“A significant increase in activity has occurred in a previously underutilized location,” the jury concludes.
Irish Greenway, the country’s longest greenway, has been selected the ‘Cycle Route of the Year 2022’ at the Fiets en Wandelbeurs Walking and Cycling Fair in The Netherlands.
The Royal Canal Greenway, which stretches 130km from Maynooth, Co Kildare, to Cloondara, Co Longford, was victorious over competition from the Badischer Weinradweg in Germany, the Vlaanderenroute in Belgium, and the LF Waterlinieroute in the Netherlands to claim the title of best greenway in the world.
An excerpt from a citation from the fair, which was organized by the event, vacation, and marketing business Hicle, noted, “The tiny river meanders through a magnificent and diverse scenery, including meadows and woodlands as well as moors.”
You will pass over 90 historic bridges and more than 30 locks as you go along the route. With stone walls, livestock, and ancient ruins, you will be able to experience a classic Irish countryside.
On nights, folks kick back and relax while enjoying a pint, as is customary in Ireland.
A fair aimed at encouraging the construction of high-quality cycling routes, Fiets en Wandelbeurs is visited by approximately 40,000 bikers on a yearly basis in Belgium. Due to the presence of Covid, the event was hosted online this April.
Their selection for the ‘Cycle Route of the Year’ award is made by a panel of three experts, who praised the Royal Canal Greenway for its clear signage, excellent road surface, and widespread usage by visitors and residents alike.
“A significant increase in activity has occurred in a previously underutilized region,” they said.
“There are now bars and restaurants in a number of locations, and horse trailers have been turned into hip coffee shops on the waterfront. “With all of the excitement around the Greenway, this route is fantastic for riding.”
The Royal Canal Greenway was reopened last year after a €12 million rehabilitation project.
In its first year, the route received 600,000 visitors, generating €17.2 million in revenue for the local economy, according to Waterways Ireland, which constructed it in conjunction with the local authorities of Kildare County, Meath County, Westmeath County, and Longford.
“I am delighted by this international recognition of the exceptional waterway heritage and Irish countryside experience offered by the Royal Canal Greenway,” said Waterways Ireland Chief Executive John McDonagh. “I am delighted by this international recognition of the exceptional waterway heritage and Irish countryside experience offered by the Royal Canal Greenway.”
Peggy Nolan, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, said the Royal Canal Greenway “really has the winning formula.” She termed it “a magnificent facility for visitors and residents alike,” adding that “it genuinely has the winning formula.”