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Great Southern Greenway Limerick

  • 22-09-2019 7:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭

    Over the last few weeks I've really enjoyed cycling some of the greenways that have come on stream in recent times. I've really enjoyed the Suir Blueway - a 42Km round trip from Clonmel to Carrick-on Suir and back, Pollagh to Daingean on the Grand Canal and Athlone to Maynooth on the Royal Canal. I am now planning to do the Great Southern Greenway - which currently goes from Rathkeale in Limrick to Abbeyfeale on the Kerry border. Has anyone any experience of this? Main question - is it suitable for a road bike? It has to be said also - while we've had a lot of catching up to do, there's some great progress being made around the country at the moment. A lot done...a lot more to do!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    I've ridden the Rathkeale - Abbeyfeale section on a road bike with 28mm tyres. There are some bits which can be a little sketchy - sections where they may have put down grit, a metal bridge ( signs instruct cyclists to walk - need them) and a lot of cattle grids. Other sections are fine.

    Nice route, but not as developed as, say, the Waterford one. The main issue is the sheer number of gated / gridded crossings, particularly around Newcastle West. Very difficult to get any flow to the spin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭michaelm

    Thanks for that - I kind of gathered some of that from the photos I've seen online. I have to say I'm hugely impressed with all the recent work on The Mullingar/Maynooth route - there's a real standard emerging here that hopefully all others will follow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭brocbrocach

    Did the section into abbeyfeale from round templeglantine (intersection near shop on way from Toornafula) on 23/25 tyres with luggage on and it was grand. Potholes in some places but mostly good surface.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166 ✭✭hsan

    Hi guys
    Just wondering if any of ye know if this is open at the moment as I heard they were doing work to it recently

  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭ruffmut

    hsan wrote: »
    Hi guys
    Just wondering if any of ye know if this is open at the moment as I heard they were doing work to it recently

    Some parts of it are closed off at the moment due to it being upgraded. It is currently having its route upgrared with tar. Also the route is being extened from the kerry border in Abbeyfeale to Listowel.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 401 ✭✭Lewotsil

    On the Facebook site Templeglantine to Kerry Border is not closed - does that mean it has already been tarmacced or that is not going to be tarmacced ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭ruffmut

    Lewotsil wrote: »
    On the Facebook site Templeglantine to Kerry Border is not closed - does that mean it has already been tarmacced or that is not going to be tarmacced ?

    It has not been tarred yet but is planned. As far as I know they started in Rathkeale and are working back to the Kerry border.

    Likewise they have started works in Listowel and working towards the Kerry border.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,932 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

    My thoughts exactly. I did it earlier this summer just after it officially opened. Beautiful surface but basically cycling along the edges of of grass fields (Golden Vale). Nothing scenic as such and pedestrians who give the impression that cyclists are spoiling 'their' walkway. I won't be back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,808 ✭✭✭Tigerandahalf

    I can't agree with either of the comments above.

    This is another lovely greenway.

    A problem is that people don't do research beforehand.

    The Greenway goes from Abbeyfeale to Rathkeale, not to Limerick City. A quick read of the website would explain this.

    The surface is excellent though personally I find gravelled greenways better for running and just that feeling of being on a trail. It is an excellent surface for buggies, wheelchairs and I have seen a person roller blading.

    As for the scenery you are going through dairy country. Most families would enjoy seeing cattle and machinery operating in fields.

    I passed a farmer bringing in his herd of cows for milking at 8am and on their way to grass after milking on the way back, right along a segregated path along the greenway for 400m or so. It was a lovely sight.

    I also liked the signs for the various townlands along the way, in Irish and English. Many are connected to the nature where they are located,e.g. hawthorn, oak, ford, hillock, etc.

    The Barnagh tunnel is a gem and yes you do turn off the greenway to go through it via an underpass under the N21. When you go through the tunnel and come to the end (about 1km) you climb a short sharp hill. This is where there is a great viewing area overlooking counties Limerick, Clare and Tipperay with a display pointing out the various landmarks. It is a wonderful view on a clear day but even better at sunrise.

    The 3 towns Rathkeale, NCW and Abbeyfeale are not Westports. They are typical country towns that like many have issues with derelict buildings but they still have plenty to offer.

    The Demesne (park) in NCW is a beautiful place for a walk or run. Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale need to up their game if they want people to come into their towns. They both need quality playgrounds. The one in Abbeyfeale needs a clean up. It is also too far away from the greenway being a 1km out the Killarney road. Both towns really need to have a dedicated cycle lane from the greenway into their town centres.

    These places will develop in time once people use the greenway and more and more businesses open up along its route. Abbeyfeale and NCW are also due to be bypassed which will help enormously with making the town centres a better place.

    I don't know what the plans are for extending it to Limerick city.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,826 ✭✭✭✭Thargor

    I know it ends in Rathkeale I was hoping for a nice cycle home along normal country roads not a dangerous road with hard shoulders that disappear at random and everyone is speeding, seriously anyone thinking of doing it head a bit North or South and find an alternative route compared to the direct way Google Maps will suggest, its too dangerous.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,084 ✭✭✭ratracer

    i cycled the NCW - Barnagh section with the family a couple of weeks ago. It was a nice greenway, not amazingly scenic, but a safe place for the family to cycle.

    The restaurant just after the Barnagh tunnel ( Platform 22??) was a lovely lunch stop, serving freshly made food in a great setting. They also have a rent a bike place and a small crazy golf course.

    On return to NCW I met the project engineer and some workers, he told me they were heading out along the route to identify places to put picnic benches along the way, so I presume it’s a work in progress.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭thesimpsons

    Cycled the Greenway from Newcastle West to Abbeyfeale return during the summer. Enjoyed the safe cycling route and the smooth surface, lots of gates along the way to be opened/closed but that was ok, didn't bother us. The whole route isn't particularly scenic, but very safe for cycling. We really enjoyed the Barnagh Tunnel area and the viewing point but we found a serious lack of places to stop and rest, have a picnic/snack. We didn't see the cafe stop and must have missed signs for it which was a real pity. The towns along the way might have cafes, but again we didn't see if there were bike rest areas there or was it was case of leaving bike outside so we didn't venture future afield into the towns. Hopefully its a work in progress and there will be more of the old stationhouses converted into cafes for next summer