseeing there is plenty to do and see, just take a full week, if you just like riding it's just as entertaining. I skipped all the Castles, Giants Causeway etc etc and just enjoyed the great roads, perfect Tiger country. The road to Torr head is entertaining and made for Adventure bikes. Really nothing there but you can park up, stick you stove on for a brew and just enjoy the scenery. Scotland is only 12 miles away! If you are into Game of Thrones you can drop across off-route into the Dark Hedges but you want to be a very big fan, it will take you about 20 seconds to ride the road and is not that impressive (sometimes closed to Traffic too)!

After Portrush and Portstewart I extended the route out crossing back into the Republic via Londonderry/Derry and headed to the tip of Inishowen up the east side to Irelands most northerly point, Malin Head. This is the start (or end) of the Republics "Wild Atlantic Way" (WAW). I followed the WAW down the west of the peninsular but pull back into Northern Ireland to hit the Sperrin's, not to be missed, back down to Omagh, Enniskillin then on home.

I enjoyed this route so much I know I'm going back already.








#1

Offline Icy

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 09:50:54 PM
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Offline Xtof

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 10:19:23 AM
Wow, nice tour!
A trip to the Islands is definitely on my to do list... Will keep this in mind  :047:
Thanks for the info!

Xtof

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Offline eps

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 09:45:17 PM
This is a fab route - NI is very underated in terms of great roads - Torr Head is fab - coast roast is great - just be careful - some of the bends can catch you out - great pics thanks

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Offline garylyt1

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 10:15:00 PM
Great to hear you enjoyed your time on the Antrim coast road. This is a road i ride frequently as i live 5 mins from the North Coast of Northern Ireland. Have to agree that the scenery is spectacular and the twisty roads are something to be enjoyed each and every time you go for a ride. As always we don't appreciate the roads that are nearby and if anyone is thinking of coming over just give us a shout and it'd be great to meet up for a ride out  :031:

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Offline mjab

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 07:25:06 PM
If things relax a bit more Id love to get over and do the WAW and into Northern Ireland in September.

So many questions to ask as I'm coming from the south coast.
Will the weather be kind enough?
Should we do south to north or the opposite?
What ferries should I consider?
Will take a days ride to get to a ferry so is there an overnight crossing or do I lose a day somewhere?
Given I need 2 days to get to a ferry and back can the rest be done in 6 days and still have time to enjoy the sights and scenery?
Any problems with accommodation or eateries I need to know about?
Did a trip round the north of Scotland 3 years ago and did roughly 125 miles a day so we could stop when we wanted.

Any routes or tip greatly appreciated
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Offline knuttt

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 12:38:47 AM
I’m sure others will chip in but have been there a couple of times now but these are my thoughts.
Weather, plan for rain but we had very little both times.
If at all possible set off early enough to catch the mid-day ferry, that will get you into Dublin later afternoon, it’s definitely worth spending your first night in the city.
Have been in both directions and not much in it, depends on what you want to see.

For our trips I tried to avoid the direct main roads, we were there for the scenery after all but this will limit how far you get round.
We managed 200’ish miles per day with stops for photos, sight seeing and food etc.
We also didn’t stick religiously to the WAW, you don’t need to travel round every peninsula And there is so much to see in the rest of the country - Father Teds house, for instance...

I’m sure it’s possible to get round the whole route in your timescale but it wouldn’t be my preference. We had 8/9 days including getting to Holyhead and back and both time only made it 3/4 of the way round.

May have more thoughts at a more reasonable hour.

Andy
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Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 06:58:55 AM
*Originally Posted by mjab [+]
If things relax a bit more Id love to get over and do the WAW and into Northern Ireland in September.

So many questions to ask as I'm coming from the south coast.
Will the weather be kind enough?
Should we do south to north or the opposite?
What ferries should I consider?
Will take a days ride to get to a ferry so is there an overnight crossing or do I lose a day somewhere?
Given I need 2 days to get to a ferry and back can the rest be done in 6 days and still have time to enjoy the sights and scenery?
Any problems with accommodation or eateries I need to know about?
Did a trip round the north of Scotland 3 years ago and did roughly 125 miles a day so we could stop when we wanted.

Any routes or tip greatly appreciated

If you are doing WAW do consider the Fishguard/Rosslare ferry route. I’ve done WAW twice, absolutely fabulous roads and scenery, some of the more remote coastal roads are perhaps a little challenging in their hairpins and steepness but all part of the experience.
We went from Rosslare along the South Coast for a couple of days before joining the WAW and riding the West Coast. Loved it, it just made the whole trip that more enjoyable.
Hoping to ride NI next year.

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Offline XCaTel

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #8 on: June 09, 2020, 09:26:10 PM
The weather will be hit and miss and like that of the north of England, like all things a bit of a gamble.

The Wild Atlantic Way is 1600 miles long and stretches from Kinsale, Co Cork in the south to the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal. If you are looking to do about 125 miles a day you are going to have to choose your section wisely. As you are coming from the south of England you would be best to take the Ferry from South Wales to Rosslare and concentrate on the lower sections. Given that, plan to start from the south, get off the Ferry, head south west and stop off in Cork City for the night if you like cities or carry on just past Cork city to stop in Kinsale, a bit of a  boutique village setting with excellent but pricy restaurants. That gives you a 2.5 to 3hr run off the ferry and you are set up. That is a long day with your travel in the UK pre-ferry so you might decide to stay somewhere close enough after getting off the ferry instead, perhaps Wexford, New Ross or Waterford, all nice.

How much you do a day from then on is up to you. Average speed can be quite slow, naturally and you can find yourself spending many hours getting around one peninsular. To me the WAW is about the scenery and enjoying the ride rather than the tourist attractions which can be very sparse at times. Given your starting point might be Kinsale I would plan and see how far you can get round in your allotted time and then plan for that. You may only manage to get round to Limerick or Galway. Galway would be a great place to finish giving you the option to head east to get the ferry back from Dublin and drive down through North Wales home. If you want to make things a little more leisurely aim to finish at Limerick and spend the day going across country back to the Rosslare ferry.

The WAW is signposted superbly and you should take the time to explore little spurs off it. These are little detours off the route to a place of interest, it could just be a little beach or viewpoint.
I like to use something like MyRouteApp where you can plot a route, lay waypoints, and gauge how long the route is in miles and how long it will take you to ride it. That way you can get an idea of how far you can get in your preferred ride time. You can do this with the free version of MyRouteApp.

You will have to come back twice more for the rest of the west coast and the North! It is a good time to come, in the height of summer a lot of places can be a bit busy. Do not bother camping, there are good B&B’s along the way or dearer hotels, just check out something like bookings.com for accommodation near your desired stop points and budget. Happy planning!
Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 09:28:28 PM by XCaTel

#9

Offline mjab

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Re: Northern Ireland Coastal Route
Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 07:10:53 PM
Thanks for the responses. Seems I may need to plan some more  :001: :001:
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