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Cycling in Northern Ireland

Travel slow in Northern Ireland: Ecoescape by cycling

Get on a bicycle and re discover the fun of cycling on minor roads

Outdoor Ireland North provides guided cycling day tours from easy to moderate routes. The coast of Strangford Lough and the countryside around the Mourne Mountains are two contrasting scenic areas

Cycling is an ideal way of exploring the history of Northern Ireland while enjoying the scenery on offer. Christian Heritage sites and archaeological sites of County Down can be visited by cycling.

For group bookings all cycling tours can be tailor made to suit fitness levels and interests of the participants. Contact Loretto, a Blue Badge Tourist Guide

The cycle rides outlined below are a few examples of routes .

Sea and Seals

Ardilea Bridge - Tyrella - Minerstown - St John’s Point - Killough - Ardilea BridgeCycling in County Down

Binoculars are useful for this journey that takes you along the coast south of Downpatrick returning via upland countryside providing plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. Look out for the seals at Minerstown. Great views of the distant Mourne Mountains from the beach at Rosbeg. Visit the lighthouse at St John's point.
Grade: Moderate: Distance 40km

St Patrick’s Country

Quoile - Saul - Slieve Patrick - Audley’s Castle - Strangford - Lough Money - Quoile

Starting from the nature reserve at Quoile the ride goes through Saul to Slieve Patrick, where it is said St Patrick first preached. Audley’s Castle is a 15th century tower house with lovely views across Strangford Lough an important wildlife sanctuary. We linger for awhile in Strangford town before returning to Quoile via the attractive Lough Money.
Grade: Easy to Moderate: Distance 30km

Slieve Croob and Mourne Views

Castlewellan - Slieve Croob - Legananny Dolmen - Castlewellan

Starting from the market town of Castlewellan the route heads northwards climbing slowly towards the Slieve Croob hills. From the pass the view of the Mourne Mountains is magnificent and well worth the climb.

Legananny portal Tomb

We visit the Legananny Dolmen on our return journey to Castlewellan. This is a fine example of a Portal Tomb from the neolithic period.

Grade: Hard: Distance 40km


High Mourne Circuit

Newcastle - Trassey - Spelga Dam - Silent Valley - Rourke’s Park - Annalong

A classic route for fit cyclists. The start of the ride involves a steady climb out of Newcastle. At Meelmore Lodge (Trassey) there is opportunity to stop for refreshments before tackling the mountain pass. Views along the way of Spelga Dam ringed with mountains help to distract from the effort required to reach the highest point. An exhilarating freewheeling downhill section follows with views ahead of the Mourne coastline. Turning eastward we pass the Silent Valley and Rourke’s Park before finishing in Annalong, a former fishing port.
Grade: Hard : Distance 34km


Mourne Downhill 1

Spelga reservoir - Foffanny - Tollymore - Lough Island Reavy - Newcastle

Starting high up in the Mourne Mountain Range this ride has plenty of downhill sections and varied scenery. The route takes you along small rural roads visiting one of the former great estates of the area.

Grade Easy - Moderate


Mourne Downhill 2

Spelga reservoir - Silent Valley - Newcastle via the wrack roads

Find out about the Granite Men of Mourne on this journeyand why the beautiful mountain valley where the Granite men toiled over many years is now called The Silent Valley

Grade Moderate

Check the event guide for current information.



You are advised to check if the route suits your fitness level.



Outdoor Ireland North, 14 Shimnavale, Newcastle, County Down, BT33 0EF, Northern Ireland.
T: +44 (0)28 4372 5191 ~ M: +44 (0) 79 7340 8056 ~ E: loretto@outdoorirelandnorth.co.uk
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