best greenways to cycle in Ireland

6 Greenways To Cycle In Ireland This Summer

Thinking of taking the bikes away this summer? I’ve got six great Greenways to cycle in Ireland as well as bike racks to help get you there.

We had the pleasure of cycling the Waterford Greenway a few years ago and loved it. We are not big cycling enthusiasts by any means, but the assurance of knowing there were no cars around, as well as the stunning scenery, made cycling such a pleasant experience. My children, Luke and Alex, really enjoyed it too. It was one of those rare outdoor family activities where there were no complaints! We hope to take advantage of the many more Greenways available and cycle in Ireland again this summer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Of course it is not only families that are looking to cycle in Ireland this summer, so many of us have taken up cycling over the past year. The combination of having to partake in more outdoor activities, and the improved cycle lanes cropping up all over our cities, has certainly encouraged everyone to cycle a little more.

I have highlighted six Greenways to cycle in Ireland that are suitable for people of all ages, which one will you choose?



1. Waterford Greenway, Waterford

Waterford Greenway from above

Despite only opening in 2017, the Waterford Greenway is practically a household name, and is one of Ireland’s top attractions. Its 46km trail is located on a disused railway line and stretches all the way from Waterford city to the seaside town of Dungarvan. We only cycled 10km of the Waterford Greenway, from Durrow to Dungarvan, but plan to go back and cycle some more.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The Waterford Greenway offers gorgeous sea and mountain views, eleven bridges, three viaducts, medieval ruins, and even a fairy trail! There are so many wonderful places to stop along the way, including the gardens at Mount Congreve and the beaches along the Copper Coast.


There are six different sections to cycle, so if you don’t fancy cycling the 46km, you can start and stop at any one of those six points.

See more here



2. Great Western Greenway, Mayo


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Wild Mayo | Travel | Visit (@wildmayo)

The Great Western Greenway is high on my wish list to cycle in Ireland. We visited Mayo last summer and I wish we had time to cycle at least some of the 42km trail from Westport to Achill Sound. You can choose to cycle the full 42km, or pick up the trail in the coastal towns of Newport or Mulranny and cycle part of it.  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The Great Western Greenway was completed in 2011, and may well have been the inspiration to build many more greenways to cycle in Ireland. The location of this greenway couldn’t be better. We drove most of this route last summer and the scenery is spectacular.


There are three main sections, Achill to Mulranny (13km), Mulranny to Newport (18km), and Newport to Westport (11km). If you are cycling from Mulranny to Achill, make sure you allow extra time to explore the stunning beaches on Achill Island. 

See more here



3. Blessington Greenway, Wicklow

Child on Blessington Greenway

Despite being a mere 45 minutes drive from our house, I am almost ashamed to admit that we only cycled the Blessington Greenway for the first time recently. Unlike many of the Greenways on this list, it is relatively short, and can be completed in an hour if so wished. The trail is just under 6km and stretches from the Avon Lakeshore activity centre to the magnificent Russbourough House.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

However, I suggest you plan a full day to explore this gorgeous greenway in the Garden of Ireland. You will want to stop and admire the gorgeous scenery along the Blessington Lakes, enjoy a coffee and stroll around the grounds at Russborough House, and enjoy some tasty food from the food trucks at Avon when you return.

Blessington Greenway, Ireland

We loved our day here last month and given more time, we would have liked to try some of the many water sports and outdoor activities available at Avon. The Blessington Greenway can be enjoyed on foot or bicycle. In fact you can expect to see many walkers on your route, so it is not a place for serious cyclists, but instead the perfect day out for all the family.

Read: 12 great things to do in Wicklow with kids
See more here



4. Suir Blueway, Tipperary


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Suir Blueway Tipperary 🚴🚣🏃🛶 (@suirbluewaytipperary)

The Suir Blueway combines 21km of cycle trails with 32km of waterways to give a 53km Blueway from from Cahir via Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. The cycling trail is located alongside the River Suir and runs from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir, but if time allows why not kayak some of waterways too?  

We loved this area when we visited a few years ago. Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles, and don’t miss the delightful 2km walk to the restored Swiss Cottage – this is certainly one of the hidden gems in Ireland.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The 21km cycle trail is in four sections, and similarly to other greenways, you can choose to cycle part, or all of it. It is suitable for all levels of fitness and there are many picnic spots along the way. When you arrive in Carrick on Suir, take time to visit the medieval Ormond Castle as well as the Tudor Artisan Hub. This is a wonderful collection of 50 local artists who have gathered together to offer a selection of unique handcrafted products – I’m sure you fill find the perfect souvenir to bring home!  

See more here



6. Royal Canal Greenway, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath & Longford

cycle in Ireland on the Royal Canal Greenway

The Royal Canal Greenway opened in 2021, and it is now the longest greenway in Ireland. It stretches over 130km along the historic Royal Canal from Maynooth, Kildare to Clondra, Longford. The Royal Canal has 90 bridges, 33 locks and 17 harbours, so you can boat, paddle, walk, or cycle along the route.

Newgrange at Brú-na-Bóinne

There are 14 access points along the greenway, roughly at 10km intervals, making it easy to cycle smaller individual routes. There  are five main trailheads, Maynooth, Enfield, Mullingar, Clondra and Longford, which offer services and amenities including toilets, public transport, car parking and accommodation.

The Royal Canal Greenway would make an ideal addition to a trip in the Boyne Valley, as there are 22kms of cycle trails in Meath. 

Read: 5 Family activity breaks less than an hour from Dublin



6. The Limerick Greenway, Limerick

5 Greenways to cycle in Ireland

What was once the Great Southern Trail is now the Limerick Greenway after a €10 million transformation.  This 40km walking and cycling route is located along part of the old railway line that once connected Limerick to Tralee. There are five different access points along the Greenway that connects Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.

Ballyhoura bike trails in Limerick

Along the Greenway you can expect to see castles, abbeys and medieval ruins, as well as superb scenery. Cycling enthusiasts will be excited to know that Ballyhoura mountain biking trails are just 40 minutes drive from the Limerick Greenway at Newcastle West. The Ballyhoura Mountain range has the largest mountain biking trails in Ireland. There are 92km of trails for beginners and serious bikers here. 

See more here


Similar Posts