Most Popular Routes Per County
In the latest of our member insights blog series, we’re highlighting some of the most popular cycle routes in Ireland, broken down by county.
These insights have been provided by See.Sense, our Official Bicycle Lights and Data Insights Supplier. See.Sense will be continuing to provide member insight blogs throughout 2022, using data insights collected through the free See.Sense app.
To kick off 2022, we’re displaying the most popular cycle routes across several counties according to our data. Although not all counties have been included here due to data coverage, the list provides a good snapshot of popular routes across all corners of Ireland. Let us know if your favourite cycle route is featured here, and if not, make sure to get involved to put your county on the map!
Seacliff Road - Bangor
The Seacliff Road in Bangor is a popular scenic route along the coast, offering picturesque views of Belfast Lough on a clear day. There is no designated cycle infrastructure along this road, however it is a one-way street and has a relatively wide pavement, making it a popular destination for local cyclists.
The Belfast road connects Newtownards and Dundonald, and allows for cyclists to get to Newtownards without having to use the main dual carriageway. The Kiltonga Nature reserve also lies at the end of the Belfast Road, contributing to the large number of cyclists making use of this route.
A27 - Craigavon
This popular route along the A27 is the main connecting road between Portadown and Lurgan, and as such receives a large amount of cycle traffic. However, there is unfortunately no cycle infrastructure present on this road.
Garvaghy Road - Portadown
The Garvaghy road is one of the most popular routes in County Armagh, as it connects several large residential areas to the centre of Portadown. Although the road has no dedicated cycle infrastructure, it is relatively easy to cycle on as it is quite wide with a low speed limit. From the data below it is clear that this route serves as a vital link through Portadown.
A29 - Cookstown
The A-29 runs through the centre of Cookstown, and as a result it is the most popular cycle route in Tyrone. Unfortunately, the road does not have any cycle infrastructure in place, although the low speed limit here does make cycling significantly easier.
Strand Road Waterfront
The most popular spot in County Derry/Londonderry is the Strand Road waterfront, a hugely popular spot with walkers and cyclists alike. This pedestrianised walkway and cycle lane runs along the River Foyle and connects to the Peace Bridge and St. Columb’s Park, as well as providing easy access to the city centre. The route offers scenic views across the river and hosts several popular coffee shops and restaurants, so it's no surprise this spot tops the list in the county.
Shore Road and Hazelbank Park
The Shore Road is one of the most popular cycle routes in County Antrim. The arterial road has a high-quality and largely flat cycle lane that provides a link from Newtownabbey to Belfast, as well as offering a connection to the Ulster University Jordanstown campus and to the popular Hazelbank park. As seen by the second image, the park itself provides good cycling opportunities, particularly if you’re cycling as a family.
The most popular route in Donegal according to the See.Sense data is along the scenic coastal route, R257. This rural road sweeps around the west coast of Donegal from Gweedore to Falcarragh, providing stunning views of the rugged coastal landscape. These rural roads can offer fantastic cycling opportunities, particularly when it’s a quieter day in terms of traffic.
This cycle route passes through Monkstown, along the side of the River Lee. Despite the lack of dedicated cycle infrastructure here, the flat road combined with beautiful scenery makes this a popular spot to cycle. It is interesting to note that further down the road the port to cross the river is highlighted in the data, as cyclists can be seen to be crossing.
The route around the Dingle peninsula is extremely popular, with most cyclists beginning in Dingle and looping around the coast towards Ballyferriter. The picturesque views of Kerry that can be found on this route, combined with the popularity of Dingle itself, means that it's no surprise that this route tops the list for Kerry.
This lengthy route along the R448 running from Thomastown towards Waterford stands out as the most popular route in Kilkenny, and is perfect for more experienced cyclists looking to experience a longer ride.
The most popular route in Kildare passes close to the Blessington Lakes, on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains. This route straddles the border of Kildare and Wicklow, as cyclists pass by the grounds of Russborough House, before circling back near the popular Poulaphouca Waterfall.
Maynooth Town Centre
Data also displays that Maynooth possesses high levels of cycling, with popular routes passing by St Patricks College in the town centre. There is a designated cycle lane for much of this route on the R408 heading into Maynooth, which contributes to the high level of cycling here. If you build the infrastructure, cyclists will come!
In Wicklow, the most popular route circles around the shores of the previously mentioned Poulaphouca Reservoir. This route is directly adjacent to the N81 in County Kildare, with many cyclists seemingly completing a larger route that encompasses both the N81 as well as this route around the reservoir.
Southern Coastal Route
As displayed in our previous Top 5 Routes Dublin Edition
, Dublin’s north and south coastal routes are hugely popular amongst cyclists in the city. This route along Dublin’s south coast runs from Dun Laoghaire towards Coliemore Harbour, and is a particularly scenic route on a sunny day.
Limerick to Cratloe & King John’s Castle
For cyclists in Limerick the most common route undertaken is along the scenic country roads that head towards Cratloe in County Clare. This leafy countryside route runs parallel to the N18, with the backroads providing cyclists with a quieter, safer route to cycle on. In central Limerick, the roads around King John’s Castle also host large amounts of cycle traffic.
Carlingford Lough Crossing
This popular route runs along the coastal area of County Louth before branching off towards the Carlingford lough ferry crossing. This route provides fantastic views overlooking Carlingford Lough, and for much of the route there is a designated path for cyclists and pedestrians that is separated from the main road.
Beaulieu House and Garden
In Drogheda, many cyclists make use of the R167 road that stretches alongside the river Boyne. This route goes past the Beaulieu House and Gardens, through the countryside before finally arriving into Drogheda town centre.
Similarly to Maynooth, through our data in Waterford we can see the impact of designated cycle routes. The 46 kilometer Waterford Greenway has been popular since its creation, and this is evident from the high levels of traffic shown on the road. This section of the Greenway leads to Ballyvoyle Cove.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of some of Ireland’s most popular bike routes, and be sure to give some of these routes a try if you live nearby! Check out our 'Find a Route
' section for more routes around Ireland.
We will have more data insight member blogs coming throughout the year, so make sure to get involved by anonymously contributing your ride stats using the free See.Sense App. You need to own a See.Sense light to contribute, however Cycling Ireland Membership offers an exclusive 30% discount code off all See.Sense award-winning reactive bike lights - check your membership newsletter to find your unique code.
Not Just A Bike Light
It's not just about the insights. If you own a See.Sense product and have joined the See.Sense community through their mobile app, you’ll see some unique and fun stats about your own rides too. These include:
The distance you've cycled
The calories you've burned
How much CO2 you’ve saved by cycling
More unique and fun stats.
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