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Cooley Peninsula Cycle Loop Directions

Section 1

0 to 10km

On leaving the train station, turn left at the main road and cycle to the roundabout. Turn left for the town centre and follow the one way system as it goes left and loops around a green.

Ignore the first three left turns in quick succession on the green and take the fourth, just before the road straightens. This takes you down Clanbrassil Street, where you take the left fork when you reach a church in the centre of the junction.

This takes you over a long bridge. Pass a large cemetery and keep going until you reach a sign saying No Through Road. Take the wide right turn here which has a bike lane. You soon reach a roundabout. Go left.

This section is very busy as it takes traffic to the motorway, but it is only a few hundred metres and there is a cycle lane. At the next roundabout [5km marker], take the third exit, the R132. The cycle lane continues around this.

At the third roundabout, follow the sign for Ravensdale (second exit). After 4.0km you reach the next roundabout, at Drumcarra. Take the first exit, which is on the right and signed Ravensdale.

Section 2

10 – 20km

At the first corner you take the left turnoff down a narrow road. You pass a small car park near Ravensdale Stone Circle.

After 3.8km you reach a t-junction. Go right, through the roundabout and you pass a hotel.

Take the first right turn after the hotel. It starts to go uphill immediately [15km marker]. Once it becomes flatter, take the first right, a narrow road leading up a long hill. This is the climb to Clermont Carn and is very steep in parts.

Section 3

20 – 30km

You get a great view of the peninsula once you reach the top. You can do a sidetrip up to the TV mast, which is a few minutes away.  There is no more climbing on this route, so why not?

Continue on down the other side and go left at the first crossroads.

Take the first right [25km marker], and left at the t-junction you then reach to go down to the village of Omeath. When you reach the main road, go right.

It is 7.0km to Carlingford on the scenic R173.

Section 4

30 – 40km

You reach Carlingford by passing beneath a stone archway with King John’s Castle above you on your left. There is no access to it as it is not considered safe.

Continue straight through Carlingford. You cycle by the sea [35km marker] for a while, then the road goes inland to a t-junction. Take a right turn and then immediately a left a few metres away.

You cycle around a green and take the second right a short distance away. This road narrows.

Section 5

40 – 50km

You ride out to the edge of the peninsula along the coast. It then curves right as it goes along the shore. Beside a stony beach, take the first right turn, unsigned.

The road widens [45km marker]. Take the second left turn, at a fork with a house in between the two roads.

Go through a crossroads and right at a t-junction. Go right again at the next t-junction shortly after where the road splits just before it.

This road takes you to another t-junction – turn left here and you soon reach the R173. Turn left again.

Section 6

50 – 60km

Though wide, the R173 is the only practical option [55km marker] to return to Dundalk. Most of it has a good shoulder.

Section 7

60 – 68km

Eventually you reach the New Inn roundabout by the motorway (that you passed earlier). You return to Dundalk the way you came Go left (first exit), then right at the next roundabout.

Then go left at the t-junction and [65km marker] this brings you back over the bridge and into Dundalk centre.

At Market Square you follow the one way system and go left and then the first right, or walk along the short pedestrian street ahead and go right at the end of it.

Either way, you reach the roundabout by a church where you take the second exit for Carrickmacross and soon reach the train station on your right.