7 Irish Greenways to enjoy during National Bike Week

By Fiona Frawley

May 17, 2022 at 12:34pm

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For those among us who want to ride our bicycles, who want to ride our bikes.

It's National Bike Week and that means one thing: oil up that chain and dust off your helmet - it's time to get out for a cycle.

A whip around the local park or up to the shops for a pint of milk is all well and good and Eamon Ryan-approved, but if you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, we've rounded up 7 of the most beautiful greenways in Ireland to bike along.

Limerick Greenway

A 40km path through local countryside, the Limerick Greenway follows the old Limerick to Kerry railway line taking you on a journey through lush green landscape and historic sites, with plenty of bustling towns and villages along the way.

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The Dodder Greenway, Dublin

The Dodder Greenway is currently in development and once completed will be over 17km long, linking Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to the entrance to the Bohernabreena reservoirs at Glenasmole in South Dublin. Ahead of the official launch, the route has been upgraded with three new pedestrian and cycle bridges, 750m of new pathway and 2.6km of upgraded paths, all available to be enjoyed by cyclists and walkers right now.

Waterford Greenway

A 46km path following the old Mallow to Waterford railway line, stretching from historic Waterford city to the seaside down of Dungarvan. The route will take you along eleven bridges, three viaducts and the banks of the River Suir, through to the sandy beaches of the Copper Coast.

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Great Western Greenway, Mayo

A 42km trail winding along the coast of Clew Bay, the Great Western Greenway was completed in 2011 and has been the inspiration for many similar routes around the country. Offering views of Mayo’s mountains, bogs, farmland and the Atlantic coastline, the route follows the old Midlands Great Western Railway, which closed in 1937.

Old Rail Trail, Westmeath

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A 43km trail beginning in bustling Athlone and finishing in Mullingar - Greenways Ireland say you'll "hear nothing but birdsong and the whirr of the spokes on your bike" on the stretch between the two towns. Cycle along the River Shannon in Athlone and the Royal Canal in Mullingar, experiencing pockets of unique biodiversity and heritage along the way. This route follows the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track.

Royal Canal Greenway, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford

At 130Km, the impressive Royal Canal Greenway will be the longest of its kind in Ireland once completed. For now, the route will guide you through unspoilt stretches of countryside, also highlighting examples of late 18th century industrial heritage buildings. There are currently plans underway to further develop the greenway as far as Galway!

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Suir Blueway, Tipperary

Last but certainly not least, the 53km Suir Blueway is made up of a 21km cycling/walking trail from Carrick-on-Suir to Clonmel, followed by a further 32km of waterway along the River Suir which can be canoed or kayaked. Enjoy beautiful countryside dotted with bridges, castles and churches, and watch out for otters, heron and other wildlife along the way!

Will you be taking the bike out for the week that's in it?

Header image via Instagram/Waterford Greenway 

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