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Northern Ireland Ramble Bike Tour

  • Dunluce Castle
  • Antrim coast
  • Giant's Causeway with waves
  • Fish and chips
  • Antrim coast, Northern Ireland
  • whisky barrel Old Bushmills
  • Carrickfergus Castle
  • flower on shore Northern Ireland
  • Rope bridge Northern Island
DURATION
7 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
20 to 30 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
2-Easier to Intermediate
STARTING FROM
$3795
SINGLES ADD FROM
$750

Trip Overview

Enjoy a six-night tour through the very best of what Northern Ireland has to offer. The unique blend of spectacular scenery, historical sites … and an immensely friendly welcome from the local population … combine to make this a must-see destination. The successful “Game of Thrones” series has helped expose some of the area's sights to the world, and your Northern Ireland tour passes at least eight unique and stunning locations used in the series.

Start cycling in the quiet farmlands of County Antrim alongside Lough Neagh and the River Bann before reaching the wild and rugged Atlantic Coast, which you follow – passing through bustling resort towns like Portrush and Ballycastle and picturesque villages like Cushendall, Cushendun, and Carnlough – before dropping down to Belfast at the end of the trip.

You experience some of the most scenic cycling in Ireland … and all your daily routes offer a core route, which allows time to stop at various internationally acclaimed attractions such as Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, the Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour, and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. And for added memorable vistas, you also pedal into the famous Glens of Antrim. You can even opt for a visit to the oldest Whiskey Distillery in the World – Bushmills Distillery. It’s recommended you stay an additional day or two in Belfast, which has become a hugely popular tourist attraction, and the Titanic Centre is particularly worth a visit.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival day - Belfast to Portglenone
Distance: 15 miles, climb 440 ft | Terrain: Easier | The Brown Trout Inn
Meet in Belfast to transfer to Portglenone on the Bann where you are fitted for your bicycle, have lunch and begin cycling. The ride is through pastoral landscapes on very quiet country lanes. Your destination is the Brown Trout Inn in the village of Aghadowey. There is a 9-hole golf course for any who arrive early and like the idea of playing a few holes before our dinner together.
DAY 2 - Aghadowey Loop
Distance: 34 miles, climb 1,800 ft | Terrain: Intermediate | The Brown Trout Inn
On today’s beautiful loop ride around Aghadowey, enjoy the quiet country roads traversing the fertile landscape of the Bann Valley, with views toward the Bann corridor and beyond to the Antrim Hills. The route then takes you through the landscape of the picturesque Glenullin Valley with stops at ancient sites – including Errigal Old Church and souterrain (7th century) and Gortnamoyagh Inauguration Stone, legendary location for the crowing of local chieftains dating from the 1500s. The rural market towns of Garvagh and Kilrea offer more opportunities to explore local heritage.
DAY 3 - Aghadowey to Bushmills
Distance: 27 or 35 miles, climb 1,100 ft | Terrain: Easier to Intermediate | The Causeway Hotel
Leaving Aghadowey, continue to follow the Bann River north to the market town of Coleraine, where you cross over to the west side of the river and follow the coast to Downhill to visit Mussenden Temple and the Bishop’s Palace, built by the eccentric Bishop of Derry. Hazlett House – a very old farmhouse in the care of the National Trust – shows what life was like in this part of Ireland in the 1600s and 1700s. There is an (optional) challenging extension over the Binevenagh Plateau. This tough climb rewards you with great views over Lough Foyle to the hills of Donegal. Returning to Coleraine, you ride east along the coast through the pretty seaside resort towns of Portrush and Portstewart to visit the fabulously sited ruins of Dunluce Castle, one of Ireland’s most photographed sites. The village of Bushmills provides your accommodation for the next two nights in the Causeway Hotel.
DAY 4 - Bushmills Loop
Distance: 20, 30, or 36 miles, climb 1,210 ft | Terrain: Easier to Intermediate | The Causeway Hotel
There is so much to see and do around Bushmills that you may decide just to use your bicycle as a means to get from one site to the next. Bushmills is home to the world’s oldest licensed distillery – Old Bushmills Whiskey, one of Ireland’s finest. You can tour the distillery and sample some of its products – and perhaps pick up a souvenir or two. Just a short distance from Bushmills is the fabulous Giant’s Causeway, a world heritage site – with its modern and informative visitor center. Although the Causeway itself is well worth visiting as a geological phenomenon, it is the surrounding coastline that is the real star of the show. You can choose to hike along the cliff path for several miles – a real delight for those who appreciate magnificent seascapes. Those who need their daily fix of riding need not worry – there are several loop options of varying length and degree of challenge. Dinner is on your own tonight.
DAY 5 - Bushmills to Ballycastle
Distance: 15 miles, climb 980 ft | Terrain: Easier | The Marine Hotel Ballycastle
Leaving Bushmills you ride east, hugging the marvelous Causeway Coast. This stretch between Bushmills and Ballycastle is again packed with sites of interest. There are the ruins of Dunseverick Castle, the scenic fishing hamlet of Portbradden, the glorious sweep of Whitepark Bay, and the impossibly pretty Ballintoy Harbour. Just past Ballintoy is the famous rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede on which you can test your nerve if you are so inclined. Between Carrick-a-Rede and Ballycastle is yet another spectacularly located edifice, Kinbane Castle. On arrival in the bustling resort of Ballycastle, you have the option to explore the town, or perhaps go for a swim. You overnight at the Marine Hotel, overlooking the harbor. Dinner is on your own tonight.
DAY 6 - Ballycastle Loop
Distance: 25 miles, climb 2,380 ft | Terrain: Intermediate | The Marine Hotel Ballycastle
Today you ride a loop around Torr Head, from where you can view the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland – just a few miles away across the strait connecting the Irish Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. The word “Torr” in Irish Gaelic means “mound” or “large pile,” and it’s the closest point in Northern Ireland to Scotland by only 12 miles. The views from here are outstanding. On the head, you will find the ruins of an abandoned coastguard station as well as the old salmon fishing port.
DAY 7 - Departure Day
After breakfast, you are transferred back to Belfast Europa Bus Centre at 10 a.m. for farewells and departure by train or bus ... or to continue your stay in Belfast.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability
Sep 01, 2023 Sep 07, 2023 $3795.00 Available! Reserve Reserve

What’s Included

6 night’s lodging, 6 breakfasts, 4 dinners (on your own for all lunches and dinner 1 night in Bushmills and 1 in Ballycastle), transfer at 1 time each from and to Belfast. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus the use of a bike and helmet. Airfare is not included.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start: Sep 01, 2023
End: Sep 07, 2023
Cost: $3795.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve

What’s Included

6 night’s lodging, 6 breakfasts, 4 dinners (on your own for all lunches and dinner 1 night in Bushmills and 1 in Ballycastle), transfer at 1 time each from and to Belfast. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus the use of a bike and helmet. Airfare is not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

The Brown Trout Inn
A stay at the Brown Trout is guaranteed to give you a wonderful night’s sleep, in tranquil surroundings. They are delighted to offer a range of options in their newly refurbished rooms, to suit your overnight requirements.
The Causeway Hotel
The story of this beautiful hotel nestled at the heart of a UNESCO world-heritage site is a fascinating one.
It begins in 1886 when they became the first accommodation for visitors to the world-famous stones at the Giant’s Causeway. Laid upon this firm foundation, from that day to this, has been a rich legacy which continues to grow strong and lasting.
They provide world-class food, bespoke service and unforgettable experiences to every person that chooses CH as their temporary home.
Marine Hotel Ballycastle
Welcome to the Marine Hotel Ballycastle, located on the Causeway Coast & Glens. They are one of the area’s finest hotels occupying an unrivalled seafront position. Boasting 51 spacious bedrooms, fully licensed bar & bistro, restaurant, and more, the Marine offers uncompromising service and comforts to accommodate even the most discerning guests.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Dunluce Castle Antrim coast Giant's Causeway with waves Fish and chips Antrim coast, Northern Ireland whisky barrel Old Bushmills Carrickfergus Castle flower on shore Northern Ireland Rope bridge Northern Island