Ireland’s longest greenway named ‘Cycle Route of the Year’ in European awards

Eire’s longest greenway has been named ‘Cycle Route of the Yr 2022’ on the Dutch Strolling and Biking Truthful, Fiets en Wandelbeurs.

he Royal Canal Greenway, which stretches 130km from Maynooth, Co Kildare to Cloondara, Co longford, beat off competitors from Germany’s Badischer Weinradweg, Belgium’s Vlaanderenroute and the Netherlands’ LF Waterlinieroute to take the title.

“The slim waterway meanders via an exquisite and different panorama, with meadows, forests and moors,” mentioned a quotation from the honest run by occasion, vacation and advertising and marketing firm, Hicle.

“Alongside the way in which you’ll come throughout 90 previous bridges and greater than 30 locks. You will note a typical Irish panorama with stone partitions, sheep and ruins.

“And within the evenings, in accordance with Irish custom, the residents sit relaxed with a pint.”

Fiets en Wandelbeurs is a good aiming to stimulate the event of high-quality routes, and is often attended by over 40,000 cyclists. This April, nonetheless, it was held on-line as a consequence of Covid.

Its ‘ Cycle Route of the Year’ award is judged by a jury of three specialists, who cited the Royal Canal Greenway’s clear signage, highway floor, and using the route by each vacationers and locals. 

“Considerably extra exercise has arisen in a considerably forgotten space,” they added. 

“In lots of locations there are actually pubs and eating places, and horse trailers have been transformed into stylish espresso locations on the water. All the passion across the Greenway makes this route nice for biking.”


The Royal Canal Greenway at Mullen Bridge, Maynooth Harbour, Co Kildare

The Royal Canal Greenway was relaunched final yr after a €12m restoration. 

600,000 visits had been recorded in its first yr, deriving €17.2m for the native financial system, in keeping with Waterways Eire, who developed the route in partnership with the Native Authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford.

“I’m delighted by this worldwide recognition of the distinctive waterway heritage and Irish countryside expertise supplied by the Royal Canal Greenway,” mentioned Waterways Eire Chief Government John McDonagh.

“The Royal Canal Greenway really has the profitable formulation,” added Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan, who known as it “a incredible amenity for vacationers and locals alike”.


A towpath on the greenway in days passed by

Eire has seen one thing of a growth in greenways in recent times, with a refurbishment of the Limerick Greenway launching final yr, and a €6.8m extension of the Waterford Greenway underway.

The 46km path linking Waterford with Dungarvan was this yr named ‘ Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ within the Irish Impartial Reader Journey Awards, and received silver within the ‘Excellence’ class on the European Greenways Award 2021.

Final yr, funding of €63.5m was allotted to a number of off-road strolling and biking tasks, together with €9m for the New Ross to Waterford Greenway, €10m for Cork’s Middleton to Youghal Greenway and €5.5m for an enlargement of Mayo’s Nice Western Greenway.

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