This route is designed to give you a quintessential taste of Sth Co. Wexford without too much difficulty.
This 70km route takes you along a sampling of The Norman Way, EuroVelo1, a Fáilte Ireland hub route, the southeast coastal drive and the Bannow Drive whilst dipping in and out of some excellent experiences and points of interest along the way.
I hope it will leave you with a taste of what the road offers you in this part of Co. Wexford and might prompt further exploration.
Start/Finish: Wexford Town Tourist Office Paul Quay
Online maps: South Wexford taster Komoot map route.
Online maps: South Wexford taster Strava map route.
Directions: Starting out from the Tourist office on the Quayfront, head south towards the Talbot Hotel and take a right turn east along the R733. (IMPORTANT: This can be a busy road so I would advise waiting until 9:30am or thereabouts to commence this ride.
After you cross the N25 roundabout, you have entered the Southeast Coastal Drive (that would eventually take you to Ballyhack and beyond and is worth exploring on a bicycle in itself).
This road climbs steadily for the first 5kms until you get to the Mountain Bar.
Soon after, you will see some sweeping views of the Saltee Islands on your left and that is the general direction that your route will be looping towards.
This road then levels off for a nice undulating spin until you get to Wellington bridge at around the 23km mark.
Take a left on to the R736 – you are now on EuroVelo1.
Continue along this road and you will soon come across sweeping water views and the enchanting ruins of Clonmines on your right.
Continue along the R736 and on to Wexford’s answer to the Dark Hedges; a nice canopied road known locally as the Green Rd for 4km and you will come to a T junction.
We are taking a left turn here up a short climb that’s good for an interval if you’re combining a training spin.
This takes you to the neat village of Carrick on Bannow where the EuroVelo1 route joins the Norman Way.
This is a good place to stop briefly for a dip in to some Irish history.
The 3 Penal Cross (pictured below) is just located here at the right side of the road at the junction leading in to the village.
If Romanesque fonts are your thing you can see it here inside the Church in Carrick on Bannow.
Outside the Church you will see a Norman Way information panel which explains its history and will get you started in the history and influence of the Normans.
Continue along the R736 (EV1 route) until you see the EuroVelo1 take a right turn to Cullenstown Strand.
Follow this road and you will come across the next Norman Way site of St. Imoge’s Church on your right around a kilometre down this road.
Continue straight along this road, still following the EV1 route until you come to a T-Juntion.
IMPORTANT: here the EV1 sign points to the left, but we suggest not to miss Cullenstown which is a hidden gem, slightly off the beaten track but not to be missed!
Instead at this T-junction, take the right turn here towards Cullenstown Strand.
Almost immediately after you turn right, you will come to a fork in the road and you will bear left there.
Continue along this road until you come to the slip road to the strand.
Here you will take the gravel road to your right to the car park and the iconic Shell House.
Follow the same road back and take the EuroVelo1 west, towards the right and follow this back on to the R736 to the beautiful village of Duncormick.
If you feel like stretching the legs with a short walk, there is a really nice River Walk to your right as you decend in to the village.
There are bike stands and another Norman Way information board at the entrance.
If you have time, we can highly recommend a quick lemonade stop at the iconic, Sinnott’s pub just down the road in the village.
As you exit the village, take the right on the L3057 in the direction of Kilmore Quay which stays on EuroVelo1.
Continue along his road until you come to a T junction – take the right turn for Kilmore Quay.
Continue along this road, and it’s time to dip in to your final Norman Way site if you wish; Killag Church
After your short visit, continue on to the next T junction and take the right turn along EuroVelo1 towards Kilmore Quay.
When you get to the outskirts of the village at the Mace supermarket, the EV1 and the Norman Way routes split.
Take the right turn along the Norman Way here to bring you closer to the coast.
You will be greeted by this view below.
This is one of Co. Wexford’s most picturesque and popular villages and I would encourage you to spend some time exploring here.
You will find some good bike parking in the centre of the village beside the Norman Way information board.
From Kilmore Quay, take the R739 and stay on this for 19 kms until you reach the N25.
Take a left turn here. Continue on straight until you come to a roundabout where you will take the second exit to the R730. This road will lead you straight back to your starting point around 4.5kms away.
Facilities: There are no bike shops along this route but there is a bicycle repair station at Wallace’s garage in the centre of Wellingtonbridge.
Here you will find a bicycle pump along with some maintenance and repair tools and a bike stand to work from.
Refreshments: You will be spoiled for choice on this route but here are some of my favourites.
The aforementioned Wallace’s has a very good Deli counter along with hot drinks – seating outside alongside the bicycle repair station make this a very pleasant stop in the sunshine overlooking a stream.
The Red Door coffee shop and deli in Carrick on Bannow has a really pleasant courtyard out the back.
You can bring your bike down the side rather that bring it through the premises.
Brady’s Mace Supermarket Kilmore Quay. This is a particularly popular coffee stop for local cyclists.
They have a very good deli counter along with hot and cold drinks.
They have created a wind sheltered al fresco dining spot just outside where you can bring your bike with you.
They also have some space indoors too and are very welcoming to cyclists.
The Little Saltee Chipper: Do NOT miss this local institution.
This place does some of the best fish and chips in the country but be prepared to wait.
You can of course ring ahead and have the your order ready to pick up.
Their phone no. is 053 9129911.
If you can’t make up your mind from the menu attached, I can highly recommend their Homemade Breaded Cod Gougons and Chips!
Refreshments contd. Mary Barry’s multi award winning Seafood Bar & Restaurant comes highly recommended and is located in the village of Kilmore around 5kms from Kilmore Quay along your route home.
Excursion to consider: If you have time and you arrive early enough, I can highly recommend a boat trip to the Saltee Islands from Kilmore Quay.
You will need to book ahead for this – (further details linked above)
The Saltees is a Special Area of Conservation, is crammed with history and is teaming with seabirds that you will see from the many walkways.
Bring a picnic as there are no facilities there.
Try to avoid the R733 during rush hours as it can get busy.
Early on weekends or outside of weekday rush hours, it is generally fairly quiet.
EuroVelo1 is a beautiful and generally low trafficked road.
However there are many part of it where the road surface is not great. The section that I’ve chosen here as part of the South East Taster Route is generally good but you will encounter areas that are not overly pleasant. I’ve done this on a road bike with 23mm tyres and it’s doable but would be more suitable to at least 28mm.
Alternatives: The purpose of this route is to give you a taste of the area. You will have many alternatives in further exploring the Norman Way or the EuroVelo route, both of which are well signed along their entirety. On this route too, you will come across Cycle Hub Route 3 which you will see marked with a blue sign and the letter 3 – Personally I would be less inclined to to be enticed by that route.
I hope someday that you get the chance to do this route and that you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Over time we hope to add to this as other experiences are added.
The Southeast taster route was written by Phil Skelton, chair of Wexford Bicycle User Group (WexBUG).
I hope you like it.