It is often said Navan is an ideal base for touring the historic Boyne Valley, and what better way to see it than by bike?
For an updated version of this post, please see here
Currently, the Boyne Greenway begins in Drogheda at Dominic’s Park on the south bank of the River Boyne and continues alongside the river and the Boyne Canal all the way to the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, located at Oldbridge. It is a wonderful amenity which has attracted a huge amount of visitors to Drogheda, the Battle of the Boyne and surrounding areas.
The River Boyne continues through Slane and all the way to Navan (and to Trim and beyond), but currently has no proper developed routes for either walking or cycling. There are certain sections which has some rough paths alongside Slane and at Newgrange, and while it is possible to make a trip along the full length of the route, it wouldn’t be a comfortable one. At the Navan end, the Ramparts runs from Andy Brennan Park in the town centre for approximately seven kilometres out to the Broadboyne/Stackallen Bridge (although again, an off road bike would be recommended).
Boyne Valley Greenway video. Credit Discover Boyne Valley
Meath County Council is currently proposing to develop the Boyne Greenway and Navigation Restoration, which will provide a high-quality walking and cycling route (as well as restore the Boyne Navigation including the canal sections and associated locks), all the way from Andy Brennan Park to the main gates at the Oldbridge Estate, thus joining up the Boyne Greenway all the way to Drogheda.
The potential for this new completed Greenway cannot be overstated enough. We have visited Greenways all around Ireland including the Waterford Greenway and the Great Western Greenway and we firmly believe it could rival anything in the country. There is a huge amount of ancient and historic sites to see along the route from the Ramparts in Navan, Dunmoe Castle, Ardmulchan, the Broadboyne Bridge, Slane Castle, Slane Bridge, Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne, the Battle of the Boyne, Oldbridge House. We could go on! (and that doesn’t even take into account the potential for further development past Navan to lead on to Bective Abbey and Trim Castle).
There are also proposals (currently under review) to extend the Boyne Greenway at the Drogheda end even further so it connects up to the east coast at Mornington. This could be a vital part of the overall long-term outlook for the region, as it could then connect up with the planned Fingal Coastal Way in North County Dublin, making a greenway all along the east coast. It would then be possible to cycle from the heart of Dublin to Malahide, Donabate, Rush, Skerries, Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan, then further north to Mornington, Drogheda, and all the way to Navan and beyond and all the attractions of the Boyne Valley. In effect, it would be Ireland’s east coast answer to the Wild Atlantic Way.
The total distance of the proposed greenway from Navan to Oldbrige is 26.5 kilometres and incorporates a study area extending across the river valley. The greenway will predominantly encourage tourism and recreation while offering potential for an attractive alternative transport choice for school children and commuters, bringing significant environmental, economic and health benefits to the wider community. It is also essential that Meath County Council commits to the development of a network of safe cycling infrastructure in Navan itself to enable locals to access this fabulous amenity and also to encourage visitors to spend time in the town.
We will be keeping a close eye on the proposals for the Boyne Greenway and will urge all our followers and people who cycle to support the plans. The proposed scheme is currently in the constraints study stage prior to development of potential route options. It is intended that a non-statutory public consultation will take place at the end of the Stage 1 Feasibility, anticipated to take place late 2020 / early 2021, subject to review. See here to learn more, and be sure to check back on these pages for more details. We live in hope that the process can be delivered ahead of schedule so this wonderful Greenway can be enjoyed by all for years to come.