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Most terrifying public roads in Ireland

  • 07-11-2020 5:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭


    While having a good old drive up to Barley Lake in Co Cork during the Level 3 restrictions, I started thinking about what the most hair raising, utterly terrifying, bowel softening roads in Ireland. Y'know those single track horrors up the side of a steep mountain with hairpins galore yet not one passing point.


    Find your best, pop them here. And please, only public roads that you can drive on and find on Google, not driveways etc. Try and do a Google Maps link for ease (Click the three dots to the top left, click "Share or Embed Image" then "Copy Link")



    Barley Lake ascent - https://goo.gl/maps/xgkmvYS6T8nPozRV7


    Priests Leap on the Cork/Kerry border - https://goo.gl/maps/2Aptiyz3HKj4d5z98


    A drivable part of the Kerry Way - https://goo.gl/maps/1dqCBJEC3imN9Sqt9




    Something we can all look at while we are not recommended to go more than 5km from home.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,158 ✭✭✭lottpaul


    https://goo.gl/maps/iVcNasvdEK8Bir81A Ashleam, Achill Island

    https://goo.gl/maps/H872HcDzCNAeUjvP6 the road to Keem Bay, Achill

    https://goo.gl/maps/k5wWJzjzQLbqp6km7 the road to Minaun transmitter, also Achill

    All of these roads have no safety barriers and have huge drops on one or both sides, and I have vertigo :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,818 ✭✭✭donvito99


    Camden St between 11pm and 4am.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,002 ✭✭✭Tork


    Going forward on those roads is fine - it's what happens if you meet something coming the other way that puts your heart in your mouth. It's a pity we don't have proper Passing Places like they do in the Scottish highlands.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,092 ✭✭✭screamer


    Connor pass in Kerry, holy ****, there’s literally parts of it that waterfalls gush beside and a drop to oblivion on the other side. I tell you, heart stopping driving when a tour bus is on one side and you’re on the other, madness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,801 ✭✭✭✭DaCor


    I drove on many mountain roads in Lesotho, each with hundreds of meters of straight drops, some glorified goat tracks. Regularly had moments when I thought I was going over the edge.

    Closest to that in Ireland is the drive to Keem Bay, Achill


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,158 ✭✭✭alias no.9


    Drove the Caha Pass in a motorhome over the summer, as N roads go, it has to be one of the hariest. Spectacular scenery all the same.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,279 ✭✭✭✭Alun


    I remember many years ago before I moved to Ireland to live I came across here on a driving holiday and drove up to the viewing pint for Slieve League which was pretty hairy. The gale force winds and fog didn't help, nor did the fact that I was in a LHD car. I see Google Streetview now stops at a new car park at the start of the hairy bit and there's a gate across the road to discourage tourists.


    https://goo.gl/maps/6tcG8SaiKWbdYXag9


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Flipping to an almost urban environment, the level of traffic that takes Kellystown Lane in Leixlip really doesn't tie in with it having a deep ditch bordered off with wands (some knocked over in this Streetview image, most gone by now), multiple bad entrances and a single track bridge with a blind bend at one end - just click forward one notch to see the (long) bridge.

    Dark night here and you'll have inexperienced or non-local drivers actually stopping dead at multiple points


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,158 ✭✭✭alias no.9


    Alun wrote: »
    I remember many years ago before I moved to Ireland to live I came across here on a driving holiday and drove up to the viewing pint for Slieve League which was pretty hairy. The gale force winds and fog didn't help, nor did the fact that I was in a LHD car. I see Google Streetview now stops at a new car park at the start of the hairy bit and there's a gate across the road to discourage tourists.


    https://goo.gl/maps/6tcG8SaiKWbdYXag9

    Funny that you mentioned that, the last roadtrip we did in the Motorhome before lockdown in March involved a trip to Sliabh Liag. The last 200m before the carpark was pretty much unsighted being a LHD also. I was very happy to see that carpark.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭Donegal Storm


    Alun wrote: »
    I remember many years ago before I moved to Ireland to live I came across here on a driving holiday and drove up to the viewing pint for Slieve League which was pretty hairy. The gale force winds and fog didn't help, nor did the fact that I was in a LHD car. I see Google Streetview now stops at a new car park at the start of the hairy bit and there's a gate across the road to discourage tourists.


    https://goo.gl/maps/6tcG8SaiKWbdYXag9

    That is an awful road to drive, some extremely steep sections that are only wide enough for one car so all sorts of awkward reversing and clutch burning on 45 degree slopes when you meet someone :D

