Pit Stops for NI Road Trips
If this month’s International North West 200 is inspiring you to make your own biking memories, perhaps a road trip around scenic Northern Ireland is the answer? Before you mark your maps, take a look at some biker friendly pit stops for NI road trips you could plan your route around. From food trucks to stepping back in time, we’ve rounded up our favourites.
Mini Maegden – Giant’s Causeway
Maegden (pronounced may-den) is a mirage of joy located on the road to the Giant’s Causeway. Avoiding the crowds ahead, pull your bike into the field-come-picnic spot and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most delicious gourmet grilled cheese, handmade sweet treats, and speciality drinks from the hatch of a little 1950s caravan. Pit-stop perfection.
Joey’s Bar – Ballymoney
A mecca for true road racing fans, Joey’s Bar in Ballymoney is a warm and welcoming stop where locals and visitors can enjoy a pint and soak up the extensive display of Joey Dunlop and bike re-lated memorabilia. If you have a bit more time, the memorial gardens make for a lovely stroll be-fore you get on your way.
Fullerton Arms – Ballintoy
A family-run Inn overlooking the sea in official Game of Thrones territory, we’d suggest stopping into the cosy bar and sampling some of the famed pub grub. Host to the only moulerie on the island (yes really!), you can look forward to fresh Strangford mussels, creamy chowder and other locally sourced delights.
The Garden House Cafe – Seaforde Gardens, Newcastle
A hidden treat, the Garden House Cafe is located within Seaforde Gardens on the way to Newcas-tle, County Down. Pull into the mini ‘dark hedges’ lined road and you’ll find ample parking and sign-posts to the Garden House Cafe which you can visit without paying entry to the Gardens. With lo-cally sourced produce and mouth-watering baked goods, this is a lovely spot to take your eyes off the road and soak up some natural beauty. Oh but do watch out for the peacocks…
Mary McBrides Bar – Cushendun
Prepare to step back in time into this, the smallest bar in Ireland at only 2.7m by 1.5m. The original tiny bar (on the left as you walk in) has been cleverly supplemented to the side and back so there are plenty of rooms to have a nosy into. You can enjoy your pub grub upstairs or sample the at-mospheric and super-authentic live music over the weekends. Come prepared, you might be ex-pected to throw your singing hat into the ring!
Portaferry Hotel – Portaferry
With stunning views over Strangford lough, the Portaferry Hotel dates back to the 18th century and provides a perfect stopping point after biking the breath-taking Ards peninsula. Look forward to a warm welcome, open fires and homemade fare, and if the weather is kind, a seat outside watching the ferry come and go.
The Lobster Pot – Strangford
Located in one of the prettiest harbour villages in Northern Ireland, you can take the direct route to Strangford or choose the scenic peninsula plus ferry hop across from Portaferry. Whichever way you make it, the Lobster Pot is a fine reward. With great service and seafood to travel for, it’s abso-lutely worth the trip.