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.
If you’re had getting down to Maynooth for a spin on your bucket list this summer – with the long bright days, you’ve timed it perfectly.
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.
With so much to experience across all 130km, we’ve put together our recommendations for Kildare, where the trail passes through Maynooth, Kilcock and Moyvalley.
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.
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 have your own set of wheels, you can bring it on board the train with no need to book (commuter trains only). Leap fare from Connolly to Maynooth is only €2.30.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download our suggested itinerary for the way here