Cycling

Cycling in Kilkeel

 

Mountain Biking Trails in Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor & Castlewellan Forest Park. Call into Quinn’s Cycles, Bridge Street Kilkeel for any repairs or accessories.

There are a number of waymarked cycle routes in the Mournes. Listed below are just a few of the many cycle routes this area has to offer.

Cycle route maps can be obtained from Kilkeel Visitor Information Centre, tel (028) 4176 2525. Cycle hire available from J P Quinn cycles, 4-6 Bridge St, Kilkeel, tel (028) 4176 2654

Also see www.visitnewryandmourne.com, www.mournelive.com, www.cycleNI.com

Cranfield/Greencastle Route

Distance: 12 miles (19km); Advice: essentially a gentle cycle mainly on the flat
See route details

Begin at Lower Square, Kilkeel Town Centre. Head west out of the Square straight across the traffic lights onto Greencastle Street, you pass the Kilmorey Arms Hotel on your left. After about 2 miles note the large house on your left called Eastwood, shortly afterwards the road divides. Take the right fork and proceed to a T-junction, turn right. At the next junction turn left to pass Grange School and Chapel on your left. The road now meanders through the marshy flood plain of the Whitewater River. You come to a staggered crossroads, turn left. About a mile straight-ahead is the Blue Flag Beach of Cranfield. However, your route turns immediately right following the directions to Greencastle about 1.7 miles. At Greencastle crossroads turn left to cross the old bridge over the Whitewater River.

A little further along your route turns right onto the Corcreighan Road. Continue along the Corcreighan Road, crossing the Whitewater River once again, and up Chesney’s Brea to the Ballyardle crossroads. Turn left onto the Ballyardle Road and then after 150 metres, at the fork, turn right onto the Belmont Road. At the end of the Belmont Road turn left onto the Newry Road and then turn right onto the Drumcro Road. Follow the Drumcro Road, past Massforth Chapel on your right. At the end of the Drumcro Road there is a junction, turn right onto the Mountain Road, follow it back to the Lower Square in Kilkeel Town Centre.

The Head Road Route

Distance: 16 miles (26km); Advice: moderate, with some ascent
See route details

Begin at the Lower Square in Kilkeel Town Centre. Head east out of the Square over the bridge and up the hill onto Newcastle Street. After about 0.5 miles turn left onto Mill Road and then turn right onto the first road on the right, the Aughnahoory Road. Continue north on the Aughnahoory Road until you come to a T-junction with the Leitrim Road and turn right onto the Leitrim Road. Follow this road until you come to a T-junction. Turn right onto the Head Road and continue onto the Silent Valley.

Leaving the Silent Valley turn left (the road climbs steeply) continue along the Head Road. You cross a small bridge on a ‘S’ bend over the Forks River, about 100 metres further on. Continue along the Head Road until you get to a small car park on your left. Turn right onto the Old Town Road and continue downhill to the crossroads. Turn right onto the Longstone Road and after about 0.5 miles you will see the ‘Standing Stone’ on your right in the middle of a field. At the end of this road there is a T-junction, turn left onto the Ballyveaghmore Road and follow this road until you come to another T-junction. Turn right onto the Ballyveaghbeg Road and then after only about 50 metres turn left onto the Mission Road. Turn left onto the first road on your left, the Brackenagh Quarter Road (just before you come to Brackenagh School). After about 1 mile turn left onto Anthony’s Road. After about 1.25 miles at a T-junction turn right onto the Council Road, almost immediately, at another T-junction, turn left onto the Carrigenagh Road. This will take you back to the outskirts of the town and at the next T-junction turn right onto the Newcastle Road which will take you back to the Lower Square in the town centre of Kilkeel.

The Knockchree Route

Distance: 18 miles (28km); Advice: strenuous, with steep ascent on the Glenloughan Road
See route details

Begin at Lower Square, Kilkeel Town Centre. Head west out of the Square straight across the traffic lights onto Greencastle Street, you pass the Kilmorey Arms Hotel on your left. Keep to this road, it takes you through the townland of Dunnaval. After about 2 miles note the large house on your left called Eastwood, shortly afterwards the road divides. Take the right fork and proceed to a T-junction, turn right. You come to a staggered crossroads, turn left.

About a mile straight-ahead is the Blue Flag Beach of Cranfield. However, your route turns immediately right following the directions to Greencastle about 1.7 miles. Retrace your route back to Greencastle crossroads and turn left to cross the old bridge over the Whitewater River. Further along the route you come to Mill Bay. Follow the Benagh Road along the shore for about 1.75 miles until you come to the Millbay Road on your right. Turn right onto the Millbay Road. This road runs straight up the hill to a T-junction and turn left onto the Newry Road. After about 300 metres turn right onto the Glenloughan Road.

Follow this road until you come to the T-junction at the end and turn left. The Whitewater Brewery is immediately on your left. Further up this road you again cross the Whitewater River and then note the Attical Community Centre on your left. Carry on to the centre of Attical village and at the chapel turn left onto the Attical Road. At the end of this road turn right onto the Moyadd Road and after about 0.75 miles turn left onto the Head Road. The route is now mostly downhill. After about 0.75 miles you cross straight over a crossroads but within 50 metres you need to turn left onto the Aughnaloopy Road. This road takes you downhill to the Ballinran crossroads at which you go straight across once again. This takes you back into the town of Kilkeel and at the T-junction at the road end you turn left onto the Mill Road. Down the hill to another T-junction and turn right onto Newcastle Street. This takes you back to the Lower Square in the town centre.