• USP Icon Tried and tested tours designed by cyclists
  • Usp clock A family run business for over 20 years
  • Usp person Personal and bespoke tours to suit your budget
  • Usp tick Trusted to deliver over 20,000 cycle tours

Causeway & Sperrins Self-Guided

Causeway & Sperrins Self-Guided

Ireland Flag Ireland

  • Region Region North of Ireland
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 9 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

261 Kilometres
1 (Leisurely) Difficulty Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average Distance per Day: 33 km
0 400 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 1447 km
0 20000 km

Extended Route

335 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 42 km
0 400 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 1781 km
0 20000 km
April - October from
€875
Next Steps

A cycling holiday is one of the best ways to experience Northern Ireland. You will get to enjoy some of the best cycle touring that the Causeway coast and the Sperrins has to offer and get to see many of the best known landmarks on the Island of Ireland. Starting in Antrim and finishing in Antrim or in Belfast this itinerary explores first the Sperrins and then the ancient kingdom of Dalriada that occupies the north east corner of the island of Ireland. Regions explored include Lough Neagh, the Sperrins, the Bann Valley, the Causeway Coast, the Antrim Plateau, the Glens of Antrim and the Antrim Coast Road.

From Antrim the first ride takes you west to the Sperrins for a two night stopover, and then follows the river Bann north to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Coleraine. From Coleraine you follow the Causeway Coast east to Bushmills. Continuing east, the next leg leads to Ballycastle for a two night stopover. The loop route from here offers a choice of a trip to Rathlin Island or a testing circuit via Torr Head. From Ballycastle you ride over the Antrim plateau and down one of the Glens of Antrim to meet the coast at Cushendall. The last leg follows the Antrim Coast Road south before heading back towards Belfast

Highlights

  • The historic, bustling, endlessly fascinating city of Belfast

  • The views over Lough Foyle from the Binevenagh Plateau

  • The enigmatic Giant’s Causeway – a World Heritage Site

  • Bushmills Distillery – the oldest licensed distillery in the world

  • Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (for an optional test of nerve)

  • Dunluce Castle and its dramatic cliff top location

  • The roller coaster road by Torr Head

  • The village of Cushendun, designed by William Clough Ellis

  • The waterfalls in Glenariff Forest Park

  • Many filming locations for the TV series Game of Thrones

Day 1

Arrive in Belfast or Antrim as preferred or what fits best with your inward travel plans. Full tour briefing and bike fitting will take place that evening or early next morning at a prearranged time. If you decide to stay in Belfast you have the option to add a day either at the start or the end of your tour to see some of Belfast famous attractions.

2

Antrim to Draperstown - (Core Route 34 miles Ascent 1100 feet) Leaving Antrim you pedal west hugging the shores of Lough Neagh until you reach the village of Toomebridge, where the River Bann drains the lough and flows north towards the Atlantic. Toomebridge is home to the largest wild eel fishery in Europe. Crossing the Bann you continue west towards Drapertown, your accommodation location for the nest two nights, nestling in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains.

Antrim Draperstown elv

3

Draperstown Loop - (Core Route 30 miles Ascent 2179 feet) Today’s loop ride is an explorations of the enchanting, unspoiled Sperrins – the hidden gem at the centre of the province of Ulster. The landscape is a mosaic of sheep-dotted hillsides, deep river valleys, forests and lakes. The villages, seemingly frozen in time, are a throwback to the days when prospectors panned for gold in the tumbling streams.

Draperstown Loop elv

4

Draperstown to Aghadowey - (Core Route 29 miles Ascent 964 feet) Riding northeast from Draperstown you can enjoy tranquil pastoral landscapes leading to Portglenone, straddling the River Bann. The village offers a great variety of options for lunch. You then follow the Bann Valley north, with occasional glimpses of the river, before re-crossing to the west bank to ride the last couple of miles to you accommodation in the outskirts of Aghadowey.

Draper Aghadowey elv

5

Aghadowey to Bushmills - (Core Route 36 miles Ascent 1134 feet) From your rural overnight accommodation, you continue to the county town of Coleraine before heading West towards Mussenden Demesne and the Bishops palace catching your first sight of the world-famous Causeway Coast which won’t be far from you until you return to Belfast at the end of your trip. Here we offer a loop extension to your core route over the very scenic Binevenagh Plateau. You return to Coleraine and follow the route East through the coastal resort towns of Portstewart and Portrush passing by the world class Royal Portrush Golf Links and the historical cliff clinging Dunluce Castle and into Bushmills where you stay overnight

Aghadowey Bushmills elv

6

Bushmills to Bushmills - (Loop ride 30 miles Ascent 979 feet) A rest day, if you like, as there is a lot to see in Bushmills. The Giants Causeway and the Bushmills distillery are the highlights But we recommend the Coastal walk from the Giants Causeway which is a great walk with spectacular views. If the bike calls, we have a rural cycling route nearby the River Bush which takes in the unique Dark Hedges made famous by the TV series “Game of Thrones”. We find that about 50% of our cyclists are big fans and if you are there are several other famous G.O.T iconic places on this tour which we pass. If you are not they are all in beautiful locations.

Bushmills loop elv

7

Bushmills to Ballycastle - (core Route 15 miles Ascent 1032 feet) Short core ride along the Causeway Coastal Route but lots to see. Some people do the short route and spend time at the the attractions, namely Carrick-a- Rede Rope bridge, Ballintoy Harbour and Kilbane Castle. Some people leave early visit the attractions and arrive in Ballycastle early where they either decide to visit Rathlin island (famous for its Puffin colony) or just chill out in Ballycastle. Some people when they get to Ballycastle decide to go on and do the spectacular but challenging, in parts, Torr Head loop. All of them report back that they have had a great day. It’s an infinitely flexible day.

Bushmiklls ballycastle elv

8

Ballycastle to Cushendall -(core Route 36 miles Ascent 2390 feet) Today’s core route takes you through the heart of the Antrim Glens, experiencing an everchanging vista that at times leaves you feeling alone and as one with nature. Even the sheep seem surprised to see you as they wonder freely on what they clearly see as their roads The route takes you back by the Glenarriff Forest park where you can take a break and do one of their marked walks. Options abound today as you can alternatively choose to decend back to the coast through Glenann or Glendun and go to your destination Cushendall via Cushendun.

Ballycastle Cushendall Elv

9

Cushendall to Belfast - (Core Route 50 miles Ascent 1796 feet) You can cycle all the way to Belfast on the core Route which follows the Coastal route to Larne and then via Carrickfergus and Whiteabbey to your last night’s accommodation. Some people jump on a train with their bikes at Larne or Carrickfergus in order to arrive a bit earlier. Scenic villages, a great juxtaposition of sea and coast, and some interesting Castles all add up to make this a memorable last day. There is a very spectacular Cliffside guided walk recently reopened at the Gobbins on Islandmagee. This needs to be booked well in advance so if this of interest let us know at your booking stage.

Cushendall to Belfast elv

10

Enjoy your last evening in the city of Belfast, and enjoy breakfast before heading on home. Additional night(s) can be arranged in Belfast if you would like.

Route Map

Accommodation

The standard accommodations for this region's self-guided itineraries are guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Generally, these have between 4 and 10 guest rooms and the owners/providers live on the premises. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room), and the room facilities usually include a television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a communal reading / television lounge. Small family run hotels are also used in a few locations. The providers are excellent sources of local information.

Breakfast is always included. Most guesthouses do not offer an evening meal.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our guesthouses in this region include;


Getting there

From Belfast International Airport, Ulsterbus operates a frequent service to Belfast Europa Bus Station (45 minutes). A taxi is the other (less economical) alternative. This larger airport is where most international flights arrive.

From Belfast City Airport, Ulsterbus operates a frequent service to Belfast Europa Bus Station (15 minutes). Again, a very short taxi ride is the alternative. This airport, very close to the city centre, typically serves domestic flights, although an increasing number of European routes are being added.

From Dublin Airport, both Bus Eireann and Aircoach operate a frequent service to Belfast Europa Bus Station. Alternatively take a Dublin Bus Airlink Service to Dublin Connolly Station and a NIR or Irish Rail Enterprise train service to Belfast Central Station.


Climate

Ireland's climate is surprisingly mild given its northern location. This is mainly due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream which brings warm waters up to Western Europe from the more tropical Atlantic zones.

Temperamental is a fitting description of Ireland's weather. It can be very unpredictable! The old adage that it is possible to experience four seasons in one day is close to the truth. During the summertime, the warmest months tend to be July and August, when average temperatures during the day can range from 15ºC to 20ºC. A hot day in summertime could produce temperatures of 22ºC to 24ºC and on rare occasions can exceed 30ºC.

The best time to travel to Ireland for an outdoor trip such as a bicycle tour is from the beginning of May to the end of September. April and October are also possible, but the chances of encountering inclement weather increase. Towards the end of October the days are significantly shorter.

Traditionally May can provide some of the best weather days of the season. The last two weeks in June have the longest days of the year.

July and August are peak travel season for Ireland. The first weekend in August (a public holiday weekend) is the busiest of the season. School holidays are from the end of June until the end of August.

The latter half of September sees the change to autumn colours.

Core Tour Cost £875
Luggage transfers £320 (for two people)
Hybrid Bike Rental £145
Touring Bike Rental £165
Road Bike Rental £185
E-Bike Rental £245
Single Supplement £285

£875 per person sharing, to include;

  • 9 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-Trip Information Booklet and Planner
  • On call telephone support
  • All mapping, routes and cue sheets with gpx tracks
  • Meet, greet and bike fitting


Luggage Transfers

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 320 (160 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 320 + 20= 340 (113 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 320 + 20 + 20 = 360 (90 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider

Please note that whilst we will try our best to provide you with the exact bike as listed below, due to availability or sizing issues we may not always be able to. The bike you will receive will be of a very similar spec and always in very good condition.

Trek FX hybrid

  • 5 frame sizes
  • FX Alpha Gold Aluminium
  • FX Alloy fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Ridgeback Panorama Touring Bike

  • Full shimano drive
  • Disc brakes
  • Full length mudguards
  • 27 Speed.

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Fuji Sportif Road Bike

  • A2-SL double-butted alloy frame
  • Shimano Sora 2x9 components
  • Vittoria Zaffiro 700x30c tires

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted with: Platform pedals, bottle cage,

Equipment provided: map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool, frame bag

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Fuji E-Traverse E-Bike

  • Suntour NEX disc fork
  • Bafang H400 rear hub motor
  • Bafang 5 mode LED display w/walk assist
  • Shimano Gearing

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Next Steps

Are you ready to find your next adventure? Leave us your details to make an enquiry.

+44 (0) 7780 496969