Route 6 The Cobh Run
This is a long cycle but very pleasant. It is about 100 km or 60 old miles in total , but it is easy cycling apart from the one short hill in Cobh itself. The first thing to decide is how you will get to Cobh! you could aim for a pleasant lunch in Cobh, visit the Titanic Museum there , see the monument to the Lusitania, get a feel for the impact of emigration on Ireland in previous centuries.
The map above starts near Fota , and this is already a good bit away from Y oughal! Look at the gates of Fota – where the family motto proudly instructs yo what to do – Boutez en Avant – this is the origin of the town of Buttevant, owned by the same family at one point.
You could use the route in Route 4 – go to Ladysbridge , but instead of turning left for Garryvoe, go straight ahead for Cloyne and Midleton. Then take a short run on the N25 as far as Carrigtohill, go straight though the town until you come to the Cobh Roundabout and head left towards Cobh.
Or just go straight up the main Cork road on the N25 – that is what I do! Or at Killeagh turn right for Mogilly, then take the Midleton road and then on to Carrigtwohill.
If you do take the main road, keep inside the hard shoulder. There is a lot of traffic. So your first decision is how to get to Cobh . The easiest way is the main road.
There is a fine Wildlife Park at Fota which you pass on your way and then you see the first of a number of Martello Towers – round defensive structures built to defend the country from Napoleonic invasions! In such a Martello Tower in Dublin, James Joyce lived for a while and his famous novel Ulysses starts there. Introibo ad altare Dei!
At the Tower turn right and carry on past Rushbrooke into Cobh, where you find yourself enjoying a splendid view of Cork Harbour right out to Roche’s Point lighthouse.
Incidentally the blocks for the Martello Towers came from Youghal!
There is always a link somewhere … just to find it.
At the end of the town head up the hill called Harbour Row which leads on to Harbour Terrace. Then follow the signposts for Marloag . You then will see a sign for the East Cork Trail to Rossalgue, this brings you right around the island and back to the Martello Tower. But on the way the scenery is breathtaking!
Route 7 – the Blackwater Cycle
This is a glorious spin – up one side of the river and down the other.
If you want to make this into a full day spin, have a look at the route of the Olde Countess ( on another page on this site) .
To start with we head towards Youghal Bridge where we take a turn left before instead of crossing the bridge. We pass Ballynatray Demesne – where Stanley Kubrisk’s film “Barry Lyndon” was filmed, other parts were filmed across the river outside Clashmore, while the castle battle scene was at Cahir Castle in Tipperary.
We have a short but steady uphill climb ahead of us – not too steep but still a climb! Then we find ourselves passing Glendine Church which is a little gem hidden away off the road and much used for romantic wedding locations. Our next stop is Knockanore and from there we descend towards Strancally Castle, Strancally Tower and the water’s edge. Soon we catch a glimpse of Dromana House – ancestral home of the Fitzgeralds and later the Villiers- Stuart family. Look carefully – the modern house is built on the foundations of the original castle.
And soon we arrive in Cappoquin where we turn right and head back down the river on the other side, over Dromana Bridge and past Dromana House and into Villierstown. You can stop in Cappoquin, in Villierstown or Clashmore if you want refreshments.
And then back to Youghal. At Clashmore, the easy way will be to go through the village, towards the main road, but just before you meet the N25, carry on through the underpass and take the next turn left. This brings you on to the N25 without having to cross the main road.It brings you past the old mill, a nice quiet pub and then you are skirting the water all the way into Youghal.
Otherwise , at Clashmore you could cross the bridge, go up the hill and come over the top of the hill to descend onto Youghal Bridge.
Once there, you know the way back!
Route 8 Knockadoon (63 km)
This is a favourite among the members in the Youghal Cycle Club – if offers spectacular scenery, a fair bit of challenge and a lot of fun. You take the N25 road out of Youghal for two kilometres and then turn left on the R633 for Ballymacoda but at the T Junction turn right for Ladysbridge where you take the road towards Cloyne – you have a nice hill up out of Ladysbridge.
You can take a short cut at Ladysbridge by turning sharp left and heading directly towards Garryvoe – but – naw! you know it is better to carry on towards Cloyne. You want to see Ballycotton Bay where the film starring Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp was to be filmed. Sadly, it did not. So let us head for Cloyne. Not as far as Cloyne , mind.
You carry on straight on this road until you reach the corner for Ballymaloe House. There – if you have the dosh they have the nosh! One of the best in East Cork! At Ballymaloe House you turn left for Shanagarry and continue straight ahead until you reach Garryvoe . At the Hotel , turn right (yes right!!!)) and immediately left onto the the coast road , heading towards Knockadoon.
This is all along the coast, up and down, up and down until you reach a T Junction where you turn right for Knockadoon. Turn right – it is worth it and you come to a small fishing pier and a beautiful spot to swim. You can almost touch Capel Island – the island which seems so far away when seen from Youghal. Then you head back to Ballymacoda, turn right immediately after you leave Ballymacoda and you are back on the R633 and heading home.
See how easy it is to say “home” when you talk of Youghal!
Route 9 – The Vee
This is really the most wonderful spin which has everything a cycle route should have – enough of a challenge to keep you interested, enough inherent beauty to take your breath away, lots of places for refreshments and a sense of wholeness and satisfaction at the end.
