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Guides & Trip Ideas

5 top tips for getting the most out of your Kildare Royal Canal Greenway Experience

Experience the magic of Kildare’s Greenway route by bike or on foot

The Royal Canal Greenway has emerged as a real jewel in the crown of Kildare’s tourism offering since it officially opening in March of 2021. The 130km stretch offers cyclists the change to spin all the way to Longford from a start point in lovely Maynooth.

National Bike Week is upon us all this week, so if you’re had getting down to Maynooth for a spin on your bucket list this summer – you’ve timed it perfectly.

For the purposes of this blog we are going to concentrate specifically on the Royal Canal Greenway’s specific Kildare offerings.

With routes to both Kilcock and Enfield that are both shorter distances at 6km and 18km respectively, with the latter being a perfect choice if you’re looking to bring the whole family out for a short cycle and take in some lovely scenery at the same time.

Royal Canal Greenway
Royal Canal Greenway
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Start it off right

Let’s face it, a pre-cycle hot beverage just hits different. Starting off in Maynooth, you’re in a prime spot to get your hot drink fix before you set off.

Shoda Market Café and the Victorian Tea Rooms are both highly recommended, with both sit down or takeaway options available.

Full selection of cheeky pre-cycle pastries, cakes and scones also available in both, call it fuelling up.

Tea Rooms
Tea Rooms
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Make sure you’ve got the wheels

If you don’t regularly cycle or have access to a bike, but you still want to come and experience the Royal Canal Greenway, the good news is you still can. Renting a bike once you arrive in Maynooth is easy peasy.

Royal Canal Bike Hire will be able to sort you out with a selection of different bikes available to suit all requirements.

Ideal if you’re coming from Dublin for a day, don’t want to drive and want to just get to the train station and go from there.

If you are driving down, it’s equally handy – there’s a car park at the train station in Maynooth with a day rate of €3.50 for parking.

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Keep it safe

If you’re not a regular cyclist, or even if it’s your first time trying out the Royal Canal Greenway, for your own safety and to have the best experience possible, it’s worth taking a look at the safety instructions and guidelines for the route.

Waterways Ireland have issued a full document which details their Code of Conduct and has extensive guidelines and advice, but if you’re looking for a summary – here are some key things.

  • All cyclists and walkers should keep left and pass on the right.
  • Cyclists should ring their bells when passing.
  • Dogs should be under proper control on a short lead.
  • Please clean up after your dog
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Hungry? Why wait

Cycling tends to bring out an appreciation for some good grub afterwards, and it’s completely normal to spend the return journey of any cycle wondering what you’ll get to eat when you get back to Maynooth.

There’s a couple of different options here depending on your preferences if you would rather stop at the halfway point and eat there’s some great options in Kilcock like Boujollè, Black Forest Bakery and O’Keeffe’s. Kilcock Art Gallery is also well worth having a wander around if you’re not in a rush to get back to Maynooth.

If you’re going to wait until you get back to Maynooth, there’s a host of other great food options like Picaderos, The Roost and Carton House.

 

Carton House 2
Carton House 2
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Why not make a day of it?

If you find yourself back in Maynooth and not wanting your experience to end – there’s some brilliant other activities and things to do around the place. If you’re looking for a scenic walk after your cycling – Donadea Forest Park is close by, but if you’ve got the kids, a visit to Clonfert Pet Farm is a must, not forgetting about Maynooth Castle and the picturesque grounds of NUI Maynooth.