Looking for a change of scenery for your weekend rides? Sick of the same routes time and time again? I have compiled 5 cycle routes in the South East of Ireland for you to try.

These cycle routes will help you to mix things up a bit. They vary in distance and elevation, so just pick the one that suits your training needs for that week.

Below you will find the directions for each route. I have also included a link to Map my Ride for each of the cycle routes.

Route 1 – Kilmacthomas back to Kilmacthomas over the Comeragh Mountains

75 km | 1,070 metres elevation

This route is essentially a loop of the Comeragh Mountains. It starts from the Coach House on the Greenway in Kilmacthomas. This gives you the option for coffee or lunch when the ride is finished.

Directions

  • Take the N25 from Kilmacthomas towards Dungarvan as far as Lemybrien.
  • Take a right hand turn into the village.
  • At the T-Junction, take the right.
  • Almost straight away, take the next left hand turn. You will be starting to head into the Comeraghs now.
  • Take a left at the T-junction and go straight through Kilrossanty village, riding at the foot of the Comeraghs. 
  • Approx. 2 km after the village, take the next right turn at Curraheen.
  • Now you are taking the Ma, Ma road over the mountain with some fantastic views as far as the coast. On the other side, you will see Co. Tipperary. This climb is about 5-6 km long, with a descent of 5 km rolling sections out to the R672.
  • At the R672, at the Bery’s Cross Roads, take a right turn and enjoy the next 10 km to Ballymacarbry.
  • At Melody’s shop, take a right turn. Make sure to enjoy the views into the Nire Valley before starting to climb again. This climb is up the Powers the Pot to the the top of the mountain again.
  • A little technical descent follows, with a rolling route through Rathcormac.
  • Cross the R676 Carrick on Suir to Lemybrien road, and into Clonea Power.
  • Take a right in the village at the church, and pass the striking ruins of Clonea Castle on the left. You will start the last climb of the route, however, it is probably the toughest section. This is a short but steep climb, with a short fast section in the middle that will give a little bit of recovery.
  • Once over the climb, it will be mostly down hill back to Kilmacthomas, passing the famous Flahavans porridge mill.
  • Now it is time for a well deserved coffee or lunch in the Coach House.

Route 2 – Waterford, Piltown, Templorum, Kilmaganny, Carrick on Suir, Portlaw,  Waterford

93km | 1,036 metres elevation

There are a couple of options on this route. The first option is to go from Kilmeaden to Portlaw and over Fiddown bridge. The other option from Waterford is over the bridge and head out via Mooncoin and on to Fiddown.

Directions

  • Once at Fiddown, take the R698 to Piltown and take a right turn at Anthonys Pub, still following the R698.
  • Follow on for 5 km and enjoy the first real climb of the ride. It is a gradual climb with 2 switchbacks. You will go through Templeorum village.
  • Continue on straight and the road will drop away with a nice fast section past Hugginstown.
  • Take a left at the stop sign and the next left after 800 mtrs on to the R701 towards Kilmaganny.
  • Take a left in the village and start the next climb that is 5-6 km long This is a nice gradual climb.
  • The fast descent will take you to the Slatequarries.
  • Keep left on the R697.
  • The road sweeps right at Skough with a fast section of road to Carrick on Suir. 
  • If you are feeling it here, there is an easier option to go back to Waterford via the N24 following the river Suir.
  • However, if you are up for more carry on through Carrick on Suir, and over the bridge.
  • Take a right following the R676 climbing out of Carrick taking the hairpin bends.
  • At the top keep left following the R677 towards Kilmacthomas.
  • After 2 km take the left on to the Old Scroty road towards Portlaw. This is another gradual climb taking you to the top of Tower hill. Be careful of the descent as the surface is not great and is a little technical at the start. 
  • Once in the village of Portlaw you have the option to head to Kilmeaden and back to Waterford, or add on another climb.
  • If you fancy one last climb, follow through the village and head up Church Hill. This will be a nice challenge at the end of the ride.
  • Go straight through the 5 cross roads and continue onto the N25.
  • At Carrolls Cross, take a left and follow the N25 back to Waterford. 

Route 3 – Waterford, New Ross, Rower, Graiguenamanagh, Inistioge, Thomastown, Ballyhale, Waterford

93km | 913 metres elevation

This is another scenic route with just over 900 metres of elevation gain over 93 km. This will be an enjoyable yet challenging bike ride.

Leaving from Waterford city you will cross all 3 rivers known as the 3 sisters the Suir, Barrow and the Nore on this route. This is a beautiful bike ride on a good day in the summer. It has plenty of options for a coffee stop along the route.

