Suitable for – Road bike.
Total ascent: 400 metres.
Start/Finish: This route starts and finishes close to the Irish National Heritage Park and you can find FREE parking nearby at the following link https://goo.gl/maps/eASr7rKmx4MBnmuw5
The Beechdale Loop goes on some of Co. Wexford’s finest road surfaces and brings you through Enniscorthy, a host town for the 1998 Tour de France.
With a distance of 56kms and around 400 metres of climbing, this route takes you through some great scenery without a lot of difficulty.
It’s an ideal spin for a road bike and keeps you on a road with a wide hard shoulder for most of the route before going along the relatively quiet but scenic R730.
This route involves only four different roads (N11, R772, N30 & R730) and as such is stress free from a navigation point of view. This loop is an ideal route to get a taste of Co. Wexford and is very suitable for a solo spin or for a group of riders.
This route is described in an anti clockwise direction so as to avoid as many right turn junctions as possible.
Starting off: From your starting point, head east for a couple of hundred metres, then take the left turn on to the hard shoulder of the N11.
Once you pass the initial Ferrycarraig climb, the road levels out for a really nice pleasant spin.
Continue along the N11 through the village of Oylegate and straight ahead to the Skurlocksbush roundabout where you will see a super view of the Blackstairs Mountains ahead. (You can do Ireland’s longest climb from Bunclody to there with 14kms and 765 metres of climbing but we will cover that on a future blog).
After the roundabout the road name changes to R772 (this is the repurposed old N11 and as such you will see little difference in the road you’ve been on)
Continue along the R772 and you will reach the setting for the 1998 Tour De France, in the pleasant town of Enniscorthy. Stay on the R772, which leads you straight through a roundabout at Donohoe’s car dealership. At the next roundabout you will leave the R772 and take the first exit on to the N30, a new road with a nice hard shoulder and a smooth as silk surface that is music to the ears of narrow road bike tyres. Continue along this road through a roundabout until you reach the next roundabout. The N30 veers around to the right here and you continue along it going past the Silver Tree for another 5kms or so until you come to the turn off at Beechdale Garden Centre on to the R730.
You are now on the road back to your starting point so you can enjoy this rolling road with nice vistas along with glimpses of the fabulous River Slaney and its estuary.
Refreshments: This route begins at the National Irish Heritage Park which has an excellent restaurant. Beechdale Garden Centre around two thirds in to the loop, has a good coffe shop. This route also passes through the village of Oylegate which is serviced by a good supermarket where you can get hot drinks.
The town of Enniscorthy has multiple options to choose from.
Strawberries: In Co. Wexford, due to our pleasant sunny south-east climate, we are famous for our strawberries.
If you are cycling Mid May to September, you will come across several vendors on the first section of this route.
These are freshly picked and delicious!
Route Variations: An interesting alternative from Enniscorthy is to join Wexford Cycle Route 1. This will take you closer to the River Slaney along some interesting but sometimes rough roads and eventually back to the Ferrycarrig Bridge close to your starting point.
To follow this route from your entry point to Enniscorthy, take the R744 at the Post Office and follow this for around a kilometre until you see a left turn on the L6102 (St. John’s) marked by a blue sign marked with the route no. 1. Follow these signs to bring you back to Ferrycarrig (the next right turn on the N11 will take you back to your starting point)
Points of interest: Enniscorthy – Tour de France monument. You will find this just off your route at the Duffry Gate Car Park.
Point of interest: The Silver tree sculpture (pictured below) is located here
Hazards: The left turn off from the N30 to R730 comes as part of a short downhill stretch and the camphor of the turn can be misleading. Reduce your speed on the approach to avoid going too wide on the corner.
Bike repair: Should you require bike repair, Kenny’s for Bikes is located along this route in Enniscorthy.
This route was created for WexBUG by chairperson, Phil Skelton.
I hope you like it.
Let us know in the comments below.