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-   -   Ireland, what's it like? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/europe/ireland-whats-it-like-22666)

Matt Cartney 8 Aug 2006 21:44

Ireland, what's it like?
What's Ireland like? Any off-roading potential? Esp. in North (i.e. easy access from Scotland!) Plenty of campsites I expect? What are they like? Guess who's bored and wants to go somewhere?

Dodger 9 Aug 2006 02:09

Ireland is a great place ,-- go !
I never did any off-roading there ,just pulled off the road for a Guinness or several .
Highly recommended .

newoven 9 Aug 2006 09:39

Matt, As an irish biker I confirm what Dodger said. Ireland is great but there are a couple of things to be aware of. Off-roading isn't my area but I think it's pretty rare, certainly in the East of the country where pretty much everywhere is farmland or pastureland. Maybe there's a bit more flexibility in the North but in the republic walkers are having trouble getting access to land so bikers must really struggle. The green lane/right of way idea in the UK isn't applicable here as far as I know.

On road things are better though. On a bike you should be able to get from Belfast to Dublin in 2.5 hours, and Dublin to Galway or Cork in 3ish, so the whole island is accessible. The best twisties are in the west in Mayo and Donegal, and in the South west in Kerry and West Cork. The roads around Louisburgh and Westport (try driving from Westport to Louisburgh and on to Delphi and Leenane, then to Galway) in Mayo are a favourite of mine. They're not fast roads though as this time of year they're often being resurfaced (the dreaded loose chippings) and can have a fair few tourists in rented Daewoo Matizs wandering about. From Galway the natural route is south through Clare along the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher to Tarbert where a ferry takes you accross the Shannon estuary to North Kerry. A great scenic route in Kerry is from Tralee to Dingle, then drive around the Dingle peninsula. It's fantastic but again it's a pootling along drive rather than a screamer because of dodgy surfaces and tour buses. Don't miss the road from Killarney to Kenmare either - the section from Killarney to Ladies Gap is a famous rally stage and well worth the drive.

In the Dublin area head to the Wicklow Muntains just to the south (more large hills really) where there are lots of scottish-like roads and views. You might get some off-roading here but you might also get a farmer/shotgun combo wanting to talk to you. One section of road in particular from Tallaght to Blessington and on to Glendalough is a joy both for scenery and surface as it was upgraded a few years back for the Tour de France. Again watch for tourists though - those buggers like to stop for pics.

I've also heard very good things about the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland - they're to be found to the south of Strangford Lough and just north of the border on the east coast so a short hop from the ferry. Again there might be off-roading possibilities there but I can't be sure.


Kevinb99 9 Aug 2006 17:11

here's an Irish biker site you can look at, it'll show you what we're wingeing about, but also give you ideas for routes and whats on etc.


Also I posted a link to a Wiclow mountain ride video yesterday.


Come over and have a craic

Matt Cartney 9 Aug 2006 18:52

Hi guys,
Thanks thats given me something to think about. Kevin, your vid is part of what made me start this thread!

Kevinb99 9 Aug 2006 19:04

Thats good then Matt.
when are thinking of coming over?
I met up last week with an Aussie called Guy, who's also a HU member.He came over with no fixed schedule, but hopefully we're going for a tour round next week up to Donegal,Derry,Tyrone and to take in a big road race meeting near Belfast, the UlsterGP.
Give me ring if you get over, I live in Tullamore, in the centre of the island.
00353 87 9929772

luanaigh 9 Aug 2006 19:14

go for it
there is plenty of off roading in ireland, mainly around woods owned by the irish forestry organisation, although i'm new to the off roading secene friends of mine are always at it. an excellent place is the wicklow mountains, all over north cork also there are many off roading rallies around clare (these are the only ones i know about) but i bet my bottom dollar there are places everywhere.ordinance survey maps are great with many hostels having them in beauty locations so i'm sure you could pour over them for free. anyway you'll have a laugh,,,,,,most of the roads in the west suit an off roading type bike anyway. in my short time doing it i've been left alone, go for it and enjoy the craic,

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