Ballyshannon To Ballycastle Cycle Route
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Coast to coast... along the coast
The Ballyshannon-Ballycastle cycle route takes you through many interesting towns and villages and opens up the wonderfully diverse natural landscapes typical of the north of Ireland, from the wide Atlantic ocean on the west side, lovely lakes, open moorland and wooded river valleys, to the dramatic headlands along the north Antrim coast.
Starting from the beach at Rossnowlagh, a spur of the Kingfisher Trail brings you into Ballyshannon and Belleek. Follow the route as it criss-crosses the border to the north of Lower Lough Erne before reaching Pettigoe.
Heading north, the route passes close to St Patrick’s Retreat at Lough Derg before commencing the slow descent on quiet laneways along the Derg Valley, through Killeter and Castlederg. From Castlederg it climbs up towards the forests and Baronscourt estate, past Harry Avery’s Castle, and so into Newtownstewart.
Continuing northward, the route follows the Strule River Valley with its famous old railway bridges before joining the Foyle Valley Linear Park at Strabane. Sion Mills is accessible via the ‘swinging bridge’ over the Mourne river. After Strabane the route once again crosses the border at Lifford and continues north to Derry City. Enter the city by the traffic-free path on the route of the former Great Northern Railway line. A delightful riverside path takes cyclists through the city centre.
Crossing Craigavon Bridge cycle towards Newbuildings before continuing south through the northern part of the Sperrin mountains and villages of Claudy and Park. After crossing the main Belfast to Londonderry road the route slowly rises to overlook the Roe Valley before passing the Country Park Centre and enters Limavady by a traffic-free path.
Leaving Limavady you’ll enjoy the most scenically dramatic section of the cycle network. The route climbs towards Binevenagh from where there are magnificent views over Magilligan beach and the Atlantic ocean before descending once again to Coleraine via Downhill and Castlerock. After crossing the Bann at Coleraine take the cycle path through Portstewart and Portrush. The route then heads to the Giant’s Causeway before turning inland to Ballycastle. A spur takes cyclists to the beach at Whitepark Bay. The route ends in Ballycastle where cyclists have the option to continue to Rathlin Island by ferry or on towards Belfast through the Antrim Glens.