Benbulben Cycle Route Loop Directions
0 to 10km
Leave the train station and you are on Lord Edward Street. Turn left and go straight across the N4. Go through the next crossroads onto Wine Street. You cross Hyde Bridge as you reach the town centre.
Follow Markiewicz Road as it bends left along the river, then take the first right turn and turn left on to Holborn Street at the narrow crossroads after a few metres. Then, again after a few metres, go right when the road forks.
You soon reach the top of a hill with views of the mountains ahead.
Go straight through a roundabout where you cross the N16. Stay on this road for 1.4km. Just after passing the edge of town there are two right turns in quick succession. Take the second one, which is on a sharp left hand bend.
At the [5km marker] third crossroads (there is a cluster of houses at the first, the third has a Yield sign) turn left. This is Drum Cross.
You will soon reach a t-junction with the N15 at a park. Turn right here. It is a few hundred metres, with a decent shoulder and great views of Benbulben ahead, to Drumcliffe Parish Church and Yeats’s grave.
Continue north on the N17 and past the small round tower. After a few hundred metres, take the first left, signed for Raghly.
10 – 20km
This takes you 1.9km into the village of Carney. Where the road turns sharply left in the village, take the narrow right turn that leads straight ahead. Views of Benbulben open out on this stretch as you ride parallel to it.
You come to a 5-sided crossroads as you return to the N15. There are two roads ahead – take the one on the right that goes past Henry’s Bar and Restaurant.
After [15km marker] 2.6km you reach a t-junction. Turn left and there is a crossroads after ten metres. Turn right on this. Stay on this road, ignoring numerous left turns for 6.8km.
20 – 30km
###Optional detour to the Gleniff Horseshoe###
###9km and approx 160m climbing###
The first right turn takes you onto the Gleniff Horseshoe. This section loops around and returns to the main road at a point just 100m beyond the turnoff. The horseshoe on its own (if you skip the climb up to Truskmore) is 9km and 160m of climbing.
After taking the first right to leave the main road it climbs slowly to the formidable cliffs at the end of the valley. The TV mast of Truskmore can be seen ahead. You soon reach the access road.
It is an extra 4km and 396m on the day’s statistics to the top if you fancy having a go. As always, it’s recommended if you have the energy.
Then descend to a crossroads which is only a few metres before you left the road initially. Turn right to continue east.
If you don’t want to do this go straight, and at the next crossroads a few metres later the road returning from the horseshoe joins from the right. Go straight through again.
Follow the road as it goes uphill slightly [25km marker] and past the hill on your right. Ignore the first right turn but take the second right, just before reaching a stone bridge.
30 – 40km
From here it is 7.1km to the Glenade Lough. After 4.5km take the second right turn. At the first t-junction after that, turn right [35km marker]. This narrow road rises to offer a lovely view of the lough.
Ride downhill on the other side of the lake. Take the first left turn, which is a hairpin bend. Continue downhill. You reach a t-junction with the R280, where you turn right. After just a few hundred metres, take the first left up a narrow road.
40 – 50km
Ignore the right turn on this hill. Ride over the top and then take the first right, beside a house. This takes you down to the R280 where you turn left. Soon there is a good shoulder on this section [45km marker].
Take the first right turn and keep on this road. Turn right at the t-junction in Lurganboy, go up the hill and then take the first right. Stay on this road as you go up a hill and down the other side.
50 – 60km
Ignore numerous turnoffs and keep straight on this road. You pass a church and carpark at Gurteen. Keep straight as the road goes up and down [55km marker]. When you reach a t-junction, turn right.
You reach Glencar Lake. The waterfall is a minute’s walk along a path opposite the carpark. Keep riding west along this road.
60 – 70km
After passing the lake, take the first right turn. After 2.5km on this road, take the first left down a narrow road. You cross a bridge over a stream and ignore several turnoffs [65km marker] to arrive at Drum Cross again. Go straight through.
Go through two crossroads and turn left at the t-junction you reach, retracing your route. Enter Sligo Town, go through a roundabout and up Holborn Hill. Go down the other side and turn left at the t-junction.
70 – 71km
Turn left again at the next t-junction. Then take the first right down a hill past a car park.
Go down the hill, cross the bridge and go straight on. Take the next right on Castle Street. Go through the next crossroads onto John Street and then take the first right turn onto Adelaide Street.
Turn left at the next crossroads back on the road you were on at the start of the ride, cross the N4 and you are back at the train station.