When I mentioned going for a casual cycle in the afternoon, the receptionist in the Silver Tassie Hotel suggested that Ramelton was a very picturesque heritage town nearby, and that Conways pub was always worth a visit. So, off I set.
Just across from the hotel is a road that is a designated cycle route. Signs warn what few motorists there are, that cyclists will be on the road ahead and to drive accordingly. The odd car that I met certainly seemed to be taking heed of this advice.
Rolling alongside the shores of Lough Swilly , there is a peaceful sense of being away from it all.
The road meanders along, going from open countryside to small woodland. Then out to a higher point, where you get a better view of the mountains and lake that surround you. There is always plenty to look at all around.
The smooth surface helps you glide along into Ramelton. A town that was once a bustling nineteenth century habour and industrial centre that retains much of the old world feel. At times when the streets are quiet you almost get the sense of having travelled back in time.
I managed to find Conways easily enough and ventured in to see if it was as quaint inside as out.
The pub retains much of its old world charm as do some of it’s patrons. A man standing nearby, was a mine of information about the town itself. He told me that it had once been the largest town in Donegal. A thriving flax and linen industry was the main employer. The harbour was one of the busiest in Ireland with boats arriving from as far away as America. Times change but the architecture remains and this quaint little town is well worth exploring, especially on a bike.
Soon it was time to make my way back to the Silver Tassie Hotel once more, so I chose another road for variety. This was still as quiet and picturesque and eventually linked back up with the road that I had used earlier. On the way you can detour via the ruins of Killydonnell Abbey which is an old Franciscan Friary overlooking the water.
The spin over to Ramelton and back to the Silver Tassie hotel along these meandering quiet country roads is just over 18 kilometres. You can also extend this a little further by continuing on to the actual shoreline itself where a tidal roadway appears when the tide is out. If the tide is in you have to double back about two kilometres but even that is worthwhile to take in the fabulous homes with their lakeside views.
This is the 18k direct route
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This is the 27k explorers route
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Garmin Route file : HERE
Mapmyride Route file : HERE
Strava Route file : HERE