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  1. #1
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    500-600 miles in Ireland?

    Planning this summer's tour.

    A week after IOM TT motorcycle races are over and my son flies home I will have 45-50 days at my disposal and my bicycle

    Starting in Blackpool (northwest of Manchester/Liverpool) the first 700-800 miles and two or three weeks is gonna be through the Lake District then a dash along Hadrian's Wall turning left off of it north through the Scottish Lowlands then Highlands (Cairngorms??) to Culloden. Turn west along the Great Glen, go up Ben Nevis, dash down to Stranraer to take the ferry to Ulster. This whole Scottish part is gonna be a sprint, relatively speaking. Target pace is 50 miles/day.

    No definite plans in Ireland other than start in Ulster and meander my way south. All my grandparents were Irish Catholic emigrants but I have never been. Probably I will linger in the County Cork/Cobh area where my grandparents came from.

    I'll be camping and travelling light. Hope to cross into Ireland around July 4th.

    All suggestions appreciated.

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 01-26-16 at 10:46 AM.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I used the Lerne Stranraer ferry to go between Northern Ireland , and Scotland, its the shortest distance .

    North of Belfast , Antrim Coast.

    Inverness to Ft William North side main road stays at shore level , south side is uphill .. to Foyers .. steep down .

    Ben Nevis has a big difference in weather m between the base and the summit It is not to be treated casually..

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    A fan of whisky and good beer? Cheeses? Start there. Not to be a focus , but I always enjoy the local good stuff, what ever that might be.

  4. #4
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Good source of info on cycling Northern Ireland. Welcome to Cycle NI

    Info on Western coastal routes: Home | Wild Atlantic Way
    History is the future

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

    Inverness to Ft William North side main road stays at shore level , south side is uphill .. to Foyers .. steep down .

    Ben Nevis has a big difference in weather m between the base and the summit It is not to be treated casually..
    Good things to know, tks.

    While I know about the best-laid plans of mice and men etc.... I'm thinking a ~70mile push would be my target between Culloden Moor and Ft. William.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    A fan of whisky and good beer? Cheeses? Start there. Not to be a focus , but I always enjoy the local good stuff, what ever that might be.
    All of that, and good conversation. Plus I'm a bird watcher by avocation and sometimes vocation ("Sharpshin" refers to the sharp-shinned hawk, sort of our equivalent to the Old-World sparrowhawk.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    All of that, and good conversation. Plus I'm a bird watcher by avocation and sometimes vocation ("Sharpshin" refers to the sharp-shinned hawk, sort of our equivalent to the Old-World sparrowhawk.)
    I have a few small binoculars that I sometimes travel with. Lighter than my full sized nikon 8x40's.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Or Slartybartfast says ..Plans of Just Mice ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    I have a few small binoculars that I sometimes travel with. Lighter than my full sized nikon 8x40's.
    I'll be bringing two, in case my first pair craps out

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
    Good source of info on cycling Northern Ireland. Welcome to Cycle NI

    Info on Western coastal routes: Home | Wild Atlantic Way
    Thanks for those links.

    Tho it is becoming apparent that there are two ways to plan a trip to Ireland, the google maps bicycle way through the middle and then the coastal scenic routes which are uber long. At this point I expect I will cut through the middle, with short sections of the coast.

    I'm hoping to sleep out most every night. I joined the UK Camping and Caravanning Club for access to their 7,000 campsites. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent club for the Irish Republic.

    Here's a relevant quote on camping in Ireland. Posted here for feedback....

    Steer clear of 'wild' camping - Independent.ie

    In this day and age, there isn't a town or village in Ireland which doesn't have its own gang of drink and drug-addled hooligans who spend most of the night cruising the back roads and boreens in high-powered cars, looking for mischief.

