Category Bike, Places, Road

I would like to highlight one of our tour routes, namely the 'Garrykennedy moderate' route which is shown on our website here. This route is 42km long, and takes about 2 hours to cycle. If you wish to do this one, it could be done in a half-day hire, but if you really want to enjoy your surroundings, it might be worth going for a full day! It has a great mix of hills, lake shores, woodland and farmland. If you're daunted by hills, you don't have to worry too much with this one, because the only sustained climb is fairly moderate, or at least it is when you have an eBike motor to push you along.

As with most of our routes, the tour starts from the Nenagh Tourist office. You will then head out of Nenagh in the direction of Ballycommon, via quiet roads through farmland. The first village you will arrive at is Ballycommon, where refreshments are available at the Thatched Cottage, or at Tony's Tipp Top Shop across the road. Look out for the British and Irish phone boxes eyeing each other up across the road, and the collection of High Nelly bikes outside the shop.

Cycling past the ruined church at Ballycommon

After Ballycommon, you will head for Garrykennedy. This takes you mostly on quiet roads, other than a short 1km stretch on the main Nenagh to Ballina Road. Shortly after leaving Ballycommon, you will pass a ruined church, which you can take a look around if you wish. The next village you reach is Newtown, where you can pause for a coffee, before turning off the main road onto a quiet road which will take you to Garrykennedy. About 1km along this road, you will see a church yard, which contains a handball alley. If you wish to take a short detour, you can make a right turn here and head down to Youghal Quay, a popular local swimming spot. The views at Youghal are great. If you do take the detour, your Garmin will tell you you are 'off course', but don't worry, it will pick up the scent again once you return to the road where you turned off.

Youghal Quay
The swimming area at Youghal Quay

Continuing on, you will arrive at Garrykennedy, a beautiful harbour village, which includes a fine waterfront, very popular with boating enthusiasts. There are two pubs here (Larkins and Ciss Ryan's) where you can get food, and there will often be a coffee van also, parked up in one of the car parks. At the harbour there is a 15th Century castle, which was built by the O'Kennedy family, who once owned a large portion of County Tipperary, and who the village was named after. Garrykennedy means 'Garden of the Kennedys'. To the left of the castle is the entrance to woodland, which is great for a stroll.


Leaving Garrykennedy behind, you will head through woodland to Castlelough. Here, there is a recreation area, featuring a lake beach along with woodland walks. A short distance beyond the recreation area, you will see the Castletown Church, which dates back to the 17th century, and which can be explored. Across the road from the church is Castle Cambie, which is on private land but can be viewed from the road.

Old Church at Castlelough

From here, you will head uphill to the Lookout. This is a parking area with some of the finest views down over Lough Derg. From here, you can see Counties Clare and Galway across the lake, and get a feel for the sheer scale of the lake.

The Lookout - fantastic views of Lough Derg
Lough Derg from the Lookout

From the Lookout, you will head downhill, and return to quiet roads which will take you all the way back into Nenagh.

Nenagh Castle
Nenagh Castle