    One that comes to mind for me, whilst attempting to climb Muckish over the summer google maps decided this was the best road to reach the base. We ended up abandoning the cars and walking the rest of the way, further up the road we came across a van stuck deep in the bog that google maps also led astray!

    https://www.google.com/maps/@55.1180136,-8.0233241,3a,75y,125.39h,79.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfksI47c3_8MSyRxxn4d47Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭Donegal Storm


    L1011 wrote: »
    Flipping to an almost urban environment, the level of traffic that takes Kellystown Lane in Leixlip really doesn't tie in with it having a deep ditch bordered off with wands (some knocked over in this Streetview image, most gone by now), multiple bad entrances and a single track bridge with a blind bend at one end - just click forward one notch to see the (long) bridge.

    Dark night here and you'll have inexperienced or non-local drivers actually stopping dead at multiple points

    I used to live up the road from there, the whole area north of Maynooth/Leixlip is full of really dodgy roads with sudden 90 degree bends and blind corners


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,195 ✭✭✭Redsoxfan


    I used to live up the road from there, the whole area north of Maynooth/Leixlip is full of really dodgy roads with sudden 90 degree bends and blind corners

    The road from the top/bottom (?) of Kellystown Lane, i.e. not the Intel end (R149) is cat - was retrofitted with a footpath (which is good of course) but now makes it *seem* very narrow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭blindsider


    The road down to Cromwell Pt lighthouse on Valentia is fun.

    https://www.google.ie/maps/@51.9263383,-10.3315603,3a,75y,72.61h,57.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVFL-CvCkUYnbx0Eb6jJOmg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    is the turn. Going out is okay - coming back is hairy! Have a look at the old concrete road and the hairpins on it....

    Thankfully its well worth the trip - one of my favourite spots on my favourite island!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,258 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    Drove from bantry to kenmare , had done it in a car before no bother , did it In a van and it gave me the heeby geebys...

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    blindsider wrote: »
    The road down to Cromwell Pt lighthouse on Valentia is fun.

    https://www.google.ie/maps/@51.9263383,-10.3315603,3a,75y,72.61h,57.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVFL-CvCkUYnbx0Eb6jJOmg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    is the turn. Going out is okay - coming back is hairy! Have a look at the old concrete road and the hairpins on it....

    Thankfully its well worth the trip - one of my favourite spots on my favourite island!

    A substantial part of that road appears to be concrete, which is exceptionally rare in Ireland particularly outside 1950s suburban development. Wonder how that happened.


  • Registered Users Posts: 969 ✭✭✭spakman


    County Roscommon
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/PXmSZX4dSNGucJjw9

    I had the misfortune to end up driving on these roads a few months ago. Not terrifying in the sense that you can fall off into a mountain ravine but there are miles of this kind of road with absolutely no opportunity to pull in, severe bends, no sightlines, certainly not wide enough for a tractor or lorry to use. I couldn't believe why there were such long stretches with not even a field gateway to pull in. It must be a pain for locals to have to reverse for ages when meeting an oncoming car.

    They're surely a legacy of pre famine dirt tracks to clacháns, which would have been common 'where the three counties meet'. I have never driven on such bizarre, incoherent and illogical roads in Roscommon as the ones on this border area of Mayo/Roscommon/Galway. .

    There are wide grass verges and gateways to pull into on that map, that's fairly typical across the country once you go off the beaten path.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,101 ✭✭✭nordydan


    Newtownmountkennedy to Roundwood

    Steep uphill, very narrow, zero sightlines - a disgrace of a R road. Constant fear of a jepp bombing down the road and flying into you


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,279 ✭✭✭✭Alun


    nordydan wrote: »
    Newtownmountkennedy to Roundwood

    Steep uphill, very narrow, zero sightlines - a disgrace of a R road. Constant fear of a jepp bombing down the road and flying into you

    I've driven that road often. No worse than many small roads in rural Wicklow to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,998 ✭✭✭blindsider


    L1011 wrote: »
    A substantial part of that road appears to be concrete, which is exceptionally rare in Ireland particularly outside 1950s suburban development. Wonder how that happened.

    Yep - it's very unusual, and looks almost...false...?

    Presume somebody somewhere decided that it was the best/cheapest/fastest way to maintain a road to the lighthouse.

