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Cycle to Poyntzpass for Dinner

On a warm summers evening what better thing to do than turn off Boris TV, dust down the bicycles and take to the towpath en route to spend the Christmas meal voucher (Thanks Brian and Anne)

It was incredible how many were out this evening cycling, walking, jogging or just chatting. Anyone used to sitting in watching the TV would be amazed indeed at the numbers of seemingly sane people out in the fresh air.

Swanning about on Newry Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Swanning about on Newry Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

A short spin down past WIN Industrial Estate in Newry and you're on to the towpath running along Newry Canal. It's tarred all the way to Portadown (or so I'm told) and as you'd expect of a path along a canal it's completely flat.

Even though the road to Poyntzpass goes up and down some quite serious hills, surprise surprise there is a flat alternative!

Poyntzpass or bust. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Poyntzpass or bust. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

En route it's not long before you get caught up with the natural world around you. Two swans looking after what looks like three cygnets on the banks of Newry Canal after Jerrettspass, sets the tone.

The 9 short miles to Poyntzpass takes you through some beautiful scenery around Dromantine and Goraghwood.

Fifty five minutes later at a relaxed pace our two wheels have taken us to Poyntzpass and Rices Hotel for a bite to eat and a wee small glass of wine.

A bit of chat, delicious Vegetable Pakora and Goats Cheese Tart later and we are making our way merrily back to Newry.

Looks like Rein Dear! A Deer takes a stroll through the barley near Dromantine. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Looks like Rein Dear! A Deer takes a stroll through the barley near Dromantine. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Was that really a Deer we saw in a Barley field on the way home or was it the wine talking? You see the strangest things when out of an evening!

The homeward jaunt took an hour and ten minutes, fifteen minutes longer than the outward one. Leaving home just before six and getting back just before ten makes you realise just how lucky we are that we live somewhere with so many options to pass the time.

If you were bound for Newry on the Enterprise train and you saw two dapper cyclists waving at you,  yes that was us. 

Newry Canal towpath really is suitable for anyone whatever your age. Next time maybe a wee bite in Portadown perhaps ...

Top tips

Keep the canal to the left on the way home

Try to keep some space for desert at Rices

Good things come to those who ... leave some space for desert!
Good things come to those who ... leave some space for desert!
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