    Well hey, 26 years here living and teaching in a lower-income higher-crime area of an American big city without incident and according to this guy I can still go to Ireland and get soundly thumped by my distant cousins. At least it would be somewhere pretty

    ...and I might recover consciousness to the sound of skylarks, blackbirds, and meadow pipits.....

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 01-26-16 at 04:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    Thanks for those links.

    Tho it is becoming apparent that there are two ways to plan a trip to Ireland, the google maps bicycle way through the middle and then the coastal scenic routes which are uber long. At this point I expect I will cut through the middle, with short sections of the coast.

    I'm hoping to sleep out most every night. I joined the UK Camping and Caravanning Club for access to their 7,000 campsites. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent club for the Irish Republic.

    Here's a relevant quote on camping in Ireland. Posted here for feedback....

    Steer clear of 'wild' camping - Independent.ie

    In this day and age, there isn't a town or village in Ireland which doesn't have its own gang of drink and drug-addled hooligans who spend most of the night cruising the back roads and boreens in high-powered cars, looking for mischief.

    Well hey, 26 years here living and teaching in a lower-income higher-crime area of an American big city without incident and according to this guy I can still go to Ireland and get soundly thumped by my distant cousins. At least it would be somewhere pretty

    ...and I might recover consciousness to the sound of skylarks, blackbirds, and meadow pipits.....

    Mike
    2010! Someone went back 6 years to find a horror story. It happened. it could happen again but you could also be trampled by a runaway horse.

    Wild camping is possible but it's advisable to check with the landowner first. Property owners can be pretty touchy about people camping on their land without permission, chances are he/she will invite you to stay indoors if asked nicely.

    My advice, pick a general route and refine it as you go along.
    History is the future

  12. #12
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    Wild camping is possible but it's advisable to check with the landowner first. Property owners can be pretty touchy about people camping on their land without permission, chances are he/she will invite you to stay indoors if asked nicely.


    To add a bit of back-story, I was a kid in Blackpool back in the '60's. My dad (AKA "Frank the Yank") used to keep a baseball bat behind the counter of our fish and chip shop in case of trouble after the pubs let out, us kids' bedroom where we slept was right above the shop


    ...and I wouldn't dream of trespassing. Here in the US on my one 2,000 mile trip to NY State the property lines were far enough back from the highway proper that I could find places to sleep out of the headlights while still remaining on the public right-of-way. Prob'ly not the case in Ireland. Worse came to worst I'd probably nod off sitting against the public side of a stone wall wrapped in a blanket.

    Anyhoo... I'm hoping that there's enough available campsites in Ireland that I could plan my daily destinations around them.

    Mike







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    OK, tour plans taking shape. I want to aim to be done in 42 days so as to allow a week's leeway at the end. This isn't planned as a stop-and-smell-the-roses tour, but one where the objective to cover the distance as fast as practicable, much as my TX-NY trip was. Hoping to average 50 miles/day (I did 65/day over 2,000 from here to NY.).

    1) Blackpool UK to Culloden (Inverness) via the Lake District and Carlisle w/brief detour along Hadrian's Wall. ~400 miles

    2) Culloden to Ben Nevis area via north shore of Loch Ness. ~75 miles

    3) Ben Nevis to the ferry at Cambeltown (Kintyre Peninsula) ~140 miles

    4) Ferry dock at Ballycastle, (Ulster) head southwest clear to the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland ~260 miles.

    5) Cliffs of Moher ESE to Cashel and the Scully Cross ~100 miles.

    6) Cashel to the Cohb area, where my lot embarked from ~70 miles.

    7) Cohb to the ferry at Rosslare ~120 miles

    8) Ferry to Cherbourg

    9) Cherbourg to Calais via Bayeux and Normandy beaches ~350 miles

    10) Ferry to Dover

    11) Dover to Blackpool via Wales if time permits ~500 miles

    That's the plan anyway, be cool if I can pull this all off. Ballparks to around 2,000 miles give or take.

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 01-29-16 at 06:19 PM.

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