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Bantry to Cork Cycle Directions

Section 1

0 to 10km

Starting at Wolfe Tone Square in the centre of Bantry, head north on the N71, signed Killarney. You leave town on the main road. After 1.2km, take a very narrow right turn which goes up a small hill. It is not signed. Soon you cross a bridge and reach a t-junction – go right. Just a hundred metres or so later, turn left.

Keep straight on this road for 2.0km until you reach a t-junction – go right and keep straight ahead [5km marker].

As you cycle, beautiful views of the Mealagh Valley are had. After 4.5km you join another road at a t-junction after a steep downhill section – keep left. Then keep left again when the road forks.

You reach Kealkill at a crossroads with the R585. Go straight through the crossroads and then turn right at the t-junction with the R584.

Section 2

10 – 20km

Stay on the R584 [15km marker] as it gradually climbs 190m in 10.6km to a narrow gap between two hills – The Pass of Keimaneigh.

Section 3

20 – 30km

Descend the other side and then take the first left on the road in to Gougane Barra, which is opposite a shrine.

Soon you cycle alongside the lake [25km marker]. Saint Finbarr’s Oratory is at the far end of it, where you enter the forest park.

There is a 4.4km loop through the park, with a number of hiking trails breaking off it. Keep straight all the way.

Return the way you came to the R584.

Section 4

30 – 40km

Turn left at the shrine on the main road, to continue in the direction you were going [35km marker]. After 4 km on this road you reach the edge of the village of Ballingeary. On a left hand bend leading into the village (before you cross the bridge), take the narrow right turn.

Keep left when the road forks and stay on this road through several bends and you will get your first glimpse of Lough Allua on your left.

Section 5

40 – 50km

Continue on alongside the lake. The road then leaves the shore [45km marker]. Soon you go up a short rise and ignore a right turn. Keep left here. Ignore a second right and take the third, up a very narrow road.

Immediately the road turns sharply left. It is very narrow but the surface improves and you stay on it for 6.5km, going through a crossroads and ignoring all turnoffs.

Section 6

50 – 60km

Finally you reach Kilmichael Crossroads and go straight through, crossing the river on the other side.

Keep straight on this road as you climb gradually [55km marker]. Ignore a left turn after going down a steep hill – go right and uphill to a t-junction. Keep left. You pass through a crossroads with 5 roads.

Keep going up and you soon have fantastic views to the north. After 600m the road forks – go right. At the next junction, keep left.

Section 7

60 – 70km

You go down a short hill and cross a stream. Take the first right after going up a short rise and then turn left at the next crossroads [65km marker].

Turn left when you reach a t-junction and then take the first right. Turn right at the crossroads you reach and you soon reach Bael na mBlath. Ignore the first right and take the other right turn which is signed Ambush Site.

Section 8

70 – 80km

It is 1.1km away. Return to the crossroads and turn right on the main road – the R585.

Follow the R585 to Crookstown [75km marker].

Turn right at the t-junction in Crookstown. After a few hundred metres, the main road turns sharply left. Take the right turn here, signed Clougduv. Stay on this road and you soon reach the village. Go straight through the crossroads by the large church. Keep going.

Section 9

80 – 90km

Ignore all turnoffs and you soon reach Aherla. Go straight trough the village.

Keep straight [85km marker] and after 5.5km you reach the village of Killumney. Go straight through.

Section 10

90 – 104km

Eventually you will reach a roundabout. Keep straight and cross over the N22. At the next roundabout on the other side take the second exit down Greenfields Road and you reach the outskirts of Ballincollig.

Follow this road for 2.5km and you will pass an industrial estate on your left. Take the next left, signed Carrigrohane. After [95km marker] 700m this road crosses the N22. When it reaches a t-junction, turn right on Model Farm Road.

Soon you reach the edge of Cork City and after another 2.3km you reach Victoria Cross, just after passing a large church on your right.

Turn left at Victoria Cross and go down the hill. When you cross the bridge you are on Western Road.

You go along a straight and then turn left to follow the one-way system. The road turns right immediately and you follow another straight. Take the first left turn after 500m.

Follow the quay and take the third turn on the left, Patrick’s Bridge. Patrick’s Street on the right is easily recognisable thanks to its width, paving stones and unusual street lights.

Cross the bridge, up up a short rise and take the first right along MacCurtain Street. This will take you all the way to the train station.