The Royal Canal Greenway has been awarded European Cycle Route of the Year 2022 by leading Dutch Walking and Cycling Fair Fiets en Wandelbeurs at a season opening event held in the Netherlands. Competing against long distance routes in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, the Royal Canal Greenway took home the winning accolade. Normally attended by over 40,000 enthusiastic cyclists, the Fiets en Wandelbeurs European Cycle Route of the Year Award is judged by leading, activity, tourism and journalist experts from across the Netherlands.
Waterways Ireland, Chief Executive John McDonagh said "I am delighted by this international recognition of the exceptional waterway heritage and Irish countryside experience offered by the Royal Canal Greenway. We look forward to welcoming many Dutch and other European tourists to the Royal Canal Greenway in future."
The 130km Royal Canal Greenway begins 25km east of Ireland's capital city Dublin, in cosmopolitan Maynooth. It is a mostly flat, off-road route following a former towpath for horse‐drawn barges, featuring 90 bridges, 33 locks, 17 harbours and four aqueducts and links Maynooth with the Shannon, Ireland's longest river, at the tranquil harbour village of Cloondara, Co Longford. The Greenway is well- serviced by bike hire operators, serviced and un-serviced accommodation providers and plenty of pretty, independent hostelries, café's, bistros and coffee providers along its length. Luggage transport and other services are available to multi-day visitors, choosing the full trip or selecting one or more of the 14 sections on the Greenway.
Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan: "The Royal Canal Greenway truly has the winning formula. It is evident that the Greenway is fast becoming a destination of choice for those looking for an active holiday. Set within the beautiful countryside and going through some of our most friendly towns and villages, the Greenway is a fantastic amenity for tourists and locals alike. County Longford looks forward to welcoming more visitors thanks to this recognition on the European stage."
Other successes for the Royal Canal Greenway this year include the recently awarded 2021 All-Ireland Community & Council Awards for the "Best Tourism Initiative" 2021, and the "highly commended" in the "Excellence" category at the European Greenway Awards.
The Royal Canal Greenway recently celebrated its first birthday announcing that over 600,000 visits had taken place since its launch in March 2021 deriving €17.2m for the local economy. It was developed by Waterways Ireland in partnership with the four Local Authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford.
The Department of
Transport provided the funding to enable this project to take place. We thank
the Department staff and Minister Eamon Ryan T.D for their support for
Royal Canal Greenway information can be found at www.royalcanalgreenway.org and for more information on the prize visit https://www.fietsenwandelbeurs.nl/