Check out the best driving roads in Ireland. Last month we gave you the 5 Best Driving Roads in Britain. Today, in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, we’re wearing the green and revealing the best roads Ireland has to offer. Whether you’re looking for white-knuckled cornering, fierce straights, or just a fantastic GT view, Ireland has a road for you.
Healy Pass – Beara Peninsula Kerry/Cork | Lauragh to Adrigole | 13.7km
Discover the otherworldly landscape of southwest Ireland by driving through the Healy Pass. The serpentine road winds through the eerily beautiful peaks and valleys of the Caha mountain range. At the vantage point at Healy Pass, you’ll be able to look out upon the unspoiled vistas of ancient geological beauty and feel like the last person on Earth.
Today, the road is designated the deceptively unexciting R574. It was created in 1847 during the famine years in order to help prevent starvation by linking vital supplies to those in need. Your adventure begins at the Adrigole Bridge in County Cork and you’ll reach journey’s end at the Lauragh Bridge in County Kerry. There are 7.5 miles of sharp hairpins and plunging straights along the way as you dart between the borderlands or Cork and Kerry.
Galway’s greatest road
Sky Road, Country Galway | Clifden and back around the Sky Road | 7 miles
The Sky Road is an exhilarating 7 mile round trip west of Clifton that promises awesome views, heights of over 500ft and plenty of tricky bends to get your teeth into. Heading west out of Cliften, the Sky Road leads you past a variety of ancient structures. Just past the old D’Arcy Estate, the road divides. The Lower Sky Road follows the coast, but we recommend tackling the heights of Sky Road proper. As the road rises there are breathtaking views of the islands Inishturk and Turbot. As you descend upon Eyrephort, the humps and hills smooth out for an easy, smooth ride. But if you’re still hungry for more epic landscape you can tackle the northern loop of the Sky Road to experience more of Galway’s staggering beauty.
The epic western tour
West Donegal to Sligo | Donegal to Benbulben via. R231 | 37.6 miles
With great views of the might Atlantic Ocean, the drive down the western side of Ireland is truly primal. From Donegal, jump on the N15 and head south towards Ballyshannon. At the crossroads just outside Ballintra, sneak a right onto the R231 for a lesson in country corners, sweeping hills and glimpses of the sea beyond. As you descend on Ballyshannon, hug the coast and continue south through Bundoran and onwards towards the Dartry Mountains. Ride the line between the sea and the mountains along the N15 before tackling a final rally challenge. Warning: it’s time to hit the gravel on an exciting uphill scramble to the Benbulben rock formation!
In the footsteps of giants
Causeway Coastal Route | Larne to Giant’s Causeway | 51.9 miles
The Causeway Coastal Route is considered by many to be one of the best driving roads in the world. With unparalleled views of the wild northern Irish coast, this 50 mile stretch of road is not to be missed.
Our route begins in the Larne and follows the coast all the way through the 9 glens of Antrim. From Cushendall, Take the Tor road across the treacherous cliffs or open up across the hills on the straights of the A2. Whichever way you go, you’ll find that getting to Ballycastle is a drive like no other. From Ballycastle, the scenery and sweeping roads continue all the way to the legendary marvel of The Giant’s Causeway.
The road to King’s Landing
The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney | Bregagh Road
On your way back from the Giant’s Causeway, cut across country to enjoy some straight-line speed on Straid Road between Bushmills and Ballycastle. While you’re there, you might want to check out another famous Irish road…
Just south of Ballycastle, off the A44, you’ll find the King’s Road from the Game of Thrones TV series. In reality, this epic tree tunnel is named Dark Hedges and is located just outside Gracehill House, Ballymoney. While not the most exciting mile of road in the world, this one is certainly one of the most atmospheric. The entwined beech trees were planted in the 18th century and provide a hauntingly beautiful end to any drive.