I don’t know if you know this about me, but I like cycling. Whilst 99% of the time I’m cycling from A to B on the streets of London, on a rare opportunity, I’ll go on a cycling trip.
When all these trips are coming together, I spend a fair bit of time researching. I like to know: What’s the route like? Can I rent a bike there easily or should I bring my own? How many miles is it? Are there good stops along the way? What kind of scenery can I expect?
However, it’s often surprisingly hard to get a good overview of the information I’d like.
That’s why when I received a link to The Wild Atlantic Way I was stunned.
Loading the website, you instantly get a set of stunning pictures that make you want to take a closer look. After playing around with the images, I clicked on the route map.
It’s just on the doorstep in Ireland!
The next step was to share it with a friend with the message “We must do this one day – it would be a great craic!”. I congratulated myself on my little joke and knew that the stunning pictures would capture my friends imagination too.
Within about 30 seconds I had a nice idea of the route and scenery.
My next though was – I’m unlikely to be able to ride 2,500km (approximately 1,500 miles) in one trip. What part of this route should I explore?
Here the map comes in handy, as you can tap different parts of the route to get an idea of what you’ll see there. I imagine surfing in the cold Irish seas would be one to remember. I also liked the ability to pin areas that appealed particularly.
Under the stories section, I also came across the Things to do in Summer post, which talks about the Great Western Greenway cycle route.
I’m impressed at how the website is able to quickly give you an idea of different parts of this 2,500km route.
What about navigation?
The website didn’t offer up any KML or GPX files which I could load in to my iPhone or Garmin. However, the organisers have created a free iPhone and Android app.
This takes some of the useful information available on the website and makes it available to explore offline. Additionally, there is a map which can give you a good idea of the general route. However, I imagine you’d need to do some plotting of GPS coordinates yourself in order to create something that’s really easy to follow on the bike.
I’m still clicking round and discovering more as there’s such a depth of content here.
The website is by the Fáilte Ireland National Tourism Development Authority. Clearly not every destination that wants to appeal to more tourists and cyclists is going to have the kind of budget necessary to build this kind of site, but it’s exciting to see what’s possible.
I hope the site achieves the intended goal of increasing tourism in the area.
If you’d like to take a look head to wildatlanticway.com.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.