Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and lots of clifftop tarmac – it’s Ireland’s Atlantic coast.
One warm August evening in 2016 saw us enjoying a beer in a town square in Bruges with fellow members of the BMW Club. Serenaded by a thumping set of rock classics performed by a Dom Littlewood lookalike dressed in pink PVC hot pants, we discussed our respective experiences and ambitions. Frank revealed his ongoing project for a club ride around the Atlantic coast of Ireland. My appetite was whetted. Roll forward 10 months and we joined a party of 16 other members of the club’s Oxford Section on the quay at Fishguard. The tour of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way trail was our most ambitious ride since returning to the motorcycling fold in 2012.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a visitor trail launched by the Irish Government in 2014 as an initiative to encourage tourism. It stretches from Kinsale on the southern coast, along the western seaboard, to the country’s most northerly tip at Malin Head. Using ‘N’ or National class roads (equivalent to UK A-roads) as its spine, there is plethora of loops and spurs consisting of more minor roads that take you through some of the most exquisite coastal scenery imaginable. Combine this with a low population density, very few towns, and well signposted and maintained tarmac, and the result is motorcycle touring heaven.