3 images of cycle to CastleTaylor Woods

Cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods

Hi all,

This is an overview how to cycle ( relatively safely ) from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods.  I visited CastleTaylor Woods in 2021 by car, and today I will tell you how you can cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods. Want to find out about upcoming events such as refreshers of cycling and rules of the road or cycle trips ? Join my GortCycleTrails Facebook Group here

Back in 2020 and 2021 I did a lot of cycling in South Galway and North Clare, and started to document Safe Cycle Trails.  I love cycling in a loop, as don’t like cycling the same road again , so most of the trails I have documented are loops:) Click here to find the loops I have documented so far.  Now that I have said that, this cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor is not a loop, so there are also exceptions. Or I should say, it could be a loop, but I am not in favour of it, as I don’t think it’s safe. ( more about that later)

A few details 

  • Distance of cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods : just under 7 kms
  • Time it took to cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods : just over 30 minutes
  • Cycled via : Main Road ( N18 ), L8566 , R347 and  L8565
  • Suitable for children? Child needs to be able to cycle steadily and parents will need to take extra care that child cycles on the inside when cycling on the hard shoulder and be very careful on the short section on the R347
  • To increase visibility, please a
  • Bring snacks and drinks to eat and drink as you are at CastleTaylor Woods

Overview of Strava map

Where to start to cycle from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods

Start off from the town square in Ardrahan! (picture below) and head for the direction of Galway.

picutre of my bike at the square in Ardrahan

There is no cycle path as you leave Ardrahan, so for a short distance, you will need to cycle on the main road (R458 , previously known as the N18) As you exit Adrahan, once you pass the Church on the left, you will see the hard shoulder.

Just a reminder to cycle two abreast – below is a picture taken  on the R458 as we cycled the Old Irish Milestone cycle for #Heritageweek2022

cycclists cycling 2 abreast

On the Hardshoulder from Ardrahan to CastleTaylor Woods

I am not a great fan of cycling on the main road, however in this case there is a hard shoulder and it is wide. You will cycle on this stretch for about 2 km until you see a sign for the L8566 on your right. I would recommend to (carefully)cross the road about 100 meters before the turn off to the right, to ensure you have better visibility.

L8566 Boithrin Abhaile – Small Road Home 

Picture of L8566 sign

This is one of the few roads I hadn’t cycled yet, it’s a very rural, windy road, with great views,  I really enjoyed cycling it.

bike on rothar Roads

Once you come to the end of the L8566, you will be on the R457. This road is quite narrow, so be very mindful. It’s only a short cycle when you take a left on the L8565.

L8565 Caisleán Tailor Thuaidh CastleTaylor North 

This road is one of my favourite roads because it is a beautiful road, it has views over the CastleTaylor Estate and is one of the many “Dark Roads” in South Galway. The road to the right of the bike eventually goes to Craughwell.

Bike in front of L8565

The CastleTaylor Estate in the Background

Please remember – this is private property so strictly no entrance.

Bike in front of a gate, castletaylor Estate in the background

Picture of my bike on the dark road

bike on the dark road

Once you are on this road, cycle for about 2 km till you see the information signs for CastleTaylor Woods on your left. You’ll also cycle past another small parking area.

entrance at CastleTaylor Woods

You have arrived!

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CastleTaylor Woods Walk

Check out the full write-up ( from my previous visit) here!

Return to Ardrahan

I would recommend returning the same way as you came. Alternatively, you can turn back, and take the R347 to Ardrahan. I am not keen on this road as it’s very narrow, and cars speed on it. There is a nearby quarry, so at times there are large trucks using this road into Ardrahan.

The other alternative( the one I decided to venture on) (the continuation of the “dark” road) , takes you on a bridge over the N18, and is a lovely rural cycle I quite enjoyed until you get to the end, which brings you on the R458, Kilcolgan to your right. This road has a wide hard shoulder, so for the first 2 kilometres it’s all good. Unfortunately, the hard shoulder comes to an abrupt end, and you end up on a very narrow road, with fast-going traffic( 80 km) , mostly cars in a hurry to get onto the motorway. I did not like cycling this road at all, and truly hope this road is reviewed and appropriate measures are put into place so that it becomes safe to cycle.

bike in front end of hard shoulder

I did notice as I was cycling towards the L452, there was a turn to the left. Looking back at Google Maps, this road ultimately goes to the R458, reducing the length you need to cycle on the section without a hardshoulder. Even if you take that road, you are still on a fast going road without provision for cyclists, and would not recommend it .

#GortCycleTrails #SafeCycleTrails #RotharRoads  #GalwayByBike #Adrahan #CastleTaylorWoods


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