To start – head up the Tallow Road and on to Tallow itself. Go straight through the town until you reach the Bride Bridge. Across the bridge you have a choice – go up the narrow hill in front of you or take the more leisurely uphill route on your right. Then it is on to Lismore along a glorious tree lined roadway which you want to go on forever. But Lismore awaits you!
The castle is a home of the Duke of Devonshire and a favourite location for the rich and /or famous to visit, fish, relax and holiday. It can be visited – and there is an Ice House at the riverside. ( Ask about this). The view, above, is taken from the castle .
As you come into Lismore, you come to a central spot with the castle on your left and the main street straight ahead. Turn left and cross the bridge . Go straight ahead, taking the road for Clogheen and The Vee. you have a long but gentle climb ahead of you, with gentle sheep taking just a causal glance at passing strangers, and depending on the time of year and the weather – magnificent scenery, little old cottages almost smothered in rhododendron, streams dribbling down the montainside and a silence which is almost palpable and occasionally broken by bird calls. Breathe deeply and like Wordsworth – it will flashback on your inward mind which is the bliss of solitude!
The route on this occasion is the short version – up to the Vee – you will know when you get there ! But you can carry on past the Vee and down into County Tipperary, turn right at the bottom of the hill and you are heading for Dungarvan and from there it is a short spin back to Youghal.
You can also turn back a mile or so until you come to a turn in the road – taking the left hand side brings you to Mount Melleray – an old monastery which welcomes visitors of all faiths and none and where our beloved poet Sean Dunne wrote so beautifully of the “sound of silence” which he found so palpable there.
” I am aware of silence, from the moment I enter the monastery. It is tactile, like the pages of a book or the texture of stone. Within it, I walk, sit and reflect. When Thoreau sat by his fire near Walden Pond, he grew more aware of the sounds around him – birds calling in the darkness, branches crackling as animals stirred and scurried. I have sensed such things in the monastery and I have learned that such sounds do not distract from silence but actually become part of it” . Sean Dunne’s book “The Road to Silence” is a special book which tells of his spiritual odyssey which begins with his rejection of religion and his journey around the world in search of something better, accepting, like Thomas Merton that the real journey in life is inside . It was published in 1994 by New Island books.
After Melleray you carry on downhill back to Cappoquin and from there you take the road back to Youghal.
When you reach the Vee you have three options
1 – At the Vee, turn back for about one kilometre and then turn left for Mount Melleray and Cappoquin ( my favourite).
2 -Continue down past The Vee but at the edge of Clogheen turn right and continue on until you come to Newcastle where you turn right for Cappoquin. This is a tough climb and brings you into Cappoquin. The descent is great but the road is lonely.
3 At the Vee, turn back and come straight back to Lismore along the same road you came up, and follow the river to Cappoquin – a most beautiful route also along side the Blackwater, the remains of the canal on one side, the turrets of the castle receding gently in the background as you go along a very gentle road.
Whichever route you pick will bring you to Cappoquin. At the eastern end of Cappoquin you are following the road to Clashmore, Youghal going down the Waterford side of the river.
Take the Dromana Drive road through the woods along the riverside. It is undulating but gentle.
If, when you are in Cappoquin, you want a longer cycle, go on to Dungarvan and then head back to Youghal via the N25 or – tougher still ….. turn left after leaving Dungarvan and head to Helvick Head, Ring, Ardmore and Youghal …. or go up the hill out of Dungarvan and turn right at the Seanachai pub area and head for Clashmore and Youghal. Or at the foot of the sweeping hill out of Dungarvan to Youghal you could turn right and this will bring you to Clashmore after a steepish climb.
Lots of choices!
As always – it is the journey and not the destination which is important.
That is a different kind of cycling – here we enjoy the trip first and foremost!
Route 10 Tallow – Dungourney – Midleton – Mogeely – Killeagh
This is a lovely route although there are two reasonable climbs – one out of Youghal going up the Tallow hill and the second out of Tallow on the road to Dungourney.
It is aboout 80 kilometres ( 50 miles). To start off, head out of Youghal until you reach the Rincrew Roundabout which ends the Youghal By Pass on the Waterford end of town. Take the Tallow road exit.
Now the Tallow road is a sneaky little climb – there are lots of twists and corners , and you feel you are reaching the top when suddenly you see another corner up ahead. It is about 6 kilometres in length but not too difficult. And when you reach the Half Way Bar you have a wonderful almost all downhill spin into Tallow.
In Tallow, in the centre of town , just before you reach the horses heads the turn for Midleton is on your left. If you have reached the horses, turn left for Conna but about two hundred metres down the street from this corner, turn left and this will bring you back on the Midleton, Dungourney road.
It is a straight run, just carry on straight ahead from there to Midelton. Turn left for Youghal when you reach Midelton. A few kilometres outside Midleton, at the Two Mile Inn, turn left for Mogeely. This will take you off the main N25 road. In Mogeely turn left at the Co Op Stores and immediately right. This will bring you in to Killeagh. Take the N25 in to Youghal. If you get tired after Dungourney and don’t want to go to Midleton, there are two or three signposts for Youghal en route which can shorten your journey but use your map.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed your visit here. Let us know how you got on, please.