BALLINTUBBER ABBEY CYCLE ROUTE
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LOCATION: Ballintubber Abbey
START/FINISH At the car park adjacent to the Towers bar, The Quay, Westport.
DISTANCE: 55 KM
APPROXIMATE TIMES: 3 to 4 hours
TERRAIN: Level, very few hills.
From the Car Park head westwards for about 200m and then left onto the Greenway. Continue on the Greenway as far as the first bridge. After the bridge take the first turn right through a small car park adjacent to the playground, and then turn left on to the R335. Continue for about 100m to the T-junction. Then turn right on to the Leenane road (N59) and continue until you come to a Filling Station (Point 1 on the map), turn left at the Filling Station and continue for 200m and at the T-junction, turn right on to the Lankill road. Continue on this road as far as Lankhill School. Continue on to the next cross on the left. Take this road (Point 3 on the map).
You are now on Tochar Padraic (Croagh Patricks Heritage Trail or pilgrim’s path). That path passes through fields and is in existence for centuries. Continue east through historic Aughower “planes of the wells”). It was a centre of population going back to the Bronze Age. The word is that St. Patrick baptised the first converts and erected a church in Aughower. You cannot miss the Round Tower.
Continue on the road heading east for 3KM and turn right on the Ballinrobe road (R330) and continue for 2 KM turning left at Point 4 on the map. Then cycle on to Points 5 and 7 on the map. Afterwards continue to Ballintubber Abbey (Point 6 on the map) crossing the Castlebar / Ballinrobe Rd. Pilgrims used to pass here on the way to Croagh Patrick in pre-Christian times. The present church was founded in 1216 and is in daily use. The Abbey owned thousands of acres before it was confiscated in the seventeenth century
Turn back the way you came which leads on to the Castlebar / Ballinrobe Rd.
On the way back to Westport retrace your journey going through Points 7,5,4,8,3,2 (in that order) and finish at the Towers Bar.
SERVICES/FOOD/BEVERAGES: Restaurants and Bars along the way. Also restaurants in Westport.