On St Patrick’s day, we decided to cycle another part of the Royal Canal. We took our bikes on the train and travelled to Enfield. (At the weekend on off-peak services you can take your bike on the train.)
We cycled along the old N4 and joined the Royal Canal at Furey’s pub which is an Irish vernacular cottage pub with a corrugated iron roof in Moyvalley in Meath. We planned to stop here for a drink but it hadn’t opened at noon when we arrived.
We cycled on for another few kilometres and as the sleet started to fall I was glad to reach Hill of the Down and the warm and cosy Moran’s pub.
When we looked at google maps we could only see two bars along that stretch of the canal but we actually came across a few more. We were hungry and had picked up a flat tyre when we arrived at Thomastown Lock and saw Nanny Quinn’s bar and restaurant and stopped here for lunch which was delicious.
We cycled on after our lunch and saw a sign for Cunningham’s filling station and bar/shop which was only 150 metres from the canal. As we cycled up I thought they were closed as it seemed very quiet but to get to the bar you have to go through the shop. The bar is appropriately enough called The Hideout. We were able to use the air machine at their filling station to pump up the tire.
The Enfield to Mullingar route via the Royal Canal is forty kilometres and the towpath surface is mostly fine gravel or rough tarmac so best to use a mountain bike or hybrid bike. The route is scenically dotted with canal cottages and stone bridges with several places you can stop and have a drink or food along the way. We plan on doing it again in the Summer.
One more pub and restaurant on the route is one we were familiar with from driving on the N4 road, which is Mary Lynch’s bar & restaurant which is about fifteen kilometres from Mullingar.