From Dungarvan in Waterford to Manorhamilton in Leitrim and everything in-between!
Cycling through the Slieve Bloom and Silvermine mountains, the bogs of Offaly, along by the banks of the Shannon following its course north towards the hills & drumlins of Cavan & Leitrim. The variety of landscape within the 350 km route I took, which was mainly back roads, was very varied and offered some memorable surprises!
The roads were noticeably quieter as holiday makers made their way to the West. No doubt the West of Ireland is stunningly beautiful but is becoming a little crowded during the summer months. With convoys of caravans, rental cars and tour buses an already creaking road system is severely tested! By just veering a little inland away from the coast you will experience a different Ireland.
Travelling through Ireland’s heartlands reveals a host of hidden treasures to the slow travelling cyclists with a keen eye and fortunate sense of chance. A lot of the route I had planned before i set off changed on the recommendations of people I met along the way. Ancient holy wells, fairy trees, sweat houses, magic roads, pubs, cafes were only found by directions giving by people I met while cycling – not by google!
The geography of the midlands of Ireland is made up of plains, bogs, lakes and rivers with most of Ireland’s peaks and mountains along by its coasts. The farming land is mainly made up of beef, dairy and sheep, with large swatches of gentry estates scattered throughout. Most of the roads i cycled on were lined with trees which was ideal for summer showers. When it rains the canopy of broad leaf trees offer shelter and the low wild fruit and berry bushes present a snack while you wait for the passing shower!
There’s lots to see and do and the best way is by bike!