    Lovely spot!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,158 ✭✭✭alias no.9


    L1011 wrote: »
    A substantial part of that road appears to be concrete, which is exceptionally rare in Ireland particularly outside 1950s suburban development. Wonder how that happened.

    There was a decent stretch of concrete road in rural east Kerry, I'm almost sure it was between Scartaglin and Ballydesmond but I'm not 100%. I've had a quick look at Google maps but not finding it, anyway it's something that Kerry Co Co did try.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22 SaltyJohn


    While having a good old drive up to Barley Lake in Co Cork during the Level 3 restrictions, I started thinking about what the most hair raising, utterly terrifying, bowel softening roads in Ireland. Y'know those single track horrors up the side of a steep mountain with hairpins galore yet not one passing point.


    Find your best, pop them here. And please, only public roads that you can drive on and find on Google, not driveways etc. Try and do a Google Maps link for ease (Click the three dots to the top left, click "Share or Embed Image" then "Copy Link")



    Barley Lake ascent - https://goo.gl/maps/xgkmvYS6T8nPozRV7


    Priests Leap on the Cork/Kerry border - https://goo.gl/maps/2Aptiyz3HKj4d5z98


    A drivable part of the Kerry Way - https://goo.gl/maps/1dqCBJEC3imN9Sqt9




    Something we can all look at while we are not recommended to go more than 5km from home.

    Yes Priest's Leap is pretty crazy. Sheer drops at times but the main thing is the constant "brow of a hill" situations where you honestly can barely see in front of the car. The top is the highest part of a public road in Munster, at 463m. It's also a short hike from the highest point in Cork. Plenty twists and turns too. Great experience all the same.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,901 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    Another vote for Priests Leap and also the Barley lake.
    As mentioned, what makes Priests great is that you have no idea what's going on for the most part, because of the constant changes in pitch.

    Caha is grand though? It's a really big wide safe one with good surface and camber and easy switchbacks. They removed the only bad bend on it. Granted, for an N road it's hectic, but no worse than Molls Gap I'd have said. Dunloe, Ballaghoisín and Beallaghbeama are similar.

    But spare a thought for the climb from Kenmare to Caha pass via Gortnabinny, just West of Caha Pass: that's another terrifying one.

    And the roads down in Caherdaniel, which are just a car's width, and people tear around on them. Terrifying to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,990 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland


    That is an awful road to drive, some extremely steep sections that are only wide enough for one car so all sorts of awkward reversing and clutch burning on 45 degree slopes when you meet someone :D

    One that comes to mind for me, whilst attempting to climb Muckish over the summer google maps decided this was the best road to reach the base. We ended up abandoning the cars and walking the rest of the way, further up the road we came across a van stuck deep in the bog that google maps also led astray!

    https://www.google.com/maps/@55.1180136,-8.0233241,3a,75y,125.39h,79.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfksI47c3_8MSyRxxn4d47Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    no where near as bad now as it used to be a couple of the blind crests and really bad corners were widened to allow coaches up. had friends screaming in the back of the car up there when i first moved here.

    same with the switchbacks on glengesh still hairy but nowhere near as bad as they used to be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 715 ✭✭✭Stihl waters


    Kenmare to castletownbear with an artic and 40 foot trailer is hairy especially when you meet the Spanish lads coming from castle town fully laden with fish racing hard for rosslare, edge of the seat stuff


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭donspeekinglesh




  • Registered Users Posts: 667 ✭✭✭BelfastVanMan



    Had the pleasure of driving it myself, on a foggy evening in August, there. Barely wide enough for two cars at the best of times.


  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 10,972 Mod ✭✭✭✭MarkR


    Not terrifying, but you'd wonder what was going on when they decided to build this one twisty.

    https://goo.gl/maps/BqUioyZaVD53988N6


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,174 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    That's pretty common for old railway bridges. The shortest possible bridge over a railway is one that runs at 90° to the path of the tracks, so that's what was built in most cases: the railway companies only had a duty to get the road over the tracks in some way or other - they rarely cared about keeping it straight... Besides, when this was built, "fast" road traffic probably meant a two-horse carriage...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,002 ✭✭✭Dufflecoat Fanny




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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,869 ✭✭✭cantalach


    Another vote for Priests Leap and also the Barley lake.
    As mentioned, what makes Priests great is that you have no idea what's going on for the most part, because of the constant changes in pitch.


    Which, as I'm sure you know, makes it murder on a bicycle:


    https://www.strava.com/segments/631196


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