The road to Dromad

Cooley Peninsula Cycle Loop

Distance: 68km
Climbing: 583m

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A loop around the Cooley Peninsula, with one big climb and fantastic views of the Mourne Mountains across Carlingford Lough. The Cooley Peninsula is a small, hilly peninsula close to the border with Northern Ireland.

This is a lovely part of Ireland, even if there are easier places for people to cycle in

This route is one for experienced cyclists as much of it is on R roads.


Dundalk Train Station has a small museum on the platform.

Clermont Carn offers fantastic views of Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains on the other side of it.

King John’s Castle dominates Carlingford and spurred the growth of the town. The ruin is unsafe and not open to the public.

Shelling Hill Beach is a short detour off the route.

Proleek Dolmen is a superb example of a dolmen, accessed by a short walk through a golf course.

Cooley Peninsula Cycle Loop Useful Info

A lot of this route is on R roads which can be busy so you need to be an experienced cyclist. That said, they have shoulders on some sections.

There is only one significant climb on this route but it is difficult. The start is particularly steep but don’t lose heart – once you get over that it gets a lot easier. And the views on the other side really are worth the effort.

The entire route stays within the Republic, but you get to within a couple of hundred metres of Northern Ireland, so feel free to pop over the border for a spin. The border is not marked – the first noticeable difference will be the road signs – roads in the north have a name and (usually) a sign at each junction. Roads in the south have numbers and only sometimes are signed.

Bikes are carried free on the Dublin to Belfast train line – see Irish Rail for details. There is a wagon at the end of the train for them. Translink has details for starting from Belfast.

Useful Links

Irish Rail




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