Cycling

  • The Poets Trail - The Ballykeel Loop

    This route takes you through minor country roads with moderately steep hills and disused lanes, which may become muddy in wet weather. It takes you past the birthplace of renowned poet and scribe Art Bennett and provides breathtaking views of the Ring of Gullion an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cloverhill Golf Course is also nearby.

    Location: This cycle route begins at the Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre, Mullaghbawn, and covers a distance of 8 miles.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Parking, Disabled Parking, Toilets, Refreshments.

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  • Cranfield to Greencastle

    This cycle route is a gentle one along the flat land of the South Down Coast. It takes you through places of interest such as Cranfield Resort Sea Side Award, Greencastle Castle that is open to the public during the summer months, Whitewater River with excellent fishing and Halbowline Lighthouse. This route will also provide you with a chance to do a spot of Bird Watching with various breeds of wildfowl and the famous Brent Geese.

    Location: This cycle route begins at the Lower Square in Kilkeel Town Centre and covers a distance of 12 miles.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Parking, Disabled Parking, Toilets, Picnic areas, Refreshments, Accommodation.

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  • Head Road

    This is a moderate cycle route with some ascent and descent that takes you beneath the high Mournes with beautiful views across patchwork fields and stonewalls. On route you will pass the Silent Valley, a manmade reservoir nestled in the Mountains, refreshments available during the summer months. You will also travel alongside the Irish Sea and Carlingford Lough.

    Location: This cycle route begins at the Lower Square Kilkeel Town Centre and is 16 miles long.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Parking, Disabled Parking, Toilets, Picnic areas, Refreshments, Accommodation.

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  • Newry Canal Towpath

    This cycle route follows the towpath of the now disused Newry Canal. Built in 1792 this canal was the first summit level canal in the British Isles. The route is 32km long and takes you past 13 lock gates and the villages of Scarva, Poyntzpass and Jerrettspass. There is a leaflet to accompany the walk which is available from Newry Tourist Information Centre.

    Location: This cycle route begins at Canal Quay in Newry City Centre and is 20 miles long.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Picnic areas and refreshments available en route.

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  • Rostrevor to Hilltown

    This is a circular route with some steep climbs. It runs between the Villages of Rostrevor and Hilltown, passing through the Mourne Mountains with spectacular views of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula. You will pass through Rostrevor Forest, Yellow Water River and Picnic Area and Santa's Cottage (open from November to Christmas Eve)

    Location: This cycle route begins in the Village of Rostrevor and covers a distance of 17 miles.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Picnic areas, accommodation en route.

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  • Knockchree

    This is a strenuous route with some steep climbs, which takes you in a circular route between Kilkeel and Attical offering you magnificent views of the Mountains of Mourne, Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula. This route takes you past Whitewater River, which boasts excellent fishing, Cranfield Blue Flag Beach and Greencastle Castle. There is also excellent Bird Watching along this route from Greencastle looking toward Green Island.

    Location: This cycle route begins at the Lower Square in Kilkeel Town Centre and covers a distance of 17 miles.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk, www.greencastle-countydown-northernireland.co.uk

    Facilities: Picnic area, accommodation en route, refreshments, parking, disabled parking, toilets.

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  • Newry to South Armagh

    This circular route takes you from Newry through the scenic South Armagh countryside. You will pass through Bessbrook, a Quaker Model Village, constructed of Mourne Granite and built by the Quaker Linen manufacturer John Richardson Grubb. Through Camlough you will travel alongside Camlough Lake, an excellent spot for fishing and the venue for the annual Crooked Lake Triathalon. Next stop will be the Cardinal O'Fiach Heritage Centre where the life and times of the late Cardinal Thomas O'Fiach is documented. From Crossmaglen, with its lively markets in the town square you will travel to Creggan Parish Church, the burial place of three of Ireland's most famous poets and scribes Art McCumhaigh, Patrick MacAliondain and Seamus Mor MacMurphy. This is also the start of the Poets Glen walking and cycling trails.

    Location: This route begins in Newry City Centre where you travel on the B133 to Bessbrook.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Picnic areas, accommodation en route, refreshments en route, parking.

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  • Newry to South Down

    This circular route takes you from Newry through the spectacular scenery of South Down. You will pass the Norman Fortification of Narrow Water Keep (open to the public during summer months) on way to Warrenpoint, a favourite holiday haunt of the Victorians. As you journey onto Rostrevor you will pass on your left, a monument to General Robert Ross whos troops are said to be responsible for the burning of the White House during the 1814 war at Bladensburg. You will then travel alongside Carlingford Lough past Kilbroney Forest Park onto Greencastle. Here you will find Greencastle Castle, an Anglo Norman castle built in 1260. Next stop is Kilkeel Harbour, and one of the largest fishing fleets in Ireland. Onto Annalong where you can visit Annalong Cornmill, one of the last working watermills in Ireland. This route will take you past the Silent Valley; a manmade reservoir nestled in the Mourne Mountains. From here you will pass through the Deers Meadow on way to Hilltown, famous for its public houses and smuggler's pads.

    Location: This route begins in Newry City Centre where you join the A2 Coastal Route.

    Website: www.cycleni.com, www.sustrans.co.uk

    Facilities: Picnic areas, fishing, refreshments, accommodation en route, parking, disabled parking, toilets.

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