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18th Oct 2023

Best cycling spots to enjoy on your next autumn break

Sarah McKenna

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland

With cooler weather to enjoy, this time of year is ideal for a cycle.

There’s nothing quite like a good cycle to help you get the most of an autumn Irish getaway.

The feeling of cycling is incredibly liberating, particularly with a cool breeze on your back. Cycling is also a fantastic way to take in our most picturesque landscapes, and in the autumn, the scenery is a particularly beautiful palette of changing leaves.

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way boasts many cycling routes that are bound to elevate your next short break. Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with a lengthy route, or you’re looking for a small section of the Irish countryside to explore on your bike, you’re bound to find the perfect trail to take your western getaway to the next level.

So, ready to embrace the autumn air and feast your eyes on some stunning countryside? Here are our top cycling spots for you to enjoy on your next autumn break to the Wild Atlantic Way.

Limerick Greenway

The Limerick Greenway is built along the old Limerick to Kerry railway line, and this time of year, it’s a prime spot to check out the magnificent colours of autumn. Hire a bike from Limerick Greenway Bike Hire in Rathkeale, and enjoy the 37km route to Abbeyfeale. Breathe in that cool air and stop off Branagh and enjoy the sumptuous view of the Kerry countryside, now a stunning palette of oranges, greens and yellows.

In terms of satisfying that cycling hunger, we recommend a pastry from Marguerite’s Bakery in Newcastle West as well as some warming dishes and coffee from Platform 22 Cafe. When the night settles in, you’ll want nothing more than to cosy up in a warm pub, and for that we recommend Murphy’s Bar in Abbeyfeale.

Great Western Greenway

To truly take in the natural beauty of Co. Mayo this autumn, add a cycle along the Great Western Greenway to your short break’s itinerary. This route offers cyclists 43km of autumnal scenery to take in along the old rail route that connects Westport to Achill. What’s more, with autumn’s moody weather conditions, this trail looks even more dynamic. Rent a bike from Westport Bike Hire or the Clew Bay Bike Hire and fill your lungs with this season’s fresh air as you explore this region. One section we recommend is the 13km route between Mulranny and Achill Sound, which offers some dramatic coastal views.

There are plenty of great spots to refuel and relax along the Great Western Greenway, so you’re guaranteed to eat well during your Mayo autumn break. Enjoy afternoon tea and coffee in the Blue Bicycle Tearooms, refuel with a hearty meal from Kelly’s Kitchen, or relax with a drink by the fire in McLoughlin’s Bar.

The Beara Way Cycling Route

With dramatic cliff-sides, lively colourful towns and untouched country scenery, West Cork is a popular spot all year round, and as the leaves change with autumn, it takes on a more dynamic appearance. One thrilling way to catch Cork’s dynamic autumn landscapes on your next getaway is to cycle a section of the Beara Way Cycling Route. Take in the refreshing winds as you explore this peninsula. For a breath-taking route with exciting coastal views, we’d recommended the 14km route along Bere Island.

As well as this cycling route, the Beara Peninsula is home to many great spots to warm up with a bite to eat. For fresh seafood, book a table at Breen’s Lobster Bar. And, for ultimate cosy vibes on chilly nights, head to MacCarthy’s Bar in Castletownbere and soak up the atmosphere of this traditional Irish pub.

Glorious Connemara Cycle

The cool autumn weather coupled with the changing autumn leaves makes for ideal cycling conditions, and this half-day cycle in Connemara is a brilliant way to to feast your senses during your autumn getaway. Start off in the town of Cong and enjoy the fairytale-like surroundings of this incredibly picturesque route. Take in the changing foliage of the surrounding forests as you cycle this route, which boasts traditional Irish farms and lakeside scenery along the way.

As well as being a visual treat, Connemara also boasts plenty of great spots to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat throughout your break. Grab a toastie and a warming drink from Coffee Cottage, and for freshly caught local seafood, enjoy sea views and a meal out at The Pier Bar in Cleggan.

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland

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