We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bike Tour in 2014

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
664 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Bike Tour in 2014

I'm hoping to do a bike tour of NW and Northern Ireland next year, most likely in September. I was hoping to fly into and out of either Belfast (preferred), or Dublin. Is it true that there is no left luggage at either the airport or train station in Belfast? This would make bringing my touring bike more difficult. I've done a very rough route of what I'm looking at so far (the link below), but I'm wondering how best to go about making a detailed route map? Any maps people recommend? The stop in Monaghan is to see the town where my great-grandfather was from and do some genealogy research. I'm also looking to travel down to Cashel and Tipperary for some more genealogy and touring after the northern part of my trip. I believe that buses in Ireland will generally allow bikes in the luggage compartments if there is room, correct?

I know that at the high end of the temperature scale it might hit about 60 degrees in September and I would pack for rain. I've researched accommodations already and it looks like there are a fair number of B&Bs and hostels available on my route. What else should I consider?

Link to Google Map of route: http://goo.gl/maps/I2gje

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,365 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Whilst there is no left luggage at the train/bus station in belfast, there is at the tourist information centre which is only about a 5 minute walk from the europa bus station/great victoria train station in belfast.

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,365 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Personally I would have tried to include a visit to the ulster-american folk park at omagh given your ancestry but that would mean adjusting your itinerary or taking a side trip by bus from Derry..As your great grandfather would have left more recently, a better option might be to visit the ulster folk and transport museum at cultra. I am guessing you will take a couple of days in belfast to get over jetlag and see the city and the folk park is a very easy 15 minute train ride from belfast.

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,365 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Lots of useful information on www.cycleni.com

website

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
664 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Thank you for the tip about the left luggage location. That will be a big help.

I also should have mentioned that I did make an alternate route with a stop in Omagh. I could either do it instead of Enniskillen or before the Enniskillen stop. I would have time to visit the museum in Cultra for sure as I was planning on spending my 1st two nights in Belfast before heading to Monaghan.

I've been using that cycleni website and it had been very helpful in my planning so far.

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
2,709 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Good plan. Whilst I see you have picked up on the NCN in some places (eg route 9 along the Lagan) you have not in other places. NCN has been very well researched to take into account suitable roads, level of traffic and scenic locations. Particularly along the Antrim coast road NCN makes the choice to take the main road even though it can be a little busy as it is very scenic. Then between Cushendall and Ballycastle it takes the incredible small road by Torr Head, but you are missing that!

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
664 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Drumlough- The route I have so far is a rough route. I've ordered a Michelin map to try to do some more detailed planning. I was trying to find one of the older Ordinance Survey maps but so far I haven't had any luck.

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
2,709 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

The best maps are the OS Discover series 1:50000, but for a trip of your magnitute you would need to carry so may that it would not be practical nor affordable. The old half-inch was a better scale and you could have got away with I thin 4 maps. However it is very dated even if you can find copies. I'm not at all familiar with Michelin maps of Ireland. In fact I can't recall seeing them on the shelf in local book shops and tourist info centres so I would doubt that this would be a good choice.

However have a look at the OSNI Holiday map which would give the entire area on one sheet at 1:250000. This will also give you tourist info likely to be of benefit so I think would be your best choice:

maps.osni.gov.uk/SearchResults.aspx…

Suffolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Cephalonia
Level Contributor
9,300 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Hi,

The OS maps of the UK at a car driving scale are available as a free app for i phones. You can buy different sections at 1:25000 quite cheaply.

I presume the same applies to other smart phones

Bob

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
2,709 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Whilst that might be called UKmapAPP, it is sadly a misnomer and should be called GBmapAPP. If you can find free OS mapping for the the Irish Grid north or south I would be delighted.

Suffolk, United...
Destination Expert
for Cephalonia
Level Contributor
9,300 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Bike Tour in 2014

Ooops! Sorry for the misinformation.

Bob