Directions

  • Follow the N25 out of Waterford heading towards New Ross.
  • Continue on to the R723, not following the N25 over the New Ross bypass.
  • Once over the bridge in New Ross continue straight and take the 1st left following the R700.
  • Take a left over the Ferry bridge staying on the R700. 
  • Continue on for just over 2km and take a right onto the R705, climbing up to the Rower.
  • You will have a nice descent heading towards Graig with great views out over the river Barrow and St Mullins.
  • Take a left in Graiguenamanagh taking the L4209 heading towards Inistioge.
  • Cross over the river Nore in Inistioge, and take the R700 heading towards Thomastown following the river. 
  • Take a left in Thomastown and cross the river again taking the R448. You will pass Jerpoint Abbey along the route.
  • Take the left to follow the R448 to Ballyhale, Mullinavat and back to Waterford.  

Route 4 – Waterford, New Ross Mullinavat, Piltown,Carrick on Suir Portlaw, Waterford. 

105km | 1,331 metres elevation

This is one of the less scenic routes, and better for the hardcore cyclist looking for elevation and a tough day in the saddle.

There is a nice section to warm up from Waterford to New Ross on a reasonable flat section of road.

Directions

  • Follow the N25 out of Waterford heading towards New Ross.
  • Continue on to the R723, not following the N25 over the New Ross bypass.
  • Take a left after Boland’s Garage in New Ross taking the R794. This will be a tough rolling section of road. There is some good climbing with short recovery sections.
  • Take a slight right and left in Listerlin.
  • Follow on to Mullinavat. Take a left in the village and refuel if needed as the next available shop won’t be until Carrick on Suir.
  • Take a right turn in the village, and keep left by the Gaa pitch. Here you will start the climb that will take you up over Poulanassy. Keep an eye out for the Waterfall on the right.
  • Keep right at the fork in the road heading for Piltown. Follow the road which has great views across the river Suir, into Co. Waterford. Be careful on this descent as it is technical with some sharp corners.
  • Keep left and take a right at the Bog road.
  • Continue on for 2 km and take a right at the stop sign.
  • Start the climb to Templeorum and take a left 3 km after the village heading towards Carrick on Suir. Be careful on this descent, especially the sharp left half way down.
  • Cross the junction at the stop sign.
  • Continue on to the N24 and take a right to Carrick on Suir.
  • Take a left at the traffic lights and follow through the town, over the bridge keeping left on the R676 climbing up around the hairpin bends.
  • Keep left for Kilmacthomas. 
  • After 2 km, take a left for Portlaw up the Old Scrotty road climbing to the top of Tower Hill. Be careful of the descent, it is technical initially with bad road surface to Portlaw. 
  • Continue through the village and up church hill.
  • Follow on to the N25 and take a left to the N25 back to Waterford. 

Route 5 – Waterford, Kilmeaden, High Road, Portlaw, Scrott Hill Portlaw, Ballyduff, Waterford

60km | 770 metres

This is a good short ride when caught for time, but still want to put in a good session. With 60 km and almost 800 metres of elevation, the legs will get a good spin. Waterford out to Kilmeaden will give 20 minutes for a good warm up. 

This will be a nice evening session, or shorter weekend bike ride.

Directions

  • Take the Portlaw Road towards the Kilmeaden Train Station.
  • Take a left onto the high road just after the Kilmeaden Train Station. This 6 km section has some good climbing with short flat recovery sections mixed in.
  • Take a right turn at the 5 Cross Roads, down hill to Portlaw. 
  • Just after the church take the left turn and follow the road, which will take you up over Salaheen.
  • This next section will be climbing for 4-5 km, taking you around the perimeter of the Curraghmore Estate. Be careful on the descent as it is a little technical with some bad surface.
  • Turn right at the T junction, and follow the road around the estate. There is a gradual drag through the wooded area.
  • Take the 2nd turn right up the Old Scroty road towards Portlaw. This is a long gradual climb up and over Tower Hill. Be careful on the descent.
  • Go through the village of Portlaw and take the road up Chuch Hill working the climb.
  • Follow on straight to the N25 and take a left for Waterford.
  • Take the 4th right to include the Ballyduff hill.
  • Keep left in the village and head back to Kilmeaden and Waterford.

This is the perfect time of year to try out some new routes… especially as the evenings are getting longer and the weather getting better.

Let me know which routes you try and how you found them… enjoy!!

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