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Cycling in & around Centerparcs, Longford

  • 03-01-2022 9:10pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8,051 ✭✭✭


    I'm going to CP at the end of Jan for 4 nights, have bikes booked. Anyone know how extensive are the cycling paths there, much off road etc?

    Outside of CP, anyone recommend any road routes please, about 2 hours max.




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭JustJoe7240

    Can't comment on CP questions,but the Royal Canal Greenway runs through Ballymahon so scope to travel either direction

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    Good bike hire place in ballymahon. Check them out before getting bikes off CP.

    Royal Canal back to Clondra is about an hour go east to Mullingar is an hour (thereabouts)

    Stay off the N55.

    Down through ballymore, onto greenway at Moate into Athlone and back on R390

    Or go other way from Moate, off greenway at Castletown Geoghegan and back to CP via loughnavally and R392

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,760 ✭✭✭cletus

    Here's a map of the park. There's no scale on it, but it's about 400 acres, so you could probably work Ito out roughly how much trail there is

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,116 ✭✭✭bazermc

    As regards cycling in and around the center Parcs area there’s not much to be honest. They make it sound amazing but all it is, is the roads running through the lodges which, while are car free are just basic roads and plenty of kids buggies and nervous cyclists go look for. I have never seen any off road trails available.

    I have stayed there every year since it opened and only used the bike as a way of getting around rather then as a means to itself if you know what I mean.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    There is the greenway in Ballymahon along the canal if you are venturing out. Ballymahon has a good bike shop run by a guy from Limerick.

    If you are bringing your own road bike, there is some lovely cycling on smooth, flat roads which was a novelty for me.

    Moate and back is about 50k from the park:

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  • Registered Users Posts: 190 ✭✭Jonesy101

    This is probably too far but Castle Pollard has some hilly mountain biking which is about 40min drive away. Havent done it myself but apparently its good. Could check out trails on trailfinder app on your phone, actually could look on it for trails around CP too if there are any.

  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭TooObvious

    Don't bother going Mountain Biking in Longford, unless you are really in the know it will be pointless. As already pointed out you have the Canal for out and back cycles, I wouldn't rule out taking out a map - or google maps - and plotting a route, there are a lot of minor roads with feck all cars on them, especially in and around Lough Rea, and between Ballymahon - Ballymore - Moyvore.

    There are few hills, but there are ample 2 hour loops on quiet roads, which are lovely to cycle, available to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭mr spuckler

    I just got back from Centerparcs yesterday and echo a lot of the above! I took the road bike out for a short spin one of the days, 8km on the road as far as AbbeyShrule and then you can go either direction on the Royal Canal greenway from there. The surface of the greenway isn't smooth tarmac - more like quarry dust, but is absolutely fine on a road bike and traffic free which is a massive bonus. There are loop options which involve being on the road a lot more alright.

    There's a new connection to the canal from Centerparcs which I cycled out of curiosity and it's perfectly doable on a road bike, although you kinda feel like you shouldn't be doing it on a road bike tbh with all of the people walking those trails. I ended up cutting back out onto the road at one point.

    If you have kids that cycle (or are renting a trailer) there's a lovely ~5km route around the outside of the park. You have to go to out by the reception lodge to access it (they'll direct you if needs be) and back in the same way. My 5yo absolutely loved it, it helped that we saw red squirrels along the way. Nice few small bridges across streams and is a bit up and down etc.

    Next time I go I plan to cycle that route at night time with the bright lights on!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    Few nice hills in the area believe it or not if you go looking for them

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,195 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Plenty of hills if you head to the north (and the much better side) of the county. Amazing views from the likes of Molly Hill. Actually any of the routes on the drumlins have great views - they'd be absolutely rammed with tourists if they were in Wicklow. Decent spin from Ballymahon though.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,051 ✭✭✭dinneenp

    Thanks for this. Would I get away with a road bike/racer for around CP? What is the surface like, are there paths through the woods that a racer couldn't go on? I'm brining my kids bikes, if there's 'offroad/non racer-friendly paths' I'll rent a bike there.

    Cheers again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭mr spuckler

    Yes all of Centerparcs itself is smooth tarmac. If you go on the local paths outside the grounds they're still very doable on a road bike. The biggest challenge there would be speed due to walkers - same in Centerparcs itself tbh, it's not a big site and you're not going to be going fast primarily due to the volume of kids on bikes/scooters etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭marvin80

    You can cycle from Center Parcs directly onto the Royal Canal path. You then either cycle towards Longford or towards Mullingar on the Royal Canal path. Once you're near Mullingar you can join the Old Rail Trail directly from the Royal Canal path.

    I'd avoid the N55 as mentioned if you're taking to the road!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭mr spuckler

    I've done the Ballymahon-Mullingar-Athlone loop with Athlone as the starting point a couple of times - rounds out close to 100km with about 75km on greenways with Athlone to Ballymahon being the only section on the road. That road really isn't nice for cycling though so back-roads are to be recommended as a safer but slightly longer alternative!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭mr spuckler

    One other general comment for your visit, make sure you have activities & restaurants booked asap if not done already and also be prepared for the possibility of cancellations due to Covid related staffing issues. 2 restaurants were closed over the weekend just gone and I heard of several activities being cancelled for people too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭TooObvious

    Good advice there on the N55, there are plenty of back road routes to take you off large sections of it. If you want a nearby glacial feature to cycle (though not a drumlin), the Ballymahon to Ballymore Road via Creevaghbeg is basically an esker almost all the way!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,387 ✭✭✭Furze99

    As alluded to above, there is a Coillte forest surrounding Centerparcs with a circuitous trail - but this is primarily intended as a walking route. It's not a Greenway and full of walkers, kids and dogs on busy days.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,636 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    Theses' threads are a bit pointless, bar someone is local and explores a lot or someone who likes to map routes is going to spend 30 mins on ridewithgps or wherever travel.cycle and similar are perfect for this and other scenarios.

    Input address, pick round trip and length and off you go

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,051 ✭✭✭dinneenp

    Well, I got my answer re cycling patch quality in CP & that the greenway is nearby.

    For that website, does it just give me a route determined by an algorithm or how is it done?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,636 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass and any half decent mapping site would have found that Greenway.

    No idea how it works, but as someone who is map obsessed and likes to plot routes, it is way better than me (unless I know the area really well) and almost effortlessly.

    There is no comparison between using it or similar and the vague route ideas you will get on a thread like this

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