Butterfield and Robinson – Robbins Group Northern Ireland Cycling Trip

Tuesday 30th July – Sunday 4th August 2024

Number of Travellers: 6
Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

Overview

The northern coasts of Northern Ireland and Country Donegal are a corner of the world too often overlooked by the rush of the modern world. Roll through scenic and remote landscapes ranging from some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League to the UNESCO Heritage geological wonder that is the Giants Causeway – soaking in all of the wondrous coastlines in between – discovering why this timeless landscape is a paradise for cyclists and hikers abound.

Highlights

  • Cycle Donegal's remote landscapes - National Geographic's #1 Coolest Place on Earth
  • Explore Slieve League, some of Europe's highest sea cliffs.
  • Hike the iconic landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Giant's Causeway

Day by Day

Day 1 - Tuesday 30th July - Belfast and The Glens of Antrim

Your guides will meet you in Belfast this morning, and after introductions you will make the quick transfer away from the bustling city and into the remote Glens of Antrim. After an early lunch, begin your first cycle of the week is sure to get the legs warmed up with a hilly yet stunningly beautiful stretch along the Antrim coast. Your cycle finishes off with an introductory stretch along the Causeway Coast and into the seaside village of Ballycastle, where your hotel is just on the edge of town offering sweeping views of the distant Fair Head and the mountains of Scotland in the distance.

Overnight: Ballycastle | The Salthouse Hotel
Room Type: 1x Salthouse Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Ride Details: 42 km / 26 miles | 640 m / 2,100 ft elevation gain

Day 2 - Wednesday 31st July - The Causeway Coast

Our Plan A today leaves the bikes behind as today’s main attraction of the UNESCO Heritage Site Giants Causeway is best explored on foot. Your walk today starts and finishes in Bushmills, renowned worldwide for its whiskey distillery where we can arrange a private tour in the evening. Before this though, your guides will lead you along a rugged trail away from the crowds of the Causeway and into the unspoilt landscape atop the cliffs. The walk continues into the quiet Ballintoy Harbour, still an active fishing hub today even after serving as a scenic Game of Thrones filming location in recent years. Alternatively, we can arrange for a half day cycle in the surrounding countryside followed by a shorter walk down to visit the Giants Causeway.

Overnight: Ballycastle | The Salthouse Hotel
Room Type: 1x Salthouse Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Walk Details: 13 km / 8 miles | 274 m / 900 ft elevation gain

Day 3 - Thursday 1st August - Cycling the Fanad Peninsula

Leaving Northern Ireland behind today, travel across the border into the Republic as the next leg of your journey uncovers remote and wild County Donegal. An endless expanse of rolling green mountains and jaw-dropping seacliffs, Donegal makes for a cycling paradise with beautiful views abound. Explore a long stretch of the Lough Swilly coastline on your cycle today starting from the tip of Fanad Head and finishing at the front door of your traditional manor house accommodation which overlooks the Atlantic.

Overnight: Castle Grove | Castle Grove Country House
Room Type: 3x Superior Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Ride Details: 47 km / 29 miles | 671 m / 2,200 ft elevation gain

Day 4 - Friday 2nd August - The Bluestack Mountains and Lough Eske

Start your morning today meeting a local tweed maker – who has been perfecting his craft for over 40 years – and getting a first-hand demonstration into the art & culture of Donegal tweed. After lunch and time for gift shopping, it’s back on the bikes as you pass through an imposing mountain corridor within the Bluestack Mountain range. A steady incline at the start leads into an exhilarating descent as you wind your way to the shimmering shores of Lough Eske, where your castle hotel home base awaits for the next two nights.

Overnight: Lough Eske | Lough Eske Castle
Room Type: 3x Superior Deluxe Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Ride Details: 35 km / 22 miles | 427 m / 1,400 ft elevation gain

Day 5 - Saturday 3rd August - The Towering Slieve League Cliffs

Cycling off the beaten path, we explore the remote Banagh Peninsula overlooking southern Donegal’s wild coasts. Kick off the day by rolling down the spectacular Glengesh Pass, voted one of Ireland’s most scenic routes. And then for the star of the show, we will stand overlooking the massive and imposing Slieve League Cliffs, which are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, and three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher. The return cycle takes in the majestic cascade of the Assaranca Waterall before finishing back up in the village of Ardara and a transfer back to Lough Eske Castle.

Overnight: Lough Eske | Lough Eske Castle
Room Type: 3x Superior Deluxe Rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Ride Details: 55 km / 34 miles | 732 m / 2,400 ft elevation gain

Day 6 - Sunday 4th August - Departure via Sligo

Enjoy a nice relaxing breakfast at Lough Eske Castle this morning before departing with your guides back to Dublin. Stop enroute in the charming seaside town of Sligo – colloquially known as Yeats Country after poet WB Yeats – for a stroll through the town or along one of the county’s many sandy beaches, before continuing onto Dublin where your guides will bid you farewell.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 5
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of two experienced and knowledgeable qualified guides from Day 1 to Day 6
  • Ground transportation from Day 1 to Day 6
  • All guided hikes and cycles mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • Bike support throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from our on-the-ground office team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main guides