Friday 7th July to
Sunday 16th July 2023
This fantastic 10-day tour takes in the very best the Emerald Isle has to offer – from the lively nightlife of Dublin, great mountain and coast roads, Castles, the Giant’s Causeway, Joey Dunlop’s memorial, an ancient stone circle, the Wild Atlantic Way, Rings of Kerry and Beara, to a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and much, much more!
Included in the price is your return ferry crossing from Holyhead to Dublin and 9-nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation in mostly 4* hotels, all with parking for your motorcycle.
Day 1: to Dublin
The first day of our tour starts with an optional ride from the Greater Manchester area to Hoyhead where we will meet the rest of the group for lunch prior to catching the 14:45 ferry to Dublin.
On arrival it is a short ride to our hotel, the 4* Ashling Hotel in the city where we will park the bikes in the underground carpark before heading into the famous Temple Bar area of the city to sample the delights of Dublin’s infamous nightlife!
Day 2: Dublin to Newtonabbey, 184 miles
We leave Dublin on the motorway north to Newry, where we deviate into the Mourne Mountains before heading over to the coast and catching the short ferry from Strangford to Portaferry. We then ride the coast road of the Ards Peninsular before approaching Belfast from the east, and across the city to our overnight stop at Corr’s Corner hotel in Newtonabbey.
Day 3: Newtonabbey to Portrush, 85 miles
A much shorter riding day as on this route there is so much to see!
First up is the castle at Carrickfergus, before we ride the simply spectacular coast road to the top of Northern Ireland and the Carrickarede rope bridge (a must do for those with vertigo!). Once back on solid ground we continue along the coast via Ballintoy Harbour (for Game of Thrones fans) to the Giant’s Causeway before heading inland to Bushmills for a visit to the famous distillery (to be arranged in advance). With panniers bulging with souvenirs, it’s on to Dunluce Castle and then finally the Wishing Arch before heading into Portrush. Our overnight stop is at the Beulah Guest House, which is just a short 15 minute walk from some great waterfront restaurants including the highly recommended Harbour Bistro.
If time permits, consider doing a lap of the North West 200 course from Portrush via Portstewart and Coleraine and back to Portrush – just don’t try to set any records as the course takes around 18 minutes to ride normally, the lap record is just 4 minutes 22 seconds!
Day 4: Portrush to Enniskillen, 183 miles
Now the riding really begins as we first head to pay our respects at Joey Dunlop’s memorial garden in Ballymoney (and perhaps a photo outside Joey’s Bar!). From here we head to the north coast to see Mussenden Temple and Downhill beach, from where we get views of Malin Head, the most northerly part of Ireland, which is actually not if Northern Ireland but the south! From here we ride into the 2nd largest city in Northern Ireland, Derry (Londonderry), which is the only city on the island to have complete city walls. We cross the city on the double-decker Craigavon Bridge and stop for a brew at The Pickled Duck Café before crossing into Ireland. Here we ride through the fantastic scenery of County Donegal, picking up part of the Wild Atlantic Way to Donegal itself. From here we cross back into Northern Ireland and visit the Drumskinny Stone Circle before riding the coast of Lough Erne to Enniskillen. Our hotel, the Belmore Court & Motel is just a 15 minute walk from the Buttermarket area of the city.
Day 5: Enniskillen to Galway, 246 miles
The longest riding day of the tour takes us back into Ireland via Sligo where we once again pick up the Wild Atlantic Way to Downpatrick Head and around the coast to Westport. From here we continue following the Wild Atlantic Way to Killary Fjord before heading inland to Maam Cross and on to Galway. Our overnight stop is at the 4* Clybaun Hotel on the outskirts of the city, which has an award-winning restaurant as well as a pool.
Day 6: Galway to Killarney, 238 miles
Another full day’s riding as we follow the best of the Wild Atlantic Way, via the Cliffs of Moher, before taking the ferry across the Mouth of Shannon from Killimer to Tarbert. We continue along the Wild Atlantic Way all the way to Blasket Sound at the end of the Dingle peninsular, before heading east along Dingle Bay to Killarney.
We are staying for 2 nights at The Ross in the centre of Killarney, and we will park the bikes in the secure car park of their sister hotel a short distance away. This allows us to explore the delights of this lovely town and leave the luggage at the hotel for the following day’s ride!
Day 7: Ring of Kerry and Bray Head, 132miles
After 2 long riding days we have a more relaxed day as we leave the luggage behind and ride the famous “Ring of Kerry” in a clockwise direction (to avoid the coaches, which do it anti-clockwise!). There are plenty of scenic points on this circular route, which we further extend by a trip across the bridge onto Valencia Island to Bray Head.
The route returns us to The Ross in Killarney for our second night.
Day 8: Killarney to Midleton, Cork, 183 miles
Back on the road again, we leave Killarney to ride the spectacular Ring of Beara, which takes us around the coast and back over the Caha Mountains via Healy Pass. Once we’ve ridden the Ring, we head east again on the R585 skirting the Boggeragh Mountains to Blarney. Here we will visit the infamous Blarney Castle, home of the Blarney Stone which legend has it once kissed you will have the “gift of the gab”! As Irish politician John O’Connor Power put it “Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humour and flavoured by wit. Those who mix with Irish folk have many examples of it in their everyday experience.” A must-do, then!
From the castle we continue via Cork to our hotel, the 4* Midleton Park Hotel to the east of the city.
Day 9: Midleton to Carlow, 169 miles
Our final full-day riding in Ireland, sees us visit 3 of its most interesting towns as we ride first along the coast to the beautiful castle-port of Dungarvan, then north “a long way” to Tipperary (it’s not really a long way, but…), before some spectacular riding to the lovely medieval town of Kilkenny with its Norman castle. When we can drag ourselves away from Kilkenny we head north a short distance to our final hotel, the 4* Woodford Dolmen on the banks of the River Barrow in Carlow.
Day 10: Carlow to home, via Dublin, 90 miles in Ireland plus return from Holyhead
Our last day begins with a leisurely ride through the Wicklow mountains to the port at Dublin, where we catch the 14:45 ferry back to Holyhead (arriving at 18:00) and the final leg of the journey home.
Included in the tour price:
- Pre-Tour Online Briefing Meeting and Participant’s Guide
- Daily Route Notes including points of interest and recommended coffee/lunch stops
- GPS route files (a GPS is recommended but not essential)
- Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis (3 nights 3*, 6 nights 4*)
- Return Ferry from Holyhead to Dublin
- Ferry from Strangford to Portaferry
- Ferry from Killimer to Tarbert
- Daily briefing providing details of the following day’s ride and points of interest
- Services of our qualified advanced riding instructor throughout the tour
What’s not included
In addition to the cost of the tour, you will need to budget for:
- All meals / drinks excluding breakfast
- Fuel for your bike
- Travel and Breakdown Insurance (both essential)
- Entrance fees to attractions (including Bushmills distillery tour), Souvenirs, etc.
Even before this tour was posted on our website it SOLD OUT!
If you are interested in this tour for 2024, please drop us a line at